Four words I’ve waited my whole life to hear. Four words
which I was sure would change my life forever, and it did. Just not in the way
I thought it would.
Finding out that my extremely gorgeous rock star boyfriend
was about to propose, had the complete opposite effect I thought it would.
Rather than catapult me into a future I’ve always wanted, it plunged me all the
way back to a past I tried to forget.
Now I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t help but wonder
what could have been, how our lives would have ended up if he didn’t leave me
behind a shattered mess.
All these memories of the past are dangerous. It’s bringing
my past back to ruin my future. And worst of all, it’s taking me right back to
him, my childhood sweetheart, my first love…my biggest regret.
"Will you marry
was the words that I'd wanted to hear my entire life. Didn't every girl
fantasise over the perfect man going to buy the perfect ring and getting down
on one knee in the most romantic way possible, before telling them that they
loved them so much, they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them?
knew that I certainly had.
and my best friend Cici used to talk about it all the time. We used to plan our
dresses, the music, the flowers—every part of the ceremony down to the very
last detail. Of course, the man didn't really matter. We were young enough and
naive enough to believe that we would magically meet the perfect man without
I really thought that I had. I really, truly believed that my dream had come
and Danny had begun our love story in a very typical fashion—our eyes had met
across a bar, where we'd had long, lingering eye contact, sparking all kinds of
emotions within me. The only difference between my story, and that of every
other rom-com ever, was that Danny was a genuine up-and-coming rock star,
playing on a fairly big stage, and I was a fan who already felt a lot of love
for this man. I'd been admiring him from afar ever since I first heard their
album a year or so before.
certainly hadn't expected it to ever go any further than that moment, so when
he came and joined me at the bar later on for a drink, despite being mobbed by
other members of the audience, I felt like my entire life had been leading me
up to that moment. I felt like everything that I'd experienced was all drawing
me closer to Danny, the love of my life. Here was a gorgeous man who was
destined to be famous, and who could have any girl in the world hanging off of
his arm, talking to me, asking me questions, and actually
showing me interest.
seemed like a dream—one that I was terrified to wake up from.
he flicked his messy auburn hair from his warm, chocolaty eyes and he gave me
that smile that had already melted the hearts of the nation, I thought for a
dreaded, wonderful second that he was going to kiss me in front of all of those
people. But after a few beats of pure terror, he didn't. Instead he handed me
his phone number, and he asked if I would like to go on a date with him.
old Charlotte (Lottie) Jones—on a date with Danny Boreom, bassist of the (now very) famous band Jax. It
didn't seem real.
it was real, and it did happen.
was the start of my real life.
a night out on the town where he well and truly wined and dined me, he walked
me home to my tiny flat which must have looked ridiculous compared to the
mansion that I now know he lived in with the rest of the band at the time, and
he finally kissed me. As his lips met mine, I felt myself flying on top of the
world—he was an amazing kisser, and there seemed to be an endless chemistry
between us. One that I never wanted to end.
and turned on by the power of his mouth, I invited him inside. Although he
coolly and calmly turned me down, it was still the best night of my entire
life, made even better by a phone call the next day to say that he only didn't
come inside with me because he wanted to be something real. He didn't want our
love to end at a one-night stand, he actually wanted us to develop and for him
to become my boyfriend.
forward three and a half years and we were blissfully living together, grazing
by every day happily and easily. Although he was away for a lot of the year
touring, it didn't seem to bother us. We were so strong and so solid with what
we had, that nothing would get in our way.
was perfect, still a dream come true and that intense chemistry hadn't burned
down one bit.
made it even weirder that my reaction to Cici telling me that Baz—another
member of the band—had just told her that he'd been engagement ring shopping
with Danny, wasn't one of pure joy.
do you mean?" I asked, my heart racing frantically in my chest. I could
tell that my voice was breathless and kind of terrified, but my mind was
spinning too fast for me to be able to do anything about it.
you happy?" She giggled, "I thought that you'd be over the moon to
finally be Mrs. Boreom."
no, I am," I half lied. The idea had always been at the edge of my
thoughts. I knew that Danny was the one for me, and despite all the car crash
relationships around us, we'd even managed to survive the fallout of him
becoming mega famous. It helped that I had no interest in the spotlight and
that I did everything I could to avoid it, but even despite all of that, I felt
like it proved that we could go the distance, and be together forever. So why
wasn't I excited for us to take the next step? "It's just a bit of a
shock, that's all."
that was normal, right? Everyone freaked out at first when they learned that
they were going to become someone's wife...didn't they?
course, I already knew that wasn't true. I'd already been proposed to once in
my life before, and that time, I didn't hesitate one bit. Panic didn't even
come into the equation, I was happy, over the moon at the thought of becoming
his wife. This was nothing like that had
been. I felt completely different.
the first time in a very long time, I allowed myself to think about Joe again,
and almost the second that I allowed that vault to open in my mind, I felt
myself fall into a tailspin. As his face filled my brain once more, it was
almost as if the last five years hadn't happened at all, and that I was still
his proud girlfriend, waiting to be his wife.
the wound reopened, I could barely hear what Cici was saying to me. I felt like
I was gaping, exposed, and extremely vulnerable all over again, and I did what
I'd always done when I was younger, when things got too difficult for me. I
started to talk to Joe in my mind.
are you now?
became of you?
happened to your life?
was so strange to have gone from the closest people in the world, to absolutely
nothing, and I struggled to imagine that he'd changed one bit. Of course I had,
my life was completely different, but I couldn't think of Joe without viewing
him as the other half of me. The boy that I'd adored, and the one that I never
thought would leave my side.
got to go," I finally announced to my friend. "I'll speak to you
later, okay?" And then I hung up the phone, without even waiting for her
to answer. I knew that I was being rude, acting more than a little strange, but
I needed some time. I needed to be alone with my thoughts to try and process
all of this.
quite how I found myself sitting at my computer with my fingers running along
the keys, I wasn't quite sure.
press anything, I willed myself. As soon as you do, everything will change.
we had gone our separate ways, I hadn't contacted Joe once, and with the
uprising of social media I hadn't looked him up either. I just couldn't face
it. He was like an imaginary fantasy in my mind now, and I wasn't sure that I
wanted to ruin that with reality. What if he was married now? Or into drugs or
something? His life could have gone in any direction, and I wasn't sure that I
really wanted to find out which one.
my life really was amazing now. Why would I want to even consider risking that?
I had a gorgeous, passionate man who actually wanted to be with me forever,
even though he was about ten leagues above me, I had a teaching job that I
loved, and friends that would do anything for me. That was a hell of a lot more
than most people had!
the end I forced myself to stand up and to move away from the computer screen
before it lured me in. I couldn't do it; I just wasn't willing to take that
step into the unknown. It terrified me far too much. But as I wandered
aimlessly from room to room, I realised that I couldn't just do nothing either. I needed to calm this
beast within me, which meant delving into my past whether I liked it or not.
stood at the bottom of the attic ladder, wondering what awaited me up there.
When me and Danny decided to buy a place together—well, he put the most money
in of course, but we still classed it as 'ours'—I shoved everything related to
my old life away, not wanting to even consider it. But it was always a comfort,
knowing that it was there, knowing that I could access it at any moment if I
really wanted to.
I could feel myself finally taking that step.
creaked up the ladder, feeling my heart thump and my palms sweat with nerves.
This was a mistake, I knew it was, but at the same time I couldn't stop.
would be no way for me to get married without taking this step anyway. Right
now, things were comfortable, but if I was ever going
to have a future with Danny, I needed to consult my past first. At least, that
was my excuse and I was sticking to it.
knew about Joe anyway. Well, he'd been told some of it, the very basics, so I
supposed that I was probably going to have to confess all before we finally
took the plunge. With that thought in mind, I tore open the first box I
stumbled across, and I ended up looking at the few photographs that I had of me
and Joe when we were very young, when we very first met...