"Loves young dream is ended!” That is the message I left for Jackman in the evening.
Morning. Joan minus ring and quite different. Said Wednesday was “all off.”
Lunchtime. Single roller machine. One eye on that whilst I talked to her and asked questions. She had made up her mind. (Obviously against me) I gave her the brooch, saying it was silly and sentimental when there was no feeling. Asked, had he played fairly? The blighter hadn’t! He forbade her to keep tomorrow’s engagement, to mention one thing. Feeling tough, I described the Sunday morning business, painting poor Colin as less than dust, “Winning her as a woman wins a man, not as a man wins a woman” (neat phrase, that). Requested that she give him my compliments and would he meet me, instead of her, tomorrow night at the stile below the woods? She immediately said she would come out with me, after all. We finally arranged to meet in the High Street tonight – she and I.
She gave me the brooch again. “Please keep this” “Do you want me to?” “Yes.”
Evening. Ready to keep the appointment, I sauntered in High Street, wondering what Christmas present she would like. Returned to the pub for a glass of port. Glorious…Then… I saw something that ended the attraction – put it out as a puff of air extinguishes a candle. She was coming towards me – with him. One of my charming moments! Obviously she had changed her mind again.
No need to detail out little conversation, standing on the wet pavement. He was blustery, she tremulous and upset, I cold and nasty.
I wanted to see him in a quiet place and he refused. Called him “Coward” and he flicked cigarette ash in a nervous manner. Insisted his fiancée stay with us. Said good night to them.
I am now wearing my ring again. Hope it does not feel too insulted. Feel a smug satisfaction because I chose my words well and was not afraid. “First love – worst love” Quite true. How miserable I’d have been a year ago! Wish he’d been willing to fight though, then there’d have been no ill feeling between us.
(1981 As we both continued to work for the Company, there were frequent encounters with Joan in the next few years. She married Colin in due course. After a long lapse, I met her again, socially, at a Company function, about 1951 or 52. I was divorced, she was a attractive widow. We talked. There was nothing between us, not even nostalgia, then.)