The Poster

You never forget your first love. That’s what everyone says, anyway.

Recently James told me that he has started writing a post. It was only an idea so far, and he didn’t think he would ever publish it. He has a blog that has never had any posts on it, and is therefore impossible to find. Trust me, I’ve tried. He also refused to tell me what the post was about. Eventually he let it slip that it is about a poster. One of the posters I have hanging in my bedroom. And tonight he finally told me which poster it is that he felt compelled to write about, and why.

Her name is Carmen. She’s my dancer in red, a Spanish seductress. I find her beauty striking. I was drawn to her the moment I saw her from across the room, despite distractions. Prettier women, flashier colours. No, my eyes saw only her. She hangs at the foot of my bed, just as she did in my old bedroom back home for the past three years. Her beauty is simple, classic.

But why did Carmen have such an impact on James?

I suppose this story has to go back several years, and it is a story I haven’t lived, so find it hard to tell.

James met his first love in high school. They dated for three years, and eventually lost their virginities together when they were 19. I imagine them making love in her bedroom, him holding her as he holds me. And on the wall, next to her bed, is another poster of Carmen.

I wonder what she was like, how she acted. Was she prettier than me? Did she make him laugh the way I do? Does he ever think about her when he’s with me?

Does she regret breaking his heart, all those years ago?

And what drew her to Carmen? Maybe we are more alike than I’d like to think.

They still talk, every once in a while. She lives only an hour away, but James says he has no interest in going to see her. It’s kind of a relief, but their talking still makes me uncomfortable. He tells her about me. She wants to know what I’m like, wants to meet me. I find the idea deeply unsettling, but know it will luckily never happen.

Still, I wonder about her. She is a fundamental part of James’s history, and I feel like I can’t fully understand him without knowing what happened to him then. I feel like she holds a lot of the answers I wonder about, but am afraid to ask.

I know James loves me. And I trust him 100%, knowing he would never want to go back to her.

But something about that poster reminded him of her, and it made him want to write. Maybe he’s looking for an outlet for what’s going on in his head, but just can’t find an acceptable way to do it.


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

2 responses to “The Poster”

  1. travels with mary says :

    I can definitely see how two lovers having the same poster in their bedrooms would inspire someone to write– that sounds like the perfect part of some sort of short story or something? very interesting.

  2. Al says :

    She looks a little like your avatar? You could be Jame’s Carmen.

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