“I scroll through the profiles and only realize ten photos later that it is her”

First meeting

I am 18 years old and, like every year, I spend the summer in a vacation club in the south-west of France with my parents and my brothers. We hang out a lot between young people, it’s the age of the first flirtations, encouraged by the summer atmosphere. One evening, with the other boys, we launch the silly challenge of being the first who dares to approach a girl during the evening in a club.

When I arrive, I scan the premises to locate the girls. She is there, alone with her little sister. She’s a young girl of 17, brunette with a ponytail, very thin, shy, who looks straight ahead. I sit next to her and find her beautiful. I feel a bit silly: I’m there, in the role of the boy who wants to seduce a girl to win a bet, vaguely predatory, and I come across a jewel. It takes me out of the game at the same time as I accost it.

Marie joins our little group and, for two or three days, we get to know each other. There is a kind of sweetness in our rapprochement, these are magical moments where the more I see her, the more I fall in love. Then one day, sitting in a room, chatting and listening to music, we end up kissing.

When the holidays end, we are already very attached to each other, she maybe a little less than me. We promise to see each other again at the start of the school year: we both live in the suburbs of Paris, and since I just got my license, it makes things easier. We see each other every weekend, we introduce our friends, our families. We both get our baccalaureate. For two years, we had a real life as a couple, very fusional. I love her candor, her vulnerability, and all her quirks, even when she brushes her teeth. We leave each other during the week to go to class, and as soon as we can we meet again.

We are starting our studies, at university for her, in BTS for me, and to earn some money, Marie joins a hostess agency for sporting events and TV shows. When he is offered a one-month mission, it freaks me out too much. I think that, at the time, I was not quite built yet: I was hyper-jealous by nature, with a relationship with the couple that was not very healthy. She gives up for me, upset. When he is offered another similar proposal, I stop trying to stop him.

Marie has always been very demonstrative of her love, very considerate. She leaves me a small present a day to open during her rounds, assures me that everything will be fine. But when he returns, disaster strikes. I don’t recognize her. She explains to me that she has thought about it and that she thinks she is too young to be in a relationship, that she wants us to separate. I feel like I’m falling into a hole. I spend two weeks in my room crying, I no longer eat. We stay in touch for a while, me always with a little hope, but after about a year, I cut the bridges to rebuild myself.

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