There was this boy I fell in love with way back in 1976. It was a short relationship, late summer to Christmas Eve and its end took me by surprise. He was a very attractive boy, maybe a little on the small side but that didn't matter for I am short too. My mother did not take to him. I think she found him glib. To tell the truth she did not take to anyone I went out with for she suspected (rightly) that I was not adhering to the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. This boy, I will call him David, was not from Ireland and he must have been quite lost to end up adrift in Ballymena. He had nowhere to live and was sleeping on various friend's sofas. I think he might have wanted us to find a place together but I had a daughter and I knew that she and I were both better off living at home with my family.
I was so happy then. Somewhere, at the back of my mind, I must have known that David and I were not going anywhere but I ignored these doubts. We were both so young. Our jobs were crap and we had very little money.
Christmas Eve came. I hadn't got David a present. He said it didn't matter. I said I would buy him a gift after Christmas. He said he had something for me but he would give it to me on Christmas Day. He wanted me to stay with him that night but I had my taxi booked. I needed to be home to sort my daughter's Santa presents. He pleaded. I was firm. I would see him at Rob's party the next day.
He never came to Rob's party and no-one knew where he was. There were no mobile phones in those days, no way to catch up with people. I tried to put on a brave face. A couple of days later a friend told me what had happened. After I left on Christmas Eve he had got talking to a girl and he had left with her. She had a cosy flat and he moved in with her that very night!
And that was that. I think about it every Christmas. And I feel for anyone who has a relationship fall apart during this season. But when I do look back what I remember best is the support of my friends and family. And am so happy that I put my little girl before my boyfriend. And I know now that he was definitely not the boy for me.
Jilted Nelly putting on a brave face at Rob's party, Christmas 1976