"Doves partner for life. School, the place of learning, is where I learnt the biggest lesson of all, the lesson of love. At the tender age of fifteen I met my sixth form heart throb. I was ecstatic. A few months into our relationship he dropped the bomb shell: "I've been thrown out, can I come and live with you?" And so he moved into my house, into my life, into my friendships and into my family.
We shared happy times together; we grew together, discovered new places. I liked his childhood delight, his playfulness, his romantic gestures, his imagination, his inventiveness and his intelligence. With his support and encouragement I excelled academically in my GCSEs and A' Levels, and passed my driving test.
After gentle persuasion I joined him the following year at university. Almost four years as a couple but unlike the doves we'd grown up but had grown apart. He had changed, I had changed, we wanted to follow different paths. We parted. The day he moved out was like a bad nightmare. I fell to sleep expecting to see him there the next morning, but woke up alone. Learning to be single again was a new challenge.
It's now three year since splitting up and I have moved on, continued to education, bought a car, lived abroad, am physically fitter and lead a hectic social life. My first true love made me a stronger person. He provided me with a motivation to succeed, to achieve my ambitions and not to take life too seriously. Whatever my future holds, I will never forget my childhood sweetheart. He helped me to be who I am today."