Thirty years of heartache ended in one fell swoop.

Photo: Getty Images

Maryam (36), divorced and mother of Mary (8) and Lind (6). Recently she has a new but old love.

They called us the incrowd, the regular group of altos who always camped out in the bike cellar at school. A group of sixteen and seventeen meant my whole social life. Together we went to concerts, drank secretly in the cottage in our village, and witnessed our first love.

Sensitive teddy bear

Martin was the quietest of the group, but he had the most humor. When he said something, he had laughter in his hand. Plus, in part because of his large stature, he was a sensitive, cuddly bear that you could trust with all your secrets. From the moment we met in class at 4vwo, it was a big hit between us. Our friends didn’t understand that our closeness that we swore was platonic, let alone our parents believed it. They endured our day-to-day relationships together, but we had nights apart.

“Out of necessity, we each kept diaries, which we exchanged the next day.”

We didn’t have cell phones or email to keep in touch at those times. So we each kept diaries out of necessity, which we exchanged the next day. This is how the chronicles came to two people together. Almost a Shakespearean amalgamation. Of course we were in love, in hindsight. But we didn’t know the feeling. So Martin and I talked with the others to discuss those adventures directly with each other.

to other ends

Three years later I went to college, but he didn’t. In my new life in a different city, our high school days seemed outdated. I slowly let the bond between Martin and I bleed to death, despite his attempts to connect. We move without knowing each other to other parts of the country. We got married, had children, and got divorced again.

And one late summer evening, I was sitting on the porch with two friends from my childhood clique, when Martin sent an Instagram direct message. He must have looked for me because we weren’t related. “Of course we should have done it together,” he dryly wrote under a photo of our favorite local band from the past, which he apparently attended a concert at the time.

Howling with laughter, my friends and I recollected old memories as I quietly realized how much I missed him. The final recognition we felt with each other, the naturalness of our being together, the few words we needed because we seemed to read each other’s minds; I never felt them again.

Also read – “I’m just happy for my childhood sweetheart”>


My friends shouted “app again!”. But I had just been divorced and had two children, five and three, to raise. Martin saw me coming with Hashemi. It took a minute of Googling the band’s list of shows before I replied, “We do, right? Next month they’re playing at our place before.” I spontaneously asked for two tickets and sent him the screenshot in a text message. He simply replied, “Give me your address and I’ll pick you up.”

“I automatically ordered two tickets and sent him the screenshot in a text message”

It turned out that he was driving from North Limburg to the Randstad to attend the concert in Brabant, when he was at my door. We couldn’t stop talking all night and singing like we used to. I was in love before I even thought if a relationship was even possible. I slept with my parents and Martin put me down nicely. Without a kiss, without a hint, because without words we knew we would never give up on each other from now on.

heart pain

Fortunately, WhatsApp is here now. That night we texted until the morning, and it went on for months. The inexplicable heartache we had carried with us separately for thirty years had ended in one fell swoop: it turned out to be each other’s lack. It only made sense that our kids — he’s also the father of two daughters — would have met each other after eight weeks.

We’ve been together for a year and a half now. Our kids are getting along great. Everything goes in harmony even our former brothers are happy in love. Together we form a tight-knit club that the outside world does not always understand – especially when they hear that we also spend Christmas Day together.

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