I have endured a certain degree of fame for the rather humiliating story of heartbreak that led to my entering into the service of the Kingdom.

But that was neither the first, nor the worst.

Actually, they say the first is automatically the worst, do they not? That first wrenching twist that makes the heart realize that all those dreams of happily-ever-after are just that… dreams. Not real. Unrequited love is an evil unknown to a young heart who has experienced nothing but unbridled affection for all its life.

I was ten and a half. For those of you on Earth, that’s about the same age as a thirteen-year-old girl. His name was Roth, and he was exactly one day older than I.

Roth was not the handsomest or most popular boy, but I thought he was perfect. We had several classes together at school, and spent every free moment together.

…at school.

Of course, when I went home each evening, it was to the county seat, as my parents are the Counts and Contessas of Finborough. That didn’t mean I was completely sheltered… just… very sheltered. My social life consisted of events, with chaperones and schedules and a strict curfew. But when it was a school related event, Roth was there.

And then came my eleventh birthday. I was going to be allowed, for the first time, to have a separate party with the extended family, and then a smaller, more intimate party with just my friends. I wanted a small group. My addled adolescent brain thought it would be nice to have four boys and four girls; a perfect eight, exactly like an ideal marriage.

Looking back now, that was a very, very bad idea. A couple of my friends thought it was a terribly romantic gesture, and RSVP’d enthusiastically. But I found out later that others thought I was a pretentious brat, creating her own marriageable group.

I can’t say they were wrong. I did pick out friends whom I thought would make an ideal marriage of eight. I even did a little fantasizing about what it would be like when we all grew up and got married.

Roth didn’t turn down the invitation. He just avoided me. I’m not sure what happened when my parents’ scheduler contacted his parents and asked about whether or not he would attend, but my eleventh birthday turned into me and four friends (two of whom I almost did marry, but that’s the other story) having a nice fancy dinner, spending the evening talking about how horrid all the others were, and speculating about why they decided not to come.

It wasn’t long after that Roth became involved with an older boy and a couple of girls I didn’t know. It was like he was purposely removing himself from my company, making a point to create a public display of affection in his happy little foursome whenever I was near. I wish we’d had some real understanding, that he had viciously dumped me in a passionate display of anger. But all I had was a broken idea… a happily ever after that had apparently just been in my own mind.

This story was written for the Write On Edge prompt:

This week we’d like you to explore romantic heartbreak. For you fiction writers, here’s a chance to really delve into the psyche of your character. For you non-fiction folk, well, maybe it’s into your psyche you must delve. We all remember that first love, just like we all remember when our hearts broke for the first time.

Write a piece – 600 word limit – about the first heartbreak your character or you experienced.

This story isn’t related to any of my others. I often use Charity Kochsato, the Violet Duchess of Drakeshead, when I have a prompt like this.

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