The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson

Every couple that I know experiences firsts; first kiss, first date, first holiday and even in some cases their first home. These are the things as time goes on you cherish. What is difficult is when something you believe is your first together your partner has already done with their ex.

I mean don’t get me wrong you are not going to never go to the cinema for example just because your partner has been there with their ex or visit a particular restaurant (I mean who wants to miss out on Nandos for the rest of their life) but I would not fancy my first break together with my new partner to be the same place he took his ex girlfriend. And lets be honest in this day and age with social media at our fingertips as much as the ex is stalking our insta page we a re stalking theirs as well for a glimpse into what his and hers past could show.

So for a minute close your eyes and think about that feeling. That feeling of comparing yourself for someone else even if it was just for a split second. How does that feel? Do you feel envious? Sad? Worried that you do not match up?

Now imagine that the person you are comparing yourself to isn’t an ex through choice but they have in fact died and that is the only reason your partner is no longer with them.

Libby had met Jack’s type before. Cocky, sure of himself, simply in it for the sex. Men like that she would not give a second glance. But Jack was mesmerised by Libby, she was different. She was not just sex. She stirred something inside him he had not felt in a long time. The issue was Eve, His beautiful Eve who was now dead. As much as Jack loved Libby he felt guilty, as if he was betraying Eve.

But he decided to put everything aside and give his relationship with Libby a go and they seemed relatively happy until one day tragedy strikes and Libby is in an accident causing her to be housebound for some time. During that time Libby stumbles across Eve’s diaries. Libby knows she should not read them but she has to know, who was this woman that her husband cannot forget. Why had she enchanted him so much and could she really win the battle with a ghost.

More to the point what was Eve hiding and was her death really an accident? Libby finds herself caught up in a web of lies, deceit and survival.

“It’s all fanny at the end of the day darling,” she said, “but these men think the fannies they “visit” should be neat and groomed and smelling sweet.”

In this day and age it is so easy to forget our own qualities and compare ourselves to others. How much prettier they are or taller or richer. Social media, the news and the TV portray this image of what perfect is or ideal is but if we were really honest with ourselves we would know it does not exist. They all need work and we all have flaws. The key I believe is to communicate, to trust each other and never ever take for granted the other person.

“Eve shoos me away with her hand, telling me to go and get on with my life. Her smile becomes a grin and, as I wave again, she fades away until I can feel with every fibre of my being that she has finally gone to a better place.”

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