First Loves and Forever Ever Afters

Matisse Walkden-Brown
Human Parts
Published in
8 min readFeb 14, 2024

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By Scott Webb via Unsplash.

I don’t really know what my first love was. I think I started to fall in love with things fast and furiously from a young age. Jonathon Taylor Thomas might have been up there. Devon Sawa as Casper the Ghost wasn’t far behind. Heath Ledger forever. There was a boy at my primary school who was unscrupulously violent, but also had a mushroom-shaped blonde haircut so I was desperate to confirm he knew I was alive. The packets of chicken-y salt inside Maggi noodles stole my heart early. Low rise stretch pants. Every character in The Saddle Club. I truly loved all these things. Love and yearning. Love and wanting. Love and hunger. Back then, it was all one and the same.

I suppose my traditionally recognised first love was with a teenage boy (I know, so unoriginal, yuck). It was a hallmark first love story really. In the sense that I was more or less loved back, and it was one of those inevitable high school heartbreaks. You know the kind. The bad(ish) boy and stumbling girl caught a riptide.

If my first love story were an American movie it would be set between a football field and a halloween party. He would win championship trophies, and wink at her in the bleachers. She would stand tucked in beside him, while he chugged beer and crushed red cups. She would cry and slap his chest when they fought, and sleep on it when they didn’t. He would teach
her to drive, badly. She would send him really long text messages from her pink flip Motorola (which is actually quite hard to do and arguably an undervalued skill). He would throw pebbles at her boarding school window. They would fight. They would forgive. And eventually, after very very (very) many Matchbox Twenty songs, they would go their separate ways. In the Hollywood version, naturally they would go off to different colleges. But in Australia (and reality) we went to the only two places two Queensland kids could affordably go when they wanted to feel like they were growing up. Sydney and Melbourne.

T o paraphrase another great love of mine, Miss Josephine Potter from Season 6, Episode 24, of course that isn’t exactly what happened but it’s exactly how it felt. Like tears on tank tops, feet on dashboards, radio on soft rock, and vodka cruisers on a summer day. Now I know you won’t believe me, but I am actually not a crazy person for remembering…

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Matisse Walkden-Brown
Human Parts

Just a girl trying to make sense of the world and maintain a fantastic attitude. 🤸🏼‍♀️🤹🏼‍♀️💓 Campaign Strategist, Writer, Climate Activist & Mother.