“Would it be wrong for me to tell you, that I love you?”

When I first met The King I was two weeks off 21. I had been in Sydney for about two years, and was in my third year of university. I was no match for him. He was only 19, but he was worlds ahead of me in terms of experience. In time I was to find out that we were from completely different worlds, and I would nearly be subsumed into his world. But at the beginning I had no idea what was to come, and I had no hesitation in trusting him. In the end, it took me all my strength and intelligence to extricate myself from him.

But at the beginning we fell in love. He was the one to say “I love you” first, and I remember we were drunk, and we were sitting on a bench on the western side of Circular Quay, late at night. “Would it be wrong for me to tell you,” he said with his slurred Irish brogue, “that I love you?” I love you too, I said straight away. And the next morning we awoke and he was still saying it. When we got to the train station he kept saying it, and he would say it to me many millions more times over the next eight years.

I remember some time after that an evening where we must have had our first falling out, and I remember it was because The King had stood me up somewhere. I was very annoyed and upset, and I ignored his phone calls and ignored his knocking on the front door when he came around to my house. Admittedly I probably should have spoken to him about it openly and honestly, I can’t remember if I’d already tried that. When I wouldn’t open the front door or answer his pleas, he went around to the back of the building and began throwing stones at my bedroom window. Then, to avoid waking my flatmate or the neighbours, and to avoid a smashed window, I opened the front door and let him in.

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