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I so much remember the passion and the romance of the first time we met – I just cannot forget.

It was in a tapas bar on the Rambla de Catalunya in Barcelona. I had been alone for two years and was feeling very lonely then – my life was consumed by work and I had no time for loving anyone.

It is strange how these things happen. I was sitting next to her at the bar nibbling away at tapas of sliced smoked ham and olives and drinking a fine rioja. I smelt her perfume and turned to her and said “You smell so nice, and you are beautiful.”

She left to go on somewhere else that night and gave me a lovely smile, and I thought that is the end of that – what a beautiful girl.

Later that night I went to a nightclub in the Tibidabo area of the city where the nightlife was crazy and everyone was so happy, and she was there purely by chance. She smiled at me again and gestured me to come over to her, and so I did.

We danced all night until the club closed at five in the morning, and she asked “Would you like to come for breakfast with me?” Of course I said yes because I had fallen in love with her. We caught a taxi and I thought she would take me to a cafeteria but she took me to her own apartment. We missed breakfast because we made love until we both had to go to work.

Paseo de GraciaWe called each other several times during that day, and when she got home I had prepared a meal for us, nothing special just spaghetti Bolognese with a nice bottle of wine.

Before she returned from work I had been watching an old romantic soapy film on the television and I was in tears; the man who never cries.

The following day was a Saturday and when I woke up in our bed I was covered from head to foot in dark red rashes – I looked like a radish in the mirror.

We went together to a skin specialist who had no idea of what I had and charged me a fortune for her useless advice. I didn’t tell her that I had spent a lot of time before in sandy places where no-one should really go and the food was doubtful most of the time. Maybe it was my nerves, I’ll never know.

I had my own flat in Barcelona then but I moved into her apartment the same day and never went back except to collect my belongings and give notice on the rental lease – I hated that place anyway where I was always on my own.

We were together for fifteen years and have the most beautiful daughter who is the apple of my eye. We separated nine years ago and my heart is still broken.

The roses that I grew in our garden have all gone; the ones that filled our home with love, in crystal vases in every room. There is no-one left to care for them anymore and the flowers that I planted have all died now – I made the mistake of not loving her enough.

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Passion dies, but memories of love will never leave me, and somehow I know that she feels the same way too.