The first time I saw Brett Harwood, I fell in love.
I was 19 and he was on his motorcycle outside the supermarket where I worked on the checkout.
He looked so cool dressed in biker leathers.
When he took off his shiny helmet to reveal long surfer-blond curls, my knees went weak.
I was delighted when I realised he was going to be working at the supermarket, too.
He'd got a job as a shelf-packer and over the following weeks we got to know each other.
I soon discovered Brett had a thing for tattoos.
A Chinese dragon curled around his left bicep and a pair of doves was inked on his right wrist.We started dating and after a few months, he took to calling me his "little dove".
"That's me and you," he'd say, pointing to his tatt.
"One day, I'm gonna get our initials tattooed next to it and we'll be together forever."
It was so romantic.
But my parents took an instant dislike to Brett.
"He's not good enough for you," Dad said.
Six months later, when they realised I wasn't going change my mind, Mum and Dad took drastic action and bought a house in Darwin, moving us miles away from our home in Adelaide.
I was heartbroken.
Brett and I didn't have the cash to get our own place and stay together.
I had no choice but to break up with him.
Years passed and we lost touch.
Eventually, I moved back to Adelaide and met my husband Blake, an accountant.
A few years later, we had a beautiful daughter, Hayley.
But I never forgot about my first love.
I couldn't have been more shocked when I was picking Hayley up from kindergarten one day and noticed a familiar figure at the school gates.
"Brett?" I said.
He turned around and our eyes met.
It was him!
As it turned out, Brett was married now and had a son who went to the same kindy.We didn't have long to catch up but it was obvious there was still something between us.
"Meet me tomorrow?" he asked me.
I knew I couldn't say no and agreed to meet him for lunch.
The next day, we talked for ages and as we left, he leaned in and kissed me.
I felt a pang of lust, but we both had families to think about.
There was too much at risk.
"I'm sorry, I can't see you again," I told him.
He was disappointed, but understood.
That weekend, I spent the afternoon having a wine with my best mate, Gemma, and broke down telling her everything.
I'd lost my first love all over again.
I got a bit tipsy and in an Uber on the way home, passing a tattoo parlour, I had an idea.
I rushed inside and told the tattoo artist exactly what I wanted.
"Two doves on my wrist, with the initials BH," I said.
In a couple of hours it was all done – a permanent reminder of my first love.
Now he'll always be with me, I thought.
But back home, I panicked.
Blake's eyes widened in disbelief when he saw my tatt.
"What's that?" he demanded. "Who the hell is BH?"
My stomach churned with regret.
Then I had a brainwave…
"It stands for Blake and Hayley," I said, smiling. "I got it to remind me of you two."
He shook his head and his expression softened.
"Silly thing," he said, giving me a kiss.
I know what I did was foolish and if Blake ever found out he'd leave me.
I know I can't be with Brett.
Our time is over.
But I've got a little piece of him now, forever.
That will have to be enough.
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Australian Women's WeeklyToday 11:49am