This Love Is Real

An entry for the "Inspired By A Song" contest. Inspired by Taylor Swift's Love Story, this is Ronan and Julia's love story.


1. Part I: Please Don't Go

Part I

Please Don’t Go




Subject: Please Don’t Go

Date: Wed, 18 October 2007 15:22:13 +0000


Dear Ronan,

We were both young when I first saw you. If I close my eyes and picture the moment, I can still imagine it as if I was right there. It was at the wedding of my aunt, my mum’s younger sister, and I was the bridesmaid. I was standing on the balcony of the hotel where the wedding had been held, in that wonderful dress that I loved so much they let me keep it afterwards. I still have it in my wardrobe. Do you remember it? It was a floor-length dress, with long sleeves (because it was a November wedding, we talked about how cold it was, remember?) and a swirling pattern. I looked behind me through the open doors that led onto the balcony and into the ballroom. I saw the party, the lights, I saw the bride and groom smiling at each other and dancing… and then I saw you.

You were at the edge of the dance floor, hands in your pockets and looking down at the floor. But then you looked up and looked right at me, right through the crowd between us and at me. I smiled at you and you looked at me for a moment before smiling back and beginning to make your way across the room towards me.

You came out and stood on the balcony with me and we stood facing each other for a moment before you shyly said “Hello.”

I giggled nervously, before replying “Hello.”

You were wearing a suit that didn’t really… suit you. The jacket looked slightly too big and you looked like you would prefer to be in a t-shirt and jeans.

“I’m Ronan.” You said holding out your hand to shake.

I laughed at that, because what kind of kid introduced themselves with a handshake? You, of course. I shook your hand and said “I’m Julia.”

“You’re the bridesmaid, aren’t you?” You asked.

I nodded. “The bride is my aunty.”

“My parents are friends of the groom’s, my dad and him work together.” You told me. ”I, um… I think you look really nice.”

The words came spilling out of your mouth, and the second you’d said them it looked like you wished you hadn’t. Your cheeks turned slightly pink and you looked at the floor.

I could feel myself blushing too, even though nice wasn’t the most amazing compliment anyone had ever given, it was the only compliment a boy had ever given me, and back then it didn’t take very much to make me blush.

“Thank you.” I said, not really sure what else to say.

We both stood there awkwardly for a moment before you changed the subject with “How old are you?”


“Me too.”

I walked over to the edge of the balcony and sat down on the stone banister, facing the ballroom, with my back to the garden of the hotel. I swung my legs, my cream ballet pumps peeking out from underneath my dress, and patted the space next to me on the banister, motioning for you to sit next to me.

You did and then I asked you “What’s your favourite music?” I’m not sure why I asked that question, but I’m glad I did because after that there were no more awkward silences and we talked like we’d known each other for years.

After a short pause in the conversation, I said “We should keep in touch after this wedding, I think we could be good friends.”

You nodded. “I think so too. But I don’t have a mobile phone, I broke the one I had and my mum says I can’t have another one until I show that I’m responsible.”

You said the word “responsible” like it was disgusting and I laughed. “Do you have an email?”

“Oh, yeah! That’s a good idea.” You took a pen out from your jacket pocket (goodness knows why you had a pen in there). “Do you have something I can write it down on?” I shook my head and you frowned. Then you suddenly took my hand and started writing on my palm. The second my hand was in yours time seemed to slow down and I couldn’t hear anyone or anything else (I know you dislike cheesy clichés but there’s really no other way to describe it).

I looked at you and your short dark hair moved slightly in the breeze. You finished writing down your email and looked up. I noticed you had brown eyes. You silently handed me the pen and held out your hand for me to write on. I took your hand and carefully wrote my email down, dotting the “j” and “i” of “julia” with hearts, as I always did when I was thirteen.

I looked up and you were looking at me. “Um… It’s all in lower case.” I said, quietly.

“Yeah, urm… so’s mine.” You said, just as quietly.

Then you leant forward to tuck a blonde curl, which had come loose from my hair bun, behind my ear. I realised I was still holding your hand.

“Julia! What are you doing?” You and I lept apart, standing up and turning to see my father standing in the doorway.

“Daddy,” I said, because I still called him that back then (I’ve moved on to calling him dad now, if you were wondering). “I was just talking to Ronan, he’s my new friend.”

“He most certainly is not.” He glared at you, stepping forward. “Stay away from Julia.”

“Dad! Why? He hasn’t done anything wrong!” I protested, but he ignored me, stepping and putting his arm out in front of me so there was a barrier between you and I.

“Now go.” Dad said to you.

I felt so confused, I didn’t know why he was so against you, it didn’t seem fair.

“Please don’t go.” I begged, even though I’d only just met you, you were everything to me.

But my dad was still glaring at you, so you looked at me sadly and said “It was…” You paused, trying to think of the right word. “…enchanting to meet you, Julia.” And then you left.

Once you were gone my dad tried to explain to me that he didn’t want me to hang around with you because you were the son of some people my parents didn’t like.

I told him that it didn’t make it any fairer, because so what if our parents didn’t get along? We weren’t our parents.

But he clearly didn’t agree with me as he sent me up to our hotel room and made me go to bed. He told me I was never to see you or speak to you again.


But of course I did. We had each other’s email addresses and the second I got home from the wedding I sent you an email. You quickly sent one back and after that we were constantly emailing each other. We even saw each other a couple of times. I remember waking up in the middle of the night because you were throwing pebbles at my window. Luckily, my parents had been away that night and had trusted me to look after myself. We sat in my front garden in the moonlight and talked. You kissed me on the cheek before you left and it felt magical and made my heart lift.

I remember the time we met on the spiral staircase in the library, but my dad found us and made you leave, even though I cried and begged you not to go. He shouted at me afterwards and told me he was ashamed of me.

I cried to my mum about that, and she told me he hadn’t meant it, he was just trying to protect me and I should do what he said.


But I still didn’t do what he said. We kept emailing. Until one day you didn’t.

It was a couple of years after we’d first met, I was fifteen and had just sent a reply to your last email. And then you never replied. I waited for a couple of weeks and then sent you a short email to ask if you hadn’t gotten my reply or if something had happened. But you still didn’t reply. Then I waited about a month before emailing you again. But still nothing.


And now it’s a year later and I don’t really know why I’m writing you this email. Chances are you’ll never read it. I suppose this is a desperate last attempt. You’ve probably changed your email. Or something. I don’t know… I just… miss you.


When I first met you I was thirteen and I thought you were going to be my prince and I was going to be your princess. But I’ve realised since that this isn’t a fairytale and maybe I won’t get a Happily Ever After.

Even though I’ve realised that I can’t help but hope. I can’t help but wish. I wish you’d save me. My parents are still telling me how to feel and what to do. I know being with me is difficult, I know loving me was difficult, but our love is real. Or at least it was. I still love you, if you were wondering. I can’t seem to move on.


Don’t be afraid to email me again. We could make it out of this… mess if you would just email me. Or come and see me.

Always waiting for you,


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