Man Of My Dreams



Valerie Byron    

© Copyright 2023 by Valerie Byron  


Photo by Alan Healy at Pexels.

Photo by Alan Healy at Pexels.

I remember so clearly being 20 years old.  That was sixty years ago and yet it seems like only yesterday.  I have so many memories of my younger days, but specifically I recall writing poems and love lyrics about my future soul mate.  I had a very specific image of what he would look like.  I can’t find that poem now or even remember the exact words, but it was something to the effect of his having clear blue eyes (with smile lines), perhaps he would smoke a pipe (yes, this was the early sixties) and maybe he would have a dog or two.  I recall lying in my bathtub once, picturing this knight in shining armor – this fantasy male – and how I would feel, wrapped up in the safety of his arms.
When I was 21 I met him. He was tall, fair and had the bluest of blue eyes.  We met while I was on a mini vacation in Portsmouth.  I had gone there with a girlfriend for a fun week away, and spotted him across the bar while having a drink.  He wore a naval officer’s uniform, and his eyes were so blue that I almost fainted dead away.  Geoff was the man I had been looking for...or so I thought.  It was an instant connection and we spent the entire week together.  I let my girlfriend drive home alone, and went with him to his parents’ home in Reading for a few days.  They were in Singapore so we had the place to ourselves.  He proposed marriage to me and I happily said “yes”.
When we are young and foolish we do crazy things.  This 20 year old lad had no idea what he was getting himself into.  He drove “up North” to see me, and things were different.  After the exhilaration of our first few days together, he started to get on my nerves and I could not wait for him to leave.  He kindly left his car with me and I promised to drive back to Portsmouth in a week or two to return it, which I did.  He saw me off at the train station and I ended our engagement.  He sat in the carriage with me for a while, crying as if his heart would break.  I was heartless and cruel.  I knew instinctively he was not the man for me, and told him I was in love with someone else.   That was not really true – I was in lust with someone else – but that is another story.
Life went on and I never did meet the man of my dreams.  There were others I thought I loved – others I became passionate about – but none of them were exactly what I had envisioned for myself.  I even got married to a wonderful man – but he was not Mr. Right.  He was Mr. Right Now – and although our union lasted over thirty years, it was not filled with passion – just a calm love which ended when he found his Mrs. Right.
At sixty-five I decided that my youthful fancies were just dreams that probably would never come true.  At sixty-six I met someone on-line.  He was too young for me and I wondered if I could fix him up with my daughter. But he persisted in his attentions and after a year of emails, chats and phone calls, I allowed him to visit me.  When he walked into my house, my heart almost stopped.  He sort of, kind of looked like my knight – so in my late-aged flight of fancy – I decided he was the “one”.  At first he fit the bill beautifully,  He was gentle, kind and so aware of what I needed in a partner that I overlooked the fact that he was unemployed, had secrets and caused me so much frustration through his lack of communication that I was constantly on edge.  It was an odd and unusual romantic relationship which lasted for eight years until my daughter decided she wanted to have children.
At 42 my daughter had been in four serious relationships, including a marriage which had ended amicably because her husband did not want children.  In fact, none of her future partners wanted children either, except her last one.  Her final partner was a very complicated man with so many issues that it was hard to imagine him settling down and becoming a loving husband and father.  And yet, that is what he declared he wanted and my daughter went along with it for a while.  They decided to live together and both went through the grueling procedures of IVF together.  After discovering that her eggs were not viable, they decided to go the route of getting an egg donor.  I helped her financially and it took several rounds before the procedure was done with the help of a beautiful young woman whom we found at the egg donor registry. 
It was just about time to have the eggs fertilized when my daughter came to her senses.  Her partner was not the right person to be the father of her future child, or children, and she broke up with him.  It was not an easy decision as she had three embryos waiting to be fertilized.  Time was of the essence.  What could she do?
And that was the moment she decided to ask my lover if he would be the sperm donor.  And that was when my relationship with him changed forever.  He said yes.  He wanted to help her and I had loved him enough for so many years that I wanted my grandchildren to have some of him in them.  It was not an easy experience for any of us, and his sperm was weak.  It took the fertility clinic doctor all night to extract viable sperm – but he managed it, to our utter delight and amazement.

 Nine months later our boy/girl twins were born, albeit very early at 23 weeks.  It is not important to detail my lover’s relationship with his children now, or his relationship with me.  Needless to say, it is not one that has flourished, although he does see them on occasion and we remain friends.  At eighty, I have come to my senses at last, realizing that the search for my dream lover was just that – a dream.  The man of my dreams was a fantasy and he was not about to appear in the way I thought he would – at least not in this lifetime.

This morning my grandson, aged six years and six months, trotted into my bedroom.  He very gently put his arms around me as I lay in bed.  He placed his head upon my breast and looked up at me.  “I love you Grandma,” he said quietly.  I looked down at him, admiring his bright blue eyes that had such endearing smile lines.  And it was then that I knew – the man of my dreams had come true, just not in the way I expected.


When I was young, I dreamed of love
As only children do.
Of knights and steeds and maidens fair
And stories that come true.

I’d want a man with strength and grace
And eyes of twinkling blue
Someone to love me, come what may
And make my dreams come true.

Through the years I played the part
Of mother, friend and wife
Marking time until I found
The one who’d change my life.

The years passed by, and no-one came
To fill my yearning heart
Until the evening of my years
And then our love did start.

Truly strangers in the night
We’d only met on-line
But you became so fast, my love
My one true Valentine.

You took me by surprise, indeed
Your youth and tender care
Were not what I expected, no
I’d never dreamed to dare.

Your eyes are blue, your body strong
Your touch is tender too.
I’ve finally found my precious love
It’s you, it’s you, it’s you.

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