"Do you believe in love at first sight?" and "How did you lose your virginity?"
It's to her that both of these apply and so I combine the memories together for it seems the obvious thing to do.
I first saw her in a coffeeshop and I instantly knew that she was the one I wanted to spend my life with. She was so young, just 16 the first time I saw her. I didn't know that at the time of course, I only knew she had to be the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and when I saw her I felt things I had never felt in my life.
It took me almost a week to work up the courage to speak to her and it was then I learned both her name and her age. I was older than she by two years and that alone would prove to be our greatest obstacle. Over the next few months we took to meeting almost daily, first in the shop where I'd first seen her and later, as we grew more comfortable in each other's company elsewhere in the City. The more I learned of her, the more convinced I was of what I'd felt that first day and it wasn't long before she expressed the same to me, all that remained was for us to be married. If only it would have been that easy.
Because of her age we were forced to delay our marriage and it wasn't until the day she turned 18 that we could finally see our dream become reality. Danijela came from a very religious family, so it was left unspoken that we would never share more then a kiss or a simple touch before our vows were exchanged. So it happened that the night of the day we became husband and wife was also to be the one in which we both lost our virginity. She was my first, and for most of my life the only woman I would know intimately.
I'd never really thought about our decision to wait until we were married to take that next step, she was religious, that was her wish and I honored that as I honor her to this day. The love I had for Danijela only grew from that point in time and within the year we would welcome our first child. And as impossible as it seems, her giving me that gift only served to increase the love I felt for her.
I'll never understand how something that provides so many wonderful memories can also be that which, to this day, still tears my heart to shreds, but such is the case with my life with Danijela. I will never understand why God felt it necessary to take this woman and the children she gave me away, and for many years I hated him more than those who had taken their lives.
Danijela and I had seven years together from the day we met to the day I lay her and my children in the still frozen ground of that Vukovar cemetery. For another seven years I would swear I had buried my heart along with them. I was wrong, but, that's a story for another day...