I made it my life’s work to find out where he might be and to be there, too. I was sitting in the library one day when he walked in.
Alone, I tramped round the seedy jazz clubs of Newcastle whenever I was tipped off about a possible sighting. I felt white-hot desire and, propelled by almost insane love and longing, walked over to him. We would meet at parties and other functions — at which, I have to admit, he paid me scant attention.
On the morning he was due to return to the Far East, in December 1990, I was at Heathrow, passport in pocket, just in case I had to get on the plane with him to Kuala Lumpur. I asked him why he’d so cruelly turned away from me and he blamed his ‘ineptness’.
Subsequently, he had, it seemed, a chequered, wanderlust kind of life.
Neville came to see me out of the blue one evening, saying he was crazy about me. We went out, off and on, for nearly three years before marrying at the age of 21, while we were still students.
But I could never forget John Pellowe and the memory of my unrequited love for him put a pall on the marriage, with Neville always feeling he was somehow second best.
I could not have wished for more for my first lover.
But I had to somehow get through nearly three more years of university.
To make it worse, my application to change to English was successful and we were now in the same department.
Apparently this is often very helpful in puncturing the fantasy.
By this stage, I had no idea where he was or whether he was even alive or dead, but decided to track him down.