A couple of months ago, I had a series of conversations with a friend (Hey O!) about among other things, love. One thing led to another, and she basically reaffirmed an annoying truth I already knew, but refused to admit: Some things you do not fully process/understand/really know how you feel until you write about them. So she challenged me to write about something I didn’t even want to discuss. My first love.
I hadn’t written in years. And to resume the habit, I was going to write about what I thought was the most personal thing to me at the time. I ended up splitting the story into 3 parts, and I guarded it religiously. I let very few people read it. But then I realized that suddenly, it didn’t matter to me anymore. Writing about it truly brought me closure even though I honestly believe I’d been over the situation for years. Still, while it was now easier to discuss, it still wasn’t my favorite thing to discuss.
Then came the end of my Spring Semester. I was in a really bad space mentally, and it had affected my school work. So as the week of my final exams approached, I realized I needed all the extra credit I could get. Now my American Literature teacher (who I had taken in two previous classes & have an amazing relationship with) gave the option of submitting original, never-been-previously-published written work or photography for the English department’s publication. In the last class, my “photography” was ruled out, so that wasn’t an option. Plus, I didn’t have time to write anything new, so I butchered what at the time was the most private thing I ever wrote. Changed names, locations, etc, and turned it in for extra credit. I had guarded it for so long, and yet I submitted it to possibly be published. Believe me, the irony is not lost on me lol.
I have at least 3 different write-ups in my drafts I’m just not ready to post yet I haven’t written in a while, I thought I’d post the first part of the story. It got me back to writing, It’s the only one with a happy ending, and it is probably the only one I will ever be able to post.
Names & dates & locations are still changed, but it’s not as butchered as the version I submitted for extra credit (that still kills me) is. And for the most part, it’s pretty much the same story. Enjoy.
I Loved You
When you met me I was 16. In high school. Naïve as hell. Fresh off what might have been the weirdest breakup ever.
It was the Administrative building. That much I remember. I don’t remember what even got us talking, but I do remember skipping a class to chat with you. Exchanging phone numbers. I remember your black flip Nokia phone. The last Nokia phone you ever used. Your profile name was “D King’s Kid.” It would later become “L’s Rex.” But I digress…
I remember us connecting instantly. People couldn’t get it. We’d sit and talk for hours. And it was new to me. Heck I’d had crushes before. I’d even been in love before (or so I thought at the time). But this…This was different. This was new.
This was real.
On paper, we had no business loving each other. We were both young, (you a couple of months older), but you were years ahead of me in terms of maturity. We came from very different backgrounds. I mean my family certainly isn’t poor, but yours had some serious money. Oh and there was him. Luke. Your 24 year old boyfriend.
Lord knows I didn’t want more from you than you were willing to give. I was just glad to have someone in my life who got me. Besides, who cared about him? He wasn’t even in the same state. I was right there. With you.
I was there when he pissed you off and you needed a shoulder to cry on. I was there the first time you found out he was cheating. I was there when you were happy. I was there for you through everything. But that was cool. Cos you were there for me too. Through everything.
I shared so many firsts with you. First alcoholic beverage. First love. Yes, you were my first love. I don’t even remember who said it first. But we both did. We both meant it. I loved you. I would have died for you. I would have killed for you. I belonged to you… And you knew it.
It wasn’t all perfect. Oh no. Not by a long shot. Till this day I tell people you taught me how to love. You taught me that it wasn’t always easy. You showed me how it was possible to not want to be around someone you love, and fight through that temporary anger/hatred and still love em through it until it fades. You taught me that as long as two people were determined to stay together, they would. And for that I will ALWAYS be grateful.
But you know what I loved the most? You showed me that love didn’t have to be blind. That you could love a person in spite of their flaws. And boy did you see mine! You saw my insecurities. You saw how badly I needed to be loved. You saw how much I wanted to be respected amongst my peers. To be valued. And you saw that I loved you in spite of your flaws.
Ah yes… Your flaws. I saw them too. Like I said, our love was not blind. I saw how you treated your friends. I saw how you treated me sometimes. I saw how my friends stayed away from you. I didn’t see it then, but oh I do now. I saw YOUR insecurities. I saw YOUR shortcomings. I saw your character defects. But I loved you anyway. Remember that Eminem line “the ruder you got, the more beautiful you got to me”? Yeah. That was us. And our love was pure. It was built on innocence. It’s almost funny now. Always thought of myself as Mr. Poetic, but your text messages put me to shame. It was almost never enough to simply say “I love you.” You wrote about your love for me fluently. You would have made Byron Keats humble! We would sit and talk outside your house back then until your mum threatened to lock you out EVERY NIGHT. As soon as you ran into the house, I would start walking to mine, knowing that I’d get a text from you before the 15 minute walk was over.
You never left Luke for me. I never asked you to. Somehow, I understood that you loved us both. And he could do things for you I couldn’t. Not financially, emotionally. I mean, he was 24 and I was barely going on 17. But I always believed I was more special to you. And that was all that mattered to me. It was cheesy, but as far as I was concerned, we didn’t need a title. I was yours, and you were mine—at least for a time.