It’s funny the details you remember. Some things are as vibrant as day and you can remember every finate detail like it was yesterday. Other memories are foggy, much like a car window during a rain storm.
That’s how it was with my first love. I remember being young, overwhelmed, and knee deep in the throes of teenage romance. But I mostly just remember the pain of the first heartbreak. I’ve only loved twice in my life time. The first being a fleeting moment in time where I thought I owned the night but I was as blind as my Uncle Jay. Back then I couldn’t see past tomorrow I was only living for myself, drowning further Into the lies I told myself every single day. The second time I fell in love, it was the real, honest to God, deal.
He, my husband, is my best friend and the boy who loves me for me. He saw my face and my heart. I thought I was done with love when I first met my husband. I thought I could never love again because my heart had been so broken before. But, with David it never felt like falling. It felt like growing up and 70 degree weather.
He was the boy who smelled weird and didn’t talk much. He wasn’t perfect or some shining star in the community but he was a light that was able to shine through my darkness. He helped me discover a childhood joy that I had lost and he helped me change into the me I was always to afraid to be. He wasn’t my Prince Charming and I wasn’t his Cinderella. He was the guy that was patient, kind, and allowed me to fall at my own pace. I didn’t need a prince. I needed a guy that gave me strength and independence because that is who I am. I needed a man who put me before himself and loved me for me. He didn’t want to change me or control me. All he wanted was me, raw and uncut. He allowed me to heal and not to break. With David, I remember everything as vibrantly and as alive as my breathing.
After my first kiss with my high school love we spent the summer together falling into a flood of unknown chaos. Neither one of us could know of the destruction we would cause each other. We spent that summer like a cliche movie. He tought me how to drive stick-shift but stopped the moment I drove his prized car into a fence. I cought my first fish with him and I even kissed it (gross but true.) He told me that he loved me under a bed of stars and we slow danced in the rain. But the fall came and everything changed. He didn’t have a place to live so my parents took him in. That year passed like a slow fade into oblivion. I remember fights, loosing friends, him bringing me to school and then picking me up, I remember loosing all sense of time and most of that year is a complete fog. He eventually got his own apartment and I thought that once he moved out things would go back to to the way they were before but it only made things worse because he saw me less.
The second year we were together was my senior year of high school and he was a college sophomore. At this point he had given me a silver ring that had an ivory stone. He asked me to wear it as a promise ring. A promise that once I graduated high school we would get engaged. He knew exactly how our life would pan out together. He knew how many kids we would have and there names. He new what he wanted me to major in at college, I would be a nurse and he would continue to study heath and together we would travel the world as missionaries, saving lives. That was his dream and as his girlfriend I had to accept it. Or so I thought.
I don’t remember much of our relationship because I made a point to forget him but he never made it easy. The things I do remember are random facts that for one reason or another stick out. They are like glue in my mind. I remember him always being jealous and hating it when I had guy friends, driving away many. I remember giving him all my time to the point were my parents actually grounded me from him. I remember some good but I can only see our relationship as outsider would. When I was in it I thought it was romantic, sweet, real love. But, once things ended I could only see it as it was. Manipulative and emotionally abusive.
Things started going downhill once he started working at the local Shopko. There he become close friends with a female co-worker. He would drive her home, give her mom flowers when she was sick, and buy her candy when she had a bad day. I told him his relationship with her made me uncomfortable especially because I couldn’t have male friends. He told me I was over reacting at that there was nothing going on between them but if it made me feel better he would end there friendship. I didn’t say anything back because I felt so weak. He then grabbed my hand and told me that no one would ever love me like he did and to prove his love he would call her at end there friendship. So he did right there in front of me. I could hear her crying. That night her boyfriend called him back angry and cursing because she admitted to being in love with another man. My ex told me that it was the Christian thing to do to be her friend. So he called her back and comforted her for hours on the phone while I listened. Somewhere along the line I had the courage to tell him that I couldn’t be promised to him unless I was treated better. He took this as a breakup and didn’t speak to me for several days.
I went and saw a movie with a female friend of mine and he found out. He was pissed because that was a movie that we were going to see together. So he took the girl from Shopko to see that movie and later that night he had his fun with her. And that is the movie he bought me for my 19th birthday.
I went off to college that next fall and he joined an intense internship at a church. So for the first time since I was fourteen he was out of my life. For the first time I was able to think for myself. But every time I came home I would see him. He swore he had changed and that he was worth giving another chance to, so I did. I let myself fall for him all over again.
That New Years we held hands and ran into someone’s field declaring to the stars our New Year’s vows. I went back to school after winter break ready to be committed to him again. But then he called me. He told that he never told me the truth about the night he was with the girl from Shopko. He said he had been lying to me. I hung up on him. I was done with the games. I didn’t see him again until spring break when he came to my house and read me a poem. A poem about how he was with another girl. In a park. I gave him so much of me. I told him we were over and that he needed to accept that. Instead he took a bus from Montana to Seattle to see me at school. To convince me that we belonged together and that he would fight for me until he died.
That he knew without a shadow of a doubt that we were meant to be together. He said he would wait for me. I told him I needed to think. I went home for the summer and we had plans to met up and talk about us. I called him a few weeks before and told him the only way we would ever be together again was if he let me go and let me be me, no matter who that me would become. I wanted him to accept that I had my own plans for my life and that I didn’t want to be the person he created. That phone call was last I heard of him until my brother called to tell me that he was dating someone. I looked at Facebook and he changed his relationship status seven hours after that call. She met his family the weekend were going to meet up to talk. He called me at the end of that summer to tell me he was going to propose. Years went by and it took me a long time to heal from that broken love. And then ironically the last time I heard from him was a Facebook message telling me he found out I was getting married and that he was happy for me. That he wanted me to be able to laugh at our memories together like he could. I wasn’t even his friend on Facebook. David and I were at the courthouse getting our marriage license at that very moment. It was weirdest thing.
I was 21 when I met David. It was the week after my brothers wedding. I went to a church and sat in the back on the floor wearing skinny jeans and a hoodie. I was a hot mess. And he was operating the video camera in a light blue polo. He had a blonde curly fro and was as tall as a flagpole. He was graduating from an internship that day. And while on the church stage he talked about how he was photographer and a birder (a bird-watcher).
After service I went up to girl that also graduated from that internship to ask about how I could apply. I was in photography school at the time and I needed an internship and for some reason that church seemed like the perfect place. I was a bit of a man hater then. I had a been there, done that attitude. I told the girl that I was interested in taking photos for the church and she told me that one of her friends took photos for the church at that he was a really nice guy. I couldn’t have cared less. Later I found out that she told David that there was a cute girl interested in taking photos for the church. David couldn’t have cared less either. He never dated nor had he ever kissed a girl. He wanted to save all of that for the girl he wanted to marry. After I got all the info I needed from the girl I walked out of the church toward my car. And you guessed it. the guy that held door open for me was David, in his blue polo and his curly hair. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I had no idea that I had just met the man that would become my first and only real love. The guy that breathed life into my dying spirit.
Until tomorrow friends.