First look! First time someone really fell for me, wanted to be with me and the magic was mutual. I was fifteen. He was sixteen. We were young, oh so young when I look back now but it was such a pure, beautiful time.
He asked me to dance.
And we danced, rocking in circles to Bryan Adams, Everything I do, I do it for You.
He wanted me to go out with him.
I said “no”, because I wasn’t allowed to. I really wanted to say yes….
He was persistent.
Oh so many details of this time are permanently etched on my heart. So many firsts, exciting, thrilling, intoxicating and yet also a little scary and overwhelming.
I’d never kissed a boy before, certainly not like I learned to kiss him.
I remember being young and not caring about when or where we kissed or who was watching. It was intoxicating to be loved by him. We broke a lot of rules to experience this love and everything was so intense the rules didn’t matter much anyways. First kisses lead to other firsts. In the naïvety of a sixteen year old’s mind I loved him without reservation, I thought I could never love another . I wrote him poetry until my fingers hurt.
I have never written poetry for any other like I wrote poetry for him. Maybe it was the intensity of being young and everything being so new. In return he made me feel special and beautiful. He saw my face as perfectly symmetrical. He loved the mole on my breasts and would kiss it gently. He showed up at my school and surprised me with roses, gave me a beautiful amethyst promise ring for our six month anniversary, and left random $20 in my pocket for me to find.
Eighteen crazy months, the best of my teenage years, no not given to him or given to me by him, but mutually shared and enjoyed. We had so much fun. Camping, playing pranks, hanging out with friends, having parties, running away – yes, even running away. Spending the night curled up at the beach, using each other to stay warm. We learned together, loved together and experienced so many firsts together that the time inevitably left its mark on my life.
In the end though it was me who threw it away, got cocky and wanted to explore. Instead of being satisfied with being intoxicated by him, I began to find intoxication in the interest of other guys. It was such an ego boost to be an object of desire.
Unfortunately I was too young to understand the difference between being the center of someone’s heart and the object of desire of many.
Too young to know what I lost until I’d been used and thrown away for sex, abused for sex, and abandoned and lost over sex… He showed me the beautiful, mutual, respectful, loving, wonderful world of love and sex, and I threw it away over curiousity. That curiousity cost me a great deal.
Some days I wonder if I will ever forgive myself for breaking his heart….
And some days I think I just want to go back to a simpler time before the mortgage and bills had to be paid and children looked up to me to set a good example, a role I often feel unqualified to fill. A time where you could kiss for hours and escape from the world into another’s arms so easily. A time when the love was all that mattered, and the world outside it didn’t exist when you were together. Where zipping yourselves into one sleeping bag still didn’t bring you close enough. You wanted more but yet just being together was more than enough.
Oh to be young and naïve and in love again for the first time…. Yes, if there was any time in my life I could go back and live again it would be those crazy, wonderful eighteen months spent loving him and being loved by him.
These memories swept over me at the Arcade Fire concert, as three seats over from where my husband and I were sitting was a person who looked a lot like my first love. His profile in the darkness of the stadium was eerily similar. It triggered the memory download. I realized that despite all the years that have passed and things that have changed, a small part of my heart and soul will forever belong to the first man I gave them to. The first man who taught me how to love, unconditionally, passionately and without reservation.
But first love is locked in time, a memory polished to perfection by the waves of time.
What is right now is what’s real and what my fifteen year marriage has taught me about love is that the right to a piece of someone’s heart and soul is something you have to get up every morning prepared to work for. A living relationship is dynamic, changing, evolving and flowing with time. Far more easily polluted by negativity, negativity that is often strong enough to pull a part the stitches that hold all the pieces together if each person in the relationship doesn’t take responsibility for filling up the coffer with good, strong, binding memories of connection that can be drawn upon when times are difficult.
I do think these memories of first love can also help strengthen what I have now. It’s a reminder to kiss like it’s the first time, to find ways of making a comfortably worn relationship a little more exciting and to occasionally zip ourselves into one sleeping bag and remember what it was like to not be able to get close enough to each other.
And maybe to even write a little poetry…