First Love

My first kiss happened at age 16 on the front porch of my parent’s house. I had been hanging out with the nicest guy on the football team for months. It was his first kiss, too.

Or so I thought.

Scott and I had become close friends through a mutual friend. We quickly became comfortable talking about our past, and our future, always appreciating the opportunity to be honest and candid with someone who would listen. We were excited and anxious about the newly blossoming romance between us. He liked me a lot, but I was hesitant. He was older, taller, and overweight, and we ran in very different circles. As we got closer, he worked hard to lose 50 pounds by the time I finally admitted to myself that I liked him. He wanted to improve himself and, as he thinned down, his confidence grew.

Being older than me, Scott had a car, and he dropped me off after we spent a few hours together on a Sunday evening, walking me to my parent’s front porch. We hugged, and then kissed, and then parted and I went inside. I was on cloud nine. It was probably a terrible kiss, yet perfect for the first one. My first kiss with my first serious boyfriend at age 16. His too. I couldn’t have planned it better.

The next day at school, I found out that, just days before, he had kissed a younger girl on my lacrosse team after drinking too much at a party after a Friday night football game. I was shocked, and heartbroken. This ordeal was among my very few tastes of drama and it was bitter. I ignored him in the halls of our high school. My heart ached. He was even worse.

I forget the specifics of what happened, but I suspect there were a lot of mutual friends playing messengers, conveying that he felt awful about everything. We eventually made up, even though I was slow to trust him again. Together, we built a wonderfully mature relationship, full of respect, trust, and fun. We never had sex, but we experimented. He taught me heavy metal and hard rock music, and I taught him card games and sports. He was the first person I truly loved.

We went to prom three years in a row (he was older than me), and continued dating through his first year of college. Three months into my own first year of college, I broke up with Scott. We cried.

I knew it was a matter of time before someone who I’ve truly loved would get married, commit themselves to someone else.

I ran into Scott and his girlfriend two years ago at a festival. I was on a date, and Scott and I stopped to catch up, still somewhat entranced by one another. I introduced myself to his girlfriend, who hesitantly responded. The history between Scott and I was obvious.

Just yesterday, their engagement was made public via Facebook. I’m happy for Scott, and I take a strange pride in the fact that I was his only other girlfriend. Part of me cannot help but wonder what would have happened if we stayed together. Could we have made it? Would we be happy? Would we still be a good fit? He was (and still is) a wonderful guy. I give him credit for teaching me, from the beginning, what a good relationship looks like. Married or not, part of me will always love him.

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