How it happend

July 5, 2008
By Miranda Lyons, Houston, TX

I wanted to scream. My ears were on fire. I felt as if they were burning me alive. I am human and am incapable of looking at my own ears without a mirror but I knew from they way they felt that they were blood red. I could hear my heart pounding. It was jumping up from the inside of my rib cage through the tubes of my throat. My palms were wet and sticky from sweat. I was nervous beyond comprehension. I knew what I had to say next though. I had been preparing myself. He was waiting.

Yes, I am 17. Yes, I am very young. Yes, I may not know what I am talking about. Yes, I know I will not spend the rest of my life with my boyfriend, Michael. But, yes, I do love him. He is the first boy out of numerous that I finally uttered three little words to and meant them. “I love you”. He had been waiting for me to say them. He expected me to say it first. We had talked about it and agreed I would say it first.

Every time I had come close to saying it. My heart would speed around in my chest like a race car. My throat would snap shut. My breath would stop. I had to remind myself if I wanted to keep living it was necessary to keep breathing. In and out. In and out. For days he was expecting me to say it. I saw it in his clear ocean blue eyes he was getting impatient. I saw his worry, impatience, desire and fear his eyes. He thought I wasn’t ready.

He doesn’t understand the fear those words hold for me. Those three singularly simple words with one complex meaning make a person vulnerable. I was not willing to do that. I was too scared to give a part of my heart away to someone. It gave them the power to break me at any moment they pleased. I shied away from vulnerability. I ran from things that break me. I was determined to believe I was all I needed.

We were on our way home from an eventful night at the Woodlands Mall. The rock music was blaring from the speakers. Patrick's black Silverado was speeding down the highway much higher than the legal speed limit. Patrick and Sean were in the from seat screaming at the top of their lungs at cars as we passed. Michael and I were in the back seat. I was watching him sing. It amazed me how he knew every word to every song that played. He didn’t stumble over one word.

I had already told Michael “I love you” when he wasn’t listening. I was getting entertainment out of how mad he would get every time I told him he missed it.

He wrapped his long, tan arms around me and positioned his head in a way where his ear landed next to my lips. He told me he wasn’t going to move from that position until he heard me say it. All my reactions from nerves started flaring up, but I knew this had to be the moment. This was the moment that my cynicism about teenage love was going to be broken. I knew this moment would change the way I had been for the past 17 years of my life.

I leaned in closer to his ear putting my thin lips right up next to his cold skin. My breathing was ragged from my nerves. I took a deep inhale as I plunged myself into the deep end.

“I love you”. That was all I said. I closed my eyes tight so I wouldn’t see his reaction. I already knew what it would be. He had told me it would be good. That didn’t make me any less scared. And it didn’t make me believe him. I believed his reaction was going to be bad and break me at that moment. At my first moment of weakness.

He tackled me in the confined space of Patrick's truck. He kissed me fiercely over , and over again and said “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you Bella”. I told me he would say it back but none-the-less it still knocked the wind out of me to hear it from someone. He pronounced it with elated joy. He warmed my ice cold heart.

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