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A Bittersweet First Love
They use to tell me I didn’t love him. I couldn’t. I shouldn’t.
I use to think deep down that maybe, just maybe, they were correct. After all, I was just thirteen. I’d never known anything like this before, so how would I know if it was love or not?
However, I was too young and naive to ever make the point of “well you have to start somewhere, right?” No, I always either said, “You’re right,” or “You wouldn’t understand.” It just depended on whom I was talking too. It didn’t matter enough though, because no matter who it was, I’d always shut up. After all, who wants to sit and listen to a conversation of nothing but someone tearing your first love apart?
Today, nearly 3 years later, I look back on all the advice I was given. I think of the countless times I was told to stay away. All the times they told me I’d just get hurt. How he’d use me. That it was just a stupid teenage crush.
He was just another boy when I met him. He was a boy who I’d somehow managed to not meet for 6 school years. It astonishes me still how we never crossed paths, because the year I met him, he was a friend of all of my friends. And yet I was unimpressed by him, impassive, even perhaps disgusted.
But within a few months we were friends. We had the kind of friendship that once kindled, its blaze seemingly only grows and can never be put out. We could do nothing but get closer and I guess we became what most would call “best friends”. He was my best friend at least.
Then, one day, the next stage in my brain just happened. It was so unexpected I still wonder how exactly it happened. A girl I didn’t really know walked up to me and said simply, “So are you guys dating?” It wasn’t the first time either of us had been asked, actually. That wasn’t the surprising part. What was sudden and shocking was when I said “nope” and she didn’t miss a beat without asking, “Well, do you like him?”
I looked at him at his locker. His oblivious innocence to our conversation. His smile as he turned to us, about to walk with me to lunch.
So abruptly it hit me that I couldn’t stop myself from saying, “Yeah, I guess I do.”
That was it. From there on out it was nothing but a climb in which I was always falling back down the hill.
I learned to my dismay that seemingly everyone I knew, except the two of us, had already taken the liberty to assume that I was in love with this boy who was my closest friend.
From the day I admitted it, everyone knew. Everyone also supposed that he liked me back. I even expected it. Yet, when the point in time came where I confessed my feelings, nothing was returned.
After that our friendship had always been different. The way we worked was that we would be so close, and then suddenly my feelings would get in the way or we’d argue over something, and then we’d go through the small bit of time where we’d “hate” each other.
I don’t know if he ever really hated me, but I never did hate him. I just told that to all the people who were much more satisfied with that answer because I was “to young to know what love is.”
Well tell me, when exactly does the age in which you can know love come? As far as I’ve ever seen, there always must be a first. You must experience to know of the experience.
Everyone’s explanation of love is different. I would define love as caring so deeply for someone that you always find a way to forgive them. I also don’t think that love has to be with just one person.
Think about this, the majority of people love their parents, or whoever raises them. Not all, but many do. It’s a different kind of love, but it’s love nonetheless. So tell me how I can love my mother from upbringing, but I can’t fall in love with a boy who I was best friends with, just because I was 13?
In the beginning I was analytical just like everyone else. I thought “ok, I bet this is just a teenage phase, I’ll be over it soon.”
3 years later I’ve been so on and off with this boy, I’ve trusted him, I’ve given him anything he’s ever asked of me, I’ve even confessed to him my depression which brought about my compulsion to self-harm. Throughout the entire time I’ve excused him for the damage he’s put me through, his times at which he lacked any acknowledgement of my feelings, and even when he didn’t care about my addiction.
I think back to so many people telling me I couldn’t be in love, and I laugh. Who are they to say something is fact, based on a subject that is nothing but opinion? Because, truly, love is only based upon everyone’s own opinions.
And love ends. Love ends, but it never fades from heart or mind. But, both heart and mind can move on. At last, I am able to type this because I know I’m finally free of my complete and utter dedication to this boy. I’ve finally been able to conquer both my depression and totally hopeless love for him. Don’t think me dishonest, he’ll always have a place in my heart no matter how much he wounded me. He changed me, my thought process, and just my life in general so much that he’s not someone I can ever just overlook. But, he was only a few chapters, and I have a whole book of love to write for my life.
However, I know I can’t help but have those moments where something reminds me of him, the time I spent with him, and the memories we’ve shared.
And all these memories are bittersweet. Much like the boy himself who I think back to. I regret to say I scarcely remember meeting him. Such a crucial moment in my life, yet at that moment I looked upon it as a chore. Meeting the boy who changed my life was the worst part of my day that day.
Yet time worked it’s magic. Months brought on friendship. Friendship brought on love. Love brought on heartache. Heartache brought on addiction. Addiction ended in growth. And in the end I ended up with not nothing, but everything.
They say the journey is what matters, and let me tell you, it’s the truest advice, because without the journey there is no end. And everything must come to an end.
This journey in particular was the most important in my life, and it ended in me.
A new me.