The Sycamore Tree

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I didn't want to love you. It just sort of happened.
You used to tease me. You'd sit in the back of English with your hat on sideways and I'd hear your laugh. It was a soft laugh, muffled by your hand. But I heard it. Your friends would follow your lead although they usually had no clue what you were laughing at. And I don't think you knew either. I caught you staring at me a few times out of the corner of my eye. You'd get flustered and whisper to your friends and the laughing would start up again. When the bell rang, you jumped up to leave. Before you walked out you'd throw me a note. It was the same note everyday. "You look beautiful".
For a while I thought it was a joke. Soon enough it had to blow up in my face. But it just kept happening. It became our daily routine and after a while I was immune to it. Until that humid night in July. School had let out about a week ago and so far my summer was pretty quiet. I wanted to spend the summer relaxing with a good book and taking a daily swim in my pool. I was drifting in and out of sleep, bothered by the lack of air conditioning and annoyed by the incessant tapping coming from my balcony. I decided it was too hot to sleep without any air so i got up to open the door. And I found the source of the tapping noise. You were sitting on a branch of my favorite sycamore tree.
I whispered over to you, afraid to wake my parents "What are you doing here..."
"I.. well.. I meant to.." You stammered over your words, brushing your hand through your hair, a tell tale sign you were nervous. I learnt that sign after I caught you staring at me.
I smiled to myself and walked back inside my room. I grabbed my shoes and climbed onto the tree from my balcony. You helped me climb down. Then we walked together. We must have been together for hours because by the time I got home the sun was creeping up from behind the trees. Your eyes twinkled in the faint light and I was so mesmerized, I kissed you. It was impulsive and stupid, but when you kissed me back I knew it was the perfect moment to make that move.
We spent the summer together. You were nervous that your friends would find out but I promised not to tell. You came over once and a while to sit by the pool. We talked about the future and our friends. You told me about private things and then confessed that I was the first person you've ever opened up to. We snuck onto the roof of our school and watched the stars on the clear nights. We drove to small, out of the way restaurants. Some were so good we went back a few times until they knew us by name. They asked us if we were dating and I wasn't sure how to answer. What were we exactly? We looked at each for a while and he spoke up
"Yeah, we are. I'm lucky right?"
He brushed his hand through his hair and I smiled to myself. I loved seeing such a tough guy have such a weak side.
The days turned into weeks and all of a sudden it was the last week of summer. You climbed my favorite tree with me and we sat there for a while in silence. You reached over and grabbed my hand.
"I'm going to college in 3 days" you blurted out.
I was shocked. It was so out of the blue. It had slipped my mind that your imminent move was ahead. But there it was. Hanging over our heads. The unavoidable end to our amazing romance. A tear slipped out, sliding down your face and I caught it before it fell.
There was so much to say but neither one of us knew how to.
The day came. Your friends stopped by and I hid in my car outside of your house. I didn't know if I'd be overstepping any boundaries by going up to you. But as the last box was put in your car and your friends said their final goodbyes, you looked around. You seemed distant, searching for someone... searching for me. I unclasped my seat belt, got out of my car, and stood there. I was right across the street from you. We looked at each other for a while. Your friends looked confused as to why I was there. But you didn't care. You walked slowly, and then picked up the pace and ran towards me. You grabbed me tightly and whispered that you never wanted to let go. I didn't answer but by the sight of my tears, you knew I felt the same way. We clung to each other for a while, for a moment we forgot where we were, until your parents called for you. With each moment the ache in my stomach grew. Your parents waited for you in the car. I let go first, and then you did. We shared one last look and you were gone.
You were my first love. You were an unexpected love. You were a one of a kind love. I never knew I had the power to change someone so much. You used to tease me. But then we taught each other how to love.





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