First loves may come to an end, but the memories always linger on. At least, for me they do.
My love story started in a funny place: bandcamp. It was my first year of highschool, and like most freshmen, I was awkward and unsure. I was a typical little music nerd and fell in love with instruments around 6th grade which inevitably led to highschool marching band. Two weeks before school actually started, we spent days out in the hot sun, bonding and learning our music for the coming football season.
While stretching one morning, before parading out onto our practice field, a pair of grinning blue eyes caught my attention. He was turned around, watching me - and my blush was instantaneous. His name was Tyler and he was a senior. The rest of the week involved "accidental" shoulder nudges, big smiles whenever I caught his eye, and, to my amusement, his butt in my face (Tyler had a great sense of humor & thought it would be a laugh to stretch in front of me one morning).
My heart somersaulted at his attention - how could I deserve a senior?! His blue eyes floated in my dreams, and I was terrified and shy. I had never experienced love before - my sweet inexperience only seemed to draw him in. He completely won my heart when - during our band's rendition of "Hey Baby" - he stepped into the middle of the room, pointed at me, and in front of everyone, sang the line, "I wanna knooooww - if you'll be my girl."
Being a senior, however, was certainly NOT a good thing in my parent's eyes. Being the oldest & most protected of my siblings, I was absolutely forbidden to date.
But Tyler waited. For months he pursued me; learned my schedule, walked me to class, made me laugh. Finally, a few days after my 15th birthday, I agreed to date him (a later talk with parents definitely ensued) and he exuberantly proclaimed his triumph in the halls.
He was the most perfect first love I could have ever imagined. He left sweet notes in my locker when I was sick, bought me the biggest stuffed animal and box of chocolates in the school for Valentine's day, and even won my mom when he let her (to my horror) come on our first date and TAKE PICTURES.
He was even patient when it came to our first kiss - which took 6 months. He kissed me in front of the buses, and my heart flew out of my chest. Heaven, I decided, must feel like his kisses. I was warm down to my toes.
My favorite memory was the next year's Homecoming. The DJ didn't play a single slow song all night, which is what I was looking forward to. We left disappointed and as I was climbing into his car, Tyler asked me to wait. He put "Lead You In" by Jimmy Eat World on his stereo, and pulled me close. We danced under the stars in the parking lot as the cars around us left one by one.
Tyler and I dated for almost 3 years; he was my highschool sweetheart. I moved away my junior year, and after a year of long distance, we fell apart. I was completely heart-broken. I cried in class, to my teacher's horror, and spent my nights on the couch, soaking the furniture as my mom held me. It took over a year to let go of him.
I've healed, and realize now that you never really let go of your first love. He'll always be a piece of my heart. And I am so lucky to have had such a storybook first romance. Tyler and I are still friends; we occasionally say hello, and my nose instantly recognizes the scent of his favorite cologne - Aqua de Gio. Love is a funny thing; no matter how sure you are, you can never predict what's coming. Sometimes things fall apart. But I like to believe that its all for a reason. Who knows - maybe we'll meet again, somewhere down this long, winding road. And all I can hope for, is that his butt still looks just as good.
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