I haven’t seen him since the day I left college. It’s been over 20 years to the day. But I can still see him clearly…those mesmerizing green eyes that held me captive…that crooked smile that melted my heart …sometimes, when I think of him, my heart still skips a beat.
This is in memory of an anniversary – of the day when I proposed to you. How long ago was it? 15 years ago? More, maybe? What date was it? I can’t remember any more. But everything about that day is still clear in my mind.
The table where we sat by the window, with the late afternoon sun warming my back. The cup of steaming hot filter coffee in front of me. The butterflies in my tummy as I looked into your eyes, and then quickly looked away.
I had been bold enough to ask you out alone that day, but once we left college, all my bravado vanished. I remember sitting behind you on your Kinetic, thrilled at the nearness of our bodies, yet fearful of accidentally brushing against you. My heart was thumping wildly all the time, and I wondered how you couldn’t hear it. And I remember the mantra I was repeating in my head all the while: “be brave…be brave…”
Boldness has never been my forte. And when I saw your hooded eyes as we walked into the restaurant, I felt my knees start to quake.
So when you asked me why I wanted to come out alone with you, I hemmed and hawed and said “oh, just like that.” You, of course, were having none of it. And as you probed and you coaxed, I remember steeling myself and choking the words out somehow “So I like you, ok?” And that was the start of our courtship.
We had some good times, you and I. Lost in a world of our own. No one existed then, nothing was more important than drowning in your eyes…brushing my fingers across your lips…you playing with my hair…raining kisses down my face…
But then you went across the ocean for work. And we entered into a long distance relationship. We tried to recreate our world through letters and phone calls, but I could tell that it wasn’t enough, even though you tried to convince me that it was. And then started a period of lies and betrayal.
And a few months later, on our anniversary in fact, you stomped all over my heart. Cruelly. Mercilessly.
I thought I would never forgive you. I was wrong.
I thought I would hate you. I was wrong.
I thought I would forget you like a bad dream. I was wrong.
You never really forget your first love after all.
So sometimes, with decreasing frequency over the years, I dust the cobwebs gathering over my memories and remember those years, when I was 16 and gloriously in love.