Crush was the new boy in school. Crush was the new cute boy. The one all the girls wanted to be friends with. Crush was nice. He seemed sweet and innocent like the curly black locks in his hair. He had a soft smile – he was always smiling. When we talked, I melted. I was sure he thought I was cute, too. We talked all the time. I think everyone knew I liked him. But everyone knew she liked him, too. And without even a chance to say goodbye, he was on their side. In their clique.
And we never spoke again.
Relationship was tall, cute, funny. He, too, was twelve. He helped me bring my things to class and once, I took his bus to his house with him, where we spent the afternoon until Mom picked me up. We played with his little sister, his birds, his cat. For my birthday, he let me keep one of his cat’s kittens. He would call me every day and tell me about them; what they looked like, who had what personality, and which one I might want to keep. He was sweet, kind, funny. But somehow, we lost touched that summer.
When I went back to school in the fall, he was gone.
We weren’t even dating me when Kiss kissed me. We were in between dates – you know, one of those couples who dates once, breaks up, then dates again. Despite being broken up, we still hung out, as friends. It was fall when it happened. We took a walk through our town, through woods and fields, behind homes and through parking lots. I had told him I hadn’t had my first kiss yet. Relationship had kissed me on the cheek, but I didn’t think that counted. I felt lame, finally being in high school and all. He told me he couldn’t deny such a perfect opportunity. He took my face I his hands and planted a fat one right on my lips. At the time, I thought it was so romantic. It was after that we began round two.
Now, I think he’s just an ass.
You never forget your first love. That’s what they say, isn’t it? True, blue love. I knew it was real when I found Love. It wasn’t like anything else I had experienced before. I don’t know why I never noticed him before, but suddenly, all I did was notice him. We sat together in class, whispered while the teacher had his back turned, and laughed at whatever stupid joke his friends made. Our silly flirting turned into nine wonderful months of a fully committed high school relationship. We spent every moment we could with each other, whether it was walking down the halls between classes or hanging out at each other’s houses. We were attached, our hands glued palm to palm. It was a shock to people I didn’t even know when it was over.
It almost killed me.
Never date your best friend. They say that, too. Regret and I had been friends for years. I never cared about his girlfriends, I never cared who flirted with him. He was a brother to me. We talked and hung out every day. He asked me to Semi when his girlfriend dumped him. That night, he told me he loved me. We started dating after that. I’ll never know why I dated him. I didn’t like him, though I felt like I was supposed to, so I went with it. I struggled through his open mouthed, sloppy saliva filled kisses and his constant need to hold my hand, even as I attempted to get my things from my locker. He came to my house late at night after his shift just to hang out, despite the fact that I was in my pjs and ready for bed. He got mad one night when I turned him away on my doorstep, and then another night when I had plans with a friend. We broke up shortly after that.
It ruined our friendship.
I was embracing the single life. I had had my share of crushes, loves, relationships, lies, and backstabbing. What was wrong with having a little uncommitted fun? Nothing at all, especially when you’re good at hiding it. I didn’t even try. In fact, I tried to flaunt it. The only one that noticed was Love. He noticed everything. FWB was the first of many. He was hot. Sexy. Drop dead gorgeous. Three years older, but also my best friend. But I grew to love him and wanted more. But then he went to college. And other FWBs took his place. I was more careful after him. I didn’t get attached. I did what I wanted and turned them down when they wanted more. I wasn’t interested.
But I would have loved to date them all and shove it in Love’s face.
Secret came from Love. He missed me. But he didn’t want to be together. I didn’t know if he still loved me or not. But I loved him. After a hard break up, we were friends again. We continued to hang out publicly, but secretly fooled around when no one was looking. His hand would slide up my leg under the towel at the pool party, and I did my best to keep a straight face, to not let his touch ruin our secret. We would drive around town and find deserted parking lots. Our front seat making out would quickly turn into a back seat touch fest, but we never got a chance make it all the way home. As quickly as our secret began, it ended. He tossed me aside, broken. Unwanted. Unloved.
A dirty little secret.
I knew he was Mistake the moment we started dating. I was in an unfamiliar land. I promised myself I wouldn’t let relationships get the best of me. Two weeks later, we were together. Set up by friends. We started as dating casually, nothing serious. We hung out between classes and talked every night online. Nothing was official. I didn’t want it to be official. But then, suddenly it was. When asked, I didn’t know how else to respond. He was asking, too, and stupidly I said yes. Things moved quickly with him. It was only a week after my stupid agreement that I met his parents. Wonderful people. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready for in-laws. After a month, I broke it off. He said he was in love with me. Told me he would wait, give me some space. He wanted a second chance. Maybe we could try again in a couple months. That sounded okay to me. But within a couple weeks, he had a new girlfriend. They broke up quickly, and shortly after that, he was with another girl, and it wasn’t even Christmas vacation.
You learn from your mistakes.
I was eighteen when Sex entered my life. We were growing close as friends, and my feelings for him grew. Over break, we finally moved our friendship forward and went on a date. I was so nervous and excited. I felt awkward. I tried to be cool, but I melted every time he looked at me. Through my first few months in unfamiliar land, I giggled and squealed like a twelve year old girl every time he walked by. My best friend and I would make random trips, just to walk by him and his friends smoking cigars. I thought that was so sexy. I thought he was so sexy. He was so mature. He was a man. Only four years older, but it was enough to make me feel important. To finally be going on a date with him seemed unreal. I wanted to flaunt him off in front of everyone. I wanted us to be labeled as something more. It was after our date when it happened. He knew he was my first, but didn’t want to push anything. It seemed like a sweet gesture, but I knew I couldn’t let it get the best of me. And at this point in my life, I wanted to take the giant Loser sticker off of my forehead. He was gentle. He was kind. He was caring.
And Sex turned into love.
Love turned into Secret who turned into Want, the only guy that has been somehow in my life since I was fifteen. From dating to backstabbing and laughter and tears, he was suddenly back in my life, a new person, a changed person. I was wary, at first, but I was polite. He was being nice to me, so I figured I could be nice to him. And after months of casual talking, a new friendship had started to form. But I was with someone else. Completely committed and head over heels in love. He knew that. He hated that. After long nights of talking and a few drunken texts, he told me he still loved me. He regretted ever letting me go – he was just a stupid high schooler. I tried to ignore it, but it stayed in the back of my mind. As our friendship grew, so did his honesty. He told me he was going to marry me when he got out of the airforce. And this thing that I tried to keep in the back of my mind was suddenly grabbing my attention. I wanted so much to believe that I could have Love back in my life, but I wasn’t willing to give up the love I did have for something that might not even be real. I wanted to tell him I still had feelings for him, but the truth was, I didn’t. I wanted to. I wanted my feelings to grow. I wanted to think that when he got back, we could be together. But that was still five years in the future. I tried to keep an open mind, tried to tell him to wait and see what happens, because you never know what could happen.
You never know when it comes to love.