MY FIRST LOVE
This was hard to write which probably means it needed to be written (since we're going there)
- •Chapter One: he looked like a teenaged Idris Elba and I was so screwedWhen I was 15, a boy I had gone to summer camp with started going to my high school. Lets call him Oliver. I recognized him but could not place him, since he had grown so much (got hot) since I last saw him when we were 9. He showed up to my AP English class and raised his hand to answer an extra credit question about Oedipus Rex and I remembered instantly. He is and always will be a huge smart ass. Over the course of the school year we grew closer, being the only black kids in AP that year.
- •Chapter Two: lets be best friendsBy close, I mean really close. Every morning, I woke up to a text about some global concern he had and wanted to solve. My personal fave was "Good morning, Ms. Quioh. What are we going to do about our nation's immigration problem?" He has a dry sense of humor and would mock anyone and anything with me, which is my favorite pasttime. Beyond our similarities, we pushed each other. We both came from immigrant familes, and we wanted more for ourselves and for them. Intellectually, he was my match.
- •Chapter Three: oh, fuck; my insidesBy now, you should know that I am extremely hardheaded. I was then too; stubborn and naïve enough to delude myself into thinking we were just friends for a year. I remember the exact moment when everything shifted. We had a fire drill and we all had to rush outside to the soccer field on an unseasonably warm Minneapolis day. I watched him look up at the sun and squint at it and all of a sudden I felt like I was gonna pass out. My heart started pounding and I got so nauseous and I just knew.
- •Chapter Four: me martyrAt this point, I was losing it. I loved our friendship and of course, I wanted more, but I was terrified. I didn't expect to feel this way, as I was the least boy crazy teenager of all time. Enter Sophia, who is now a very good friend but then was essentially Paris Gellar. Everyone knew she liked him. Through a series of very unfortunate events that could be its own (very pathetic) list, I ended up helping them get together. "Because I wanted him to be happy" but really because I was an idiot.
- •Chapter Five: eat this knifeI thought I knew what heartbreak would be like, being an avid consumer of pop culture. I was so wrong. It got harder every day; trying to be his friend while being in such pain whenever I saw them together. Being heartbroken but refusing to be vulnerable was like swallowing a knife and then running a marathon. My life was just schoolwork and avoiding his texts and Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" album for a year. Nothing tasted good anymore. I never slept. I was hurt and I had done it to myself.
- •Chapter Six: one woman wrecking ballHeres my most shameful stage. I focused all of my energy on hurting Sophia. I spread shitty rumors about her and made her life as difficult as I could. I justified it by telling myself she deserved it; she knew how I felt and asked me to help anyway. At this point, I started dating Shelby, a green eyed football player and human teddybear. We had two months of me keeping him at an arms length before I broke up with him. I told him I loved someone else and vowed to stop burning everyone in sight.
- •Chapter Seven: productive miseryAfter I was done being a dick, I started to channel my heartbreak into sociopathic efficiency. I studied obsessively, volunteered, got a part time job, a dance solo in the school musical, and started a philanthropic talent show at my school. I refused to "waste my sadness," as I remember putting it, and instead worked hard enough to not have time for heartache. I got into every single college I applied to, went to prom with a gay guy, received a full ride to Northwestern and cried constantly.
- •Chapter Eight: caustic closureDuring Chapter Seven, I stopped speaking to Oliver cold turkey in an act of self preservation. He was confused but carried on, staying with Sophia for two years and getting into Yale. During our sophomore year of college we reconnected on Facebook and started talking regularly again. The feelings rushed back, so naturally, I pulled back. We went our separate ways once again. I never once, not even for a second, considered telling him how I really felt.
- •Chapter Nine: somewhere in seattleWe have not spoken in a year and a half and I've heard through the grapevine that he moved to Seattle. I miss him, I hate that, and I wonder if that ever truly goes away. I have moved on. Still, I feel dumb all the time because part of me holds on to hope that our story is not over. I mean, it doesn't feel over, does it? Does it even count as a first love if they never loved you back and you never even told them how you felt? And what business do 16 year olds have falling in love anyway?