THE FIRST TIME I SAID, "I LOVE YOU."
- •LaurenWe were in the eighth grade. Just friends. Under the stands during a high school football game. It was raining. You were upset. I don't remember why. You didn't want to talk to me. You ran away. I screamed, "Lauren, I love you!" You stopped and turned around. "Patrick. You don't know what love is." You were right. But I loved you all the same.
- •RachelWe met at summer college. You were a year older than me. Seventeen to my sixteen. But you liked me. I liked you. We held hands when we walked. We walked every night. The summer was ending. We sat in the dark. Your head was on my lap. I played with your hair. "Rachel, I like you a lot. I think I love you." You said nothing. You said nothing for a long time. I had never heard that much nothing. I still haven't. You sat up and smiled. "My back just popped," you said. We got up and walked some more.
- •ShelbyYou were in your prom dress. I was in a rented tuxedo. You were crying. Your friends were mean to you in the limo. They were trying to hurt you. They were jealous of you. I held you and we danced under the stars. You sang to me. "The Way You Look Tonight." We kissed. I told you I loved you. You loved me back. You were the first to love me back.
- •LisaWe only dated for a short while, but I was nuts about you. You were so cool. You were older - a lot older - and I loved it. We were in the car that day. You said something wonderful. I kissed you, and I said, "I love you." It slipped out. It was a mistake. You said nothing. I said nothing. We changed the subject and never spoke of it again.
- •HannahWe had sex for the first time the night before. Your first time with me, my first time with anyone. We were standing together in the Magic Kingdom, behind Cinderella's Castle. Fireworks everywhere. "When You Wish Upon a Star" played from every angle. I did love you. I told you so. You loved me too. You told me so. And we danced. We danced in our perfect moment together.
- •AnnaWe were having sex. I was holding you. You started crying. "Are you okay?" You shook your head, "No." But you held me closer. "I love you," you said. I started crying. "I love you too." You fought against it, and it made me love you more.
- •AshlinThe beats of your story are almost identical to Anna's. We were having sex. You started crying. You told me you loved me. Except you pushed me off. Even when you were telling me you loved me, you were pushing me away. I did love you once. I really did. I was wrong. But I loved you all the same.