An Open Letter to My First Love

From the moment I met you, my heart knew that you would forever be someone special to me. We were in band class on the very first day of sixth grade, maybe it was just the excitement of everything or maybe my prepubescent hormones just got the best me, but I fell for you in an instant. Almost like a jolt of lightning struck me and it whispered in my ear “I want him, he will be mine.”

Over the years, we became close. You were my best friend. We were able to be on the phone with each other for hours and hours and hours and not lose any interest. I leaned on you for a lot. You saw me at all my greatest highs and my worst lows, you were there through it all. Over time, my crush just grew bigger and bigger. I’ve never been one for subtle hints, I’m more of the put it out there so it is pretty blatantly obvious. So by the time we hit 8th grade, everyone knew I liked you, heck, even your girlfriend knew I liked you.

We tried the dating thing for a week, we were young and reckless and it all ended in a screeching halt. We said it wasn’t the right time, that maybe we would try it again when we were older. We said we still would love each other no matter what, but one week later you were already on to your next girl. Man, I can’t explain much that stung. There was not enough T-Swift or Adele to comfort my little 12 year-old broken heart.

Then high school happened, we never spoke. We never had classes, no mutual friends and beyond the occasional ‘sup nods we practically never had any contact.

Before we both knew it, it was graduation. We both made it, I heard your name and clapped. I thought that was the last time I’d ever have to hear your name. But then 12 hours later, for the first time in years, we spoke. And maybe it was just the excitement of everything or maybe my hormones just got the best me again, but you caught my attention in an instant. Almost like a jolt of lightning struck me and it whispered in my ear “I want him, he will be mine.” Just like the day I met you, I became fixated. That was the night of our first kiss. My first kiss. With that kiss, we started our summer fling.

That summer was one for the books, we would text night and day. Talk about dreams and plans, even silly ones like how I want to be kissed in the rain. Flirt and sometimes even kiss. And just like sixth grade, you had my heart.  It’s weird, because you were able give me this comfort that no one brings me. This feeling of a never changing rock. You’re my constant. It like everything was changing but you were still here. Everyone was leaving me to follow their dreams, but yours were there, with me.

The summer ended and you ran away from us, saying that 45 minutes was just too far. You said we were better off being friends. I didn’t get it, why couldn’t we make it work. I spent all my time and energy trying to earn your love, trying to be everything you wanted. But now it all makes sense, I built you up in my mind to be this man that you never could be.. Nor did you really ever want to be either. I wanted you to be my knight in shining armor. The prince who would save me whenever I sent out a call of distress. The stand-up guy who honors me and takes care me. The man who love me endlessly and is proud of me. The man who encourages me to chase dreams and not run from them. The man who will be there no matter what obstacles come our way.

People kept asking me what did I want out of this and I’d mentioned closure, or even starting a new chapter.. But to be completely honest, I had no clue.. I didn’t know where I wanted go or what I was doing.. I didn’t even know why I opened this up again. I just did, and that was good. Part of me regrets it all, part of me wishes I knew my worth without going through all this. But part of me is glad to know I am worth so much more than the way you made me feel.

I’ll admit.. For forever, I had a fantasy of our future.. I’d dream of having that white picket fence dream, that we’d get married and have four kids and live happily ever after. Part of me, still thinks that maybe one day the stars will all align and we will have the future that I so deserve. But secretly, I know you’ll never be that man, at least not for me.

It’s so complicated. As much as I wished I hated you, I don’t. In fact, I might even still love you and that sucks. I hate how I don’t hate you. You sucked. As a crush, as a boyfriend, as a fling, you royally sucked. You need had zero concern for me as person and that really honestly sucked. You showed me the contrast of fantasy and reality, love and intimacy.

For so long, I did whatever I could too earn your love. For seven years of my life, I gave you everything I had in me. Today is where I end that. Today I’ll do what’s best for me. Because I matter.  I don’t need to earn your love. And now I know that. I just hope you know I am thankful for you and our sweet summer serendipity.

-Your Gabriella

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