Wednesday, May 29, 2013

First Love

Picture it....Southern Ontario, early 1980's, grade 3 morning English class.  The desks were set up in groups of four.  I have no memory whatsoever of who sat across from me, but I'll never ever forget the boy sitting next to me.  He was cute with his curly red hair and freckles.  He was smart and funny, kind and caring, quite shy and loved animals.  We became friends and would spend every recess together by the fence talking about....well...whatever 8 year olds talk about.  I specifically remember him telling me about his of them had lost an eye in a fight.

I had a lot of crushes on various boys throughout my childhood.  I don't remember ever going through a 'boys are icky' phase.  I was always drawn to them.  Some were cute and some were funny and some were didn't take much to catch my eye, but it was always very short lived.  As much as the boys intrigued me, they were still boys and would inevitably do something stupid and that would be the end of that.

The boy sitting next to me was never a crush.  I fell hopelessly, madly, completely in love with that boy.  The only 'stupid' thing he did was not love me back, although I forgave him for that. 

I made no secret of my love.  I was feeling so much and I wanted to share it with the world.  Over the next four years I sent him notes and poems, I followed him around, I watched him play marbles at recess and cheered every time he won.  When his picture was in the paper I cut it out and stuck it to my bedroom wall.  I joined the chess club because he did.  I like chess, but I've never been any good at it.  I'm just not good at games involving long term strategizing - I don't have the patience for it.  On several occasions I have actually been beaten in only three moves - it doesn't sound possible, but that's just how bad I am at chess.  But that didn't matter.  All that mattered was that I got to spend more time with that boy.

So in essence, I became his stalker.  I made no physical advances, but I was always there watching him with puppy dog eyes.  I'm sure every single kid in that school knew and I didn't care.  Thinking back on it, I feel really bad about my behaviour.  I'm betting that my attention probably got him teased a lot by the other boys.  As mentioned above, young boys tend to do stupid things and they can be quite mean.  If I ever saw that boy again, the first thing I would do would be to apologize.  It breaks my heart to think that I could have ever caused him to suffer in any way.

Our friendship pretty much ended when I made my feelings for him known.  He was never mean, but he just kind of drifted away from me.  That might have happened regardless since we were heading towards an age where boy/girl friendships weren't really the norm.  Boys were friends with boys and girls were friends with girls and when mixing did happen, it had nothing to do with friendship.  But still, every year on my birthday that boy would make a point of approaching me and talking to me.  Just a little basic chit chat and then he would wish me a happy birthday and walk away.  It was the best gift I could have gotten. 

It's been thirty years since I first fell in love with that boy and I'm still in love with him today.  I know I always will be because I loved him for all the right reasons - he was truly worthy of my love.  I think of him often.  I've even searched the internet for him with no luck.  I wonder where life took him and whether he's happy.  I hope he is.


  1. I like this post. The honesty and innocence of a first love is a wonderful thing. Thanks for sharing.