He was the mischievous boy from church who always got into trouble. I was 12 when I first noticed him. He was the guy I looked at from a distance because I was shy. But soon enough, I became loud and often, too enthusiastic – somehow, I turned into an extrovert. I caught his attention, and though I had crooked front teeth, big hair and a terrible sense of fashion, he liked me back.
It wasn’t until we were about 16/17 that things got serious and I found myself with a “boyfriend”, which is funny because I don’t recall him ever formally asking. We were just one of those couples that “just happened”. One thing led to another, and soon, I found myself brokenhearted because so many things happened and then he told me that he liked someone else. There was a lot of fighting – with him, with my parents. But there was also a lot of apologies that ended with “I forgive you”. It was a never ending cycle.
The first cut is the deepest they say. Maybe I shouldn’t fall in love again.
And then he walked by – the other “he”. Falling in love the second time was scary but it wasn’t difficult. He made me happy. The lingering scent of his perfume, his warm embraces and the thoughtfulness that he embodies as a person. There still are some songs in my playlist that was the epitome of us. Those songs still bring me back to a time frame that is, and forever will be ours.
That night he asked me to dance with him to the last slow song as he whispered sweet nothings into my ear, I remember it clearly. He made me promise a week earlier to save the last dance for him.
It all ended as quickly as it had started. And before I could even let my hair down, I lost him and no longer had that cheery, sunshine of a person to lean on. It took a year for me to finally feel alright again. And it was painful, seeing him with the girl he left me for. I wished them the worst because I was bitter. I wished them the worst because she could have been me.
By the time my heart was ready again, my head wasn’t. It constantly warned me that my heart will get broken again but being a hopeless romantic, I could not stop the emotions that were unfolding. We played on the same frisbee team. He was the quiet type and very rarely made even the slightest eye contact with me. But all that changed one day when he asked me how it was that I know his sister.
In the karaoke bar on his birthday, he sat next to me and gazed into my eyes as I sang Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” because he forced me to. We spent a lot of time texting each other and he would say things that indicated he had feelings for me. I felt glad, thinking that all my worries were insignificant because our feelings were mutual.
But in the summer of 2014, I found myself crying again. It ended just as it started. I had to act like I was fine around him, even when I was not. Having to go to an Ed Sheeran concert with someone who went through so much trouble to pretend not to know you after all that was worse than any awkward situation that I’ve ever had to endure. And I never did get back my favourite green pillowcase.
“The first cut is the deepest.” Is it really?
Personally, I don’t think so because it hurt just as much each time. But everything is okay now, I am alright. And although I rarely think about them anymore, I am still sentimental. So, on nights like these, I think about all those moments and I write about them, none having more of a fraction of my heart than the other. Each had all of me and each succeeded in destroying it completely.
Yet, there is one more He – who has been through each and every “he” there ever was and will continue to go through any future “hes” with me. He has somehow managed to plaster my heart back together after all the times that it got broken. If that is not love, I don’t know what is.
Because He is love and He is my first.
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