It was the late 80’s. And I was in love.
He was the first boy I ever loved. Before I even started dating my first “real” boyfriend I loved D. So much, in fact that I gave him multiple opportunities to BE my first boyfriend. I said, if you don’t want me to date anyone else, I won’t! But, D told me to go ahead, he loved me, but we were just friends. So, I did. I dated the first guy for almost two years.
And for those two years D and I continued to be friends. Really good friends. I talked on the phone with D almost every day, more than I even talked to my boyfriend. And to be honest, I am sure D knew more things about me than anyone. He was my best friend. I was never as vulnerable with anyone as I was with him. Sometimes we would sit on the phone for hours, driving our parents and my older sister insane. We would listen to music together (I loved Def Leppard! He did not.), we would try to guess what the other was thinking, we would try to telepathically send each other messages…..
After my first boyfriend broke my heart, D was there for me. Here is part of letter he sent to me then:
I love you!
No more fighting, I called it. I want to go out steady with you if you agree? Well, what should I write about now.
I am really sorry about what’s been happening with us. I was planning on talking to you anymore after Saturday night but I guess I am stuck on you and in love with you. Let’s not talk about our past. I don’t know why I HAVE to go out with you I guess it’s just something about you…..
……..I love you!
Yes, I still have the letters…. almost all of them. They are the only letters I saved.
So, did D and I ever really go out? Not really, not officially. But, no matter who I dated or who he dated, we always spoke to each other on the phone and hung out together, we always said I love you. No one really understood it. Sometimes I would feel like it was about to happen, we were about to be together…. and then it just wouldn’t. It was a roller coaster, but I never stopped trying. I knew he told me more personal things than he ever told anyone else, I knew I was the closest friend he had…. even when he had a girlfriend. I tried to make it be enough. But, I always wanted it to be more. I wanted him to be in love with ME.
And then suddenly, he joined the Navy.
After that, every couple of months I would hear the rumble of a motorcycle and he would be standing in my driveway again. I tried to be mad at him, but he would give me a crooked grin and I would just melt. He would play ball with my sisters for hours, sit and tell me stories about the Navy, and sometimes we would just lay in the grass with my head on his shoulder. I wanted to kiss his face all over, close my eyes and run my fingers through his hair, put my face in his chest and inhale. I wanted to remember everything about him. Because if there was one sure thing, it was that he would leave.
The last time he came to my house on his motorcycle he told me he was in love with someone else and he was going to marry her. I asked him how he could marry her when I knew he loved me? He didn’t have answers. I begged him not to go through with it. I told him she didn’t deserve him, that it wouldn’t work. But there was no changing his mind. And then it was him that kissed my face all over, ran his fingers through my hair and inhaled the scent of me. I don’t think I had ever cried that hard.
He married her.
I moved on and tried to forget him.
Then, almost ten years ago, for a few months, he moved in across the street from me. He and his wife stayed with his in-laws, my neighbors. He wouldn’t look at me. I thought, all those years, and now I just don’t even mean ANYTHING to you. It broke my heart all over again. I didn’t even tell BB who he was. I never really have.
I heard that he and his wife divorced a few years ago.
Then, yesterday….. an e mail.
A sentence. He wanted me to know he found me on a classmates website and he was happy that I was happy.
My heart pounded so hard I thought it would come out of my chest.
I fired back a bitter e mail. I said that I was surprised he remembered who I was.
He wrote again. A longer, gentler e mail. I remember everything, he said.
Me too. But I can’t say that to him. I am sure he knows that there is no way I could forget. And of course, my bitterness isn’t fooling anyone.
And that, people. Is the story of my ex-boyfriend.