We were both so young when you came into my life.
Actually, I would describe it as gliding or floating into my life because there was no defining moment.
There was no whirlwind or thunderstorm when you appeared.
Suddenly you were there and I knew I didn’t want you to leave.
We were still made up of chubby bellies, high-pitched voices, and wide eyes full of hope.
We would slyly watch each other from opposite ends of the playground:
You were the class clown and I was the shy girl with her nose in a book.
I wanted to hate you for being so loud and outgoing, but you had a certain charm that I couldn’t bring myself to dislike.
We grew up and suddenly you wore braces and my hair had gone from perfect curls to an untamed mess.
You cut your long blonde hair so it wouldn’t hang in front of your eyes like it used to.
I think even when I’m eighty years old in my rocking chair, I’ll still be able to see those evergreen eyes in my mind like it was yesterday that they were looking at me.
Sometimes, briefly, I wish they were.
You were a knight in shining armor and I wasn’t ready to be saved.
I had nothing to be saved from yet.
I broke your heart on that hot summer night so many years ago.
You kept apologizing all night because you wore jeans while I was in a dress.
You bought me dinner and held my hand from across the table.
You wanted to kiss me and all I did was what I’m best at:
Not physically of course, but I left you behind as if you meant nothing to me at all.
You weren’t mean to me like I deserved.
You didn’t yell or tell me I was just like the other girls who never loved you back.
I kind of hoped you would make me hate you somehow.
Instead, all you could say was, “But I thought you were my girl.”
No one had ever said that to me.
No one had said it so willingly, so genuinely, so sweetly.
Your love was the kind I thought only existed in books.
You were just like all the boys I spent too much time reading about.
I chose not to be the main character though.
I chose not to be the girl who would treat you like you always deserved.
She came right after me.
I haven’t seen you since the day I lied and so harshly told you that I felt nothing.
“There’s just no spark,” but my God how could I deny that I felt fireworks every time I looked at you, even back in our playground days?
I think it was an easier explanation than admitting how afraid I was to be loved the right way.
I couldn’t tell you that I wasn’t ready because it didn’t seem like a good enough reason to end the good thing we shared.
We were so innocent and everything went too perfectly.
All I could think about was how I didn’t deserve it; how I would mess it all up eventually.
I couldn’t tell you that though because you seemed so mature and I thought I had to be too.
I didn’t know that I could have told you the truth, and maybe then I wouldn’t still have regrets about it now.
I hate that I left a bad taste in your mouth.
I hate that I let you believe you weren’t worthy of my love when I was the one who wasn’t worthy.
Sometimes you will cross my mind and my heart will lurch the tiniest bit.
The boy who only wanted to love me the way I dreamed of being loved had to be pushed away.
I know it couldn’t have worked out any other way.
I know that I had so much more to learn.
I know all of that, but the fact that I couldn’t appreciate how rare you are bothers me from time to time.
You deserved to know, even if nothing came of it.
My old friends show me photos of you and her, and she looks at you the way I wanted to years ago.
She looks at you the way you always deserved.
Every time I see you smiling like that, like she’s the only one who will ever hold your heart, I’m so happy.
You got what you deserved.
You found your girl.
You are loved.