First Love

First loves are perfection. They’re the kinds who look like Adonis. They court you, shower you with compliments, and hold the door open for you. They know all the right moves and the right things to say to sweep you off your feet. They romance you as if you’re the last one on earth, besides them of course, and recite poetry to you for hours on end.

They tell you how beautiful your smile is, and how enchanting you look in your sweatshirt and dungarees. Oh, yes! They see right through your teenage veneer and angst, and right into your soul. And, all they see is desire. Their’s, mostly.

High school hallways and memories of make-out sessions.

High school hallways stir memories of make-out sessions.

First loves only have eyes for you and often, when Cupid’s arrow hits, you don’t even see it coming. Which is what happened to me.

I was 16 and in the 11th grade. I was a volunteer in the high school library. Having memorized the Dewey Decimal System, I was charged with putting back on the shelves all the books that had been returned to the library. Thankfully, my job was made easier by a little cart on which I could stack the books while I weaved my way around the aisles.

And, that’s what I was doing  one day in early October when a senior, who I’d never met before, but had seen from a distance, approached me.  He was just under six feet tall, with sleepy, twinkling brown eyes, and longish brown hair, reminiscent of Buster Brown, the mascot featured on the shoe by the same name.  He also had a pock-marked face.

“Well, hello, honey. How come we’ve never met?”

Of course, when it’s your first, you have no idea how trite that sounds.

I turned around, looking to the left and to the right to make sure he wasn’t speaking to anyone else. And I replied with a “pithy” line of my own.

“Uh…I don’t know,” I said shyly. (I was very shy. VERY.)

He stood, blocking my cart, so I could not move to the next aisle.

“Can I help you find something? A book?”

“No,” he smiled broadly as he winked at me. “I think I’ve found all I need right here.”

As someone with olive skin, I don’t blush, but I’m pretty sure I turned six shades of red right then. “Well, um, excuse me, cause, um, I have to put these books away,” I practically fell over in embarrassment, I was stammering so much, and tried to maneuver around him, which was difficult, given the cart.

After my shift was over, I left the library to head to my next class. There he was, waiting in the hallway for me. This time, he pinned me to the wall and wouldn’t let me leave until I agreed to go out on a date. I explained that there was a school football game that weekend and I was part of some sort of pep team. He said he’d meet me there. Which he did.

The rest, as they say, is history. We were inseparable. I fell hard for my senior, who happened to have a car of his own, an Oldsmobile Plymouth or something to that effect. I was so smitten, I was sure we’d go off together into the sunset, and marry upon graduation.

He was a big fan of Shakespeare and would read sonnets to me, spending hours on the phone as he recited them all. He’d also write me notes of love. It was corny, I know. Worst, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. More than once, a teacher would pull us apart in the hallway between class, shaking his head about our PDA’s. But I didn’t care. Neither did he.

And, then came spring break. My parents insisted the family take a trip to Washington, DC, and see the sights.  When I returned to school, a week later, my knight in shining armor had found someone else. She was a pretty, petite girl, with a head of soft brown curls, a turned up nose and a smattering of freckles. In other words, she looked like the proverbial girl next door, and, like him, she was a senior.

As he explained to me, they were deeply in love. And, just like that, it was over.

Let the agony begin.

So tell me, do you remember your first love?

47 thoughts on “First Love

  1. I would have to say that my first true love was an alumnus who I met while visiting said graduate school. He looked so polished, dapper, serious…smart. A brother in a three-piece suit with those classic, old-school wingtips that reminded me of my beloved Grandpa.

    Little did I know, he was an old man under that smooth golden skin and behind those beautiful brown eyes. His not-too-wide smile warned me of a somewhat guarded soul. But when he opened his mouth to speak, I got weak all over! It was as if the room darkened and we were each other’s sole focus.

    The brother didn’t just look smart, he was smart! He shared his reflections on and alignment with Cornel West, bell hooks, and even read one of his originally penned poems. I was all in, girl! Still am! It’s been almost twenty years since that day!

  2. First love evaporated and I was crushed and heartbroken. Then there was 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on and after each new one I asked myself what in the world was I doing with that other one. Now I enjoy while it lasts and don’t expect permanence as people come into our lives and go out of our lives. Except for my parents. Mother passed 12 days prior to 67th wedding anniversary.

  3. I’m not sure who to count as my first love. My first kiss, at age 5-6 or so, was with TWO boys, brothers, and my love life… stayed complicated Many loves, many crushes, many broken hearts, but I’ve enjoyed all of it.

  4. Ahhh…you wrote about it just the way it happens. I remember my second love most. He made the first move and then the rest was history. History in that although we enjoyed each other so much, I suffered the heartbreak of breaking up.
    My first “crush” always had a kind word and those beautiful blue eyes always had to work to meet mine, but I was too shy to look him in the eye. He fell for a girl who meets your description and they were an item throughout high school. Our year book attests to that since there are several pictures of them together. Then came college. He went to State and she went to school out of state…with the distance, I imagine, they broke up.
    Then flash forward forty years, I met up with not him but her and found out she just lives 10 minutes away from me. The amazing thing is we are a thousand miles away from where we went to high school, and now are the best of friends…she and I.

    • Georgette, I love that you and his other ex are now close friends. Life can be strange that way. You never know about fate and destiny and what blasts from the past await us!

    • Thanks, Kim. One thing to be said for him. He sure knew how to lay it on thick and romance, romance, romance the night away! Didn’t take long for me to be completely smitten!

  5. First love, the truly, madly, deeply, sort never really leaves our heart. We might suffer a heartbreak, move on, have many lovers, fall again and again, but we never forget that first one. It wasn’t until I started writing did I realize just how hopeless of a romantic I was, am, doomed to be. 🙂

    • I’m a romantic, too, Brenda, but I blame it on the hundreds of romantic films I’ve seen since I can remember, that have me believing in love at first sight and happy endings. Alas, if all of it were true!

  6. My first love was a guitarist in a popular local band. Piercing blue eyes and so handsome. I loved how all the other high school girls were so jealous when they saw me with him. We were together for about a year. No sonnets or anything though, but like you and your first love, he eventually dumped me. Unfortunately, I continued on with my love affair with musicians… It wasn’t pretty.

  7. Ah… First loves.. Lol. I just read the guest list for an upcoming high school multi grade reunion. I looked and I smiled slowly, then chuckled. On that list what did I see?? Why it was.. my first boyfriend from 5th grade, with whom I went steady! A wonderful 2 week affair complete with a Floyd Bennet ring. :). So sweet and we never kissed.. ;-(. Next to my amazement, my first love from high school, his name also graced the confirmed list. Add one or 2more, that yes I dated. lol This should prove to be a funny and interesting reunion!! :-)))
    Thank you ladies, this was entertaining! Dianne

    • Dianne, thank you for reading my blog and sharing your memories. Hope you plan on attending the reunion with the anticipation and excitement seeing past loves brings. Should be great fun!

  8. Monica, propped up on five pillow as I am, I had to sit up to clap with glee when I realized this was a “childhood memory” post! Oh, how I love them! Your magical words transport me to the day and time you write about and I can almost see the school hallways! Ah, first love…who can forget? I’ve written about mine–the handsome Spaniard name Domingo who looked like a young Antonio Banderas and whose sexy Spanish accent turned me into a puddle of goo! If only we could turn back time–relieve one of those beautiful moments…how grand life would be! Loved the post! I have much to catch up with your blog. Bear with me, please! 🙂

    • I seem to recall reading about Domingo. Is he the one that got away? My first isn’t. Sure, I was devastated when he dumped me, and it took time to recover, but if truth be said, there was another. He was the one who got away. My heart still aches when I think of him, particularly since it was all my fault. I only have myself to blame. Sigh. Hope you catch up soon on my other posts. I always love and value your input. These posts don’t feel complete until you’ve weighed in. Hugs!

  9. Aah, your beau read Shakespeare to you? I’m in awe. That’s pretty deep for high school. But those were the days when we could fall hard and fast; when a crown of clover was as glorious as a crown of diamonds, and the young man behind the ice cream counter dishing up three scoops and charging only for one ended up being an on-again-off-again boyfriend who would go on picnics with me and share daydreams about our futures.
    What a great post. You’ve got us all going back in time…

    • Oh yes, Renee. Just a month or so earlier, my best friend had given me for my birthday, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare.” so when he discovered that I liked the Bard, he recited the sonnets to me over and over. It was a very romantic thing to do.

  10. I never got my first loves. I was a NERD and white-skinned with freckles. No returned loves. So sad. I had one guy sing me “Babe” on a hike, but then he moved. I also had a guy shove me in a closet. Wow, how dismal, huh?

  11. My first love did not read me sonnets from Shakespeare. Funny thing is, though, I think of that thing called puppy love in my preteen/teen years, as distinct from my real first love, when I was out of college. Whenever I think of him, it’s with a sense that what we had will always be with me. A memory, a song, etc., is all it takes to remind me.

    • Deborah, where would we be without our memories? They take us back, carrying us to a time of innocence, promise and youthful love. I can picture those times, but it would be sure nice, for a moment, to return to it. To go back and feel those sweet kisses again. 😉

  12. My first love was a basketball player, a senior and had groupies hanging all over him. He was over 6 ft tall and had the loveliest brown eyes. I kept running to the phone to talk to him every chance I got, my parents didn’t quite approve as he was quite a bit older. It fizzled out before it got serious, but I will never forget those first moments of how fast my heart beat when I saw him and how I waited outside my house to watch him go by on his bike. We didn’t have a lot to talk about, I should have known then he wasn’t the one, but oh boy! Was it fun 🙂 what a great post Monica…

    • MM, when the feeling’s mutual, those are the best. Before this guy, I often had crushes, but they never amounted to anything more than that. Guess those guys had their sights on someone else. There was one guy I liked so much I planned an entire party just so I could invite him. And he did come. But we barely said a word to each other. Turns out, he was just as shy as me. The following year he switched schools. Sigh.

  13. My first love was a nice boy. A good heart through and through. I broke up with him, because I had a crush on boy #2. 10 years and six other boys later I married that boy #2. 🙂

  14. I think my first love story would ready *exactly* like yours did, only he was a new kid in our high school but also ditched me after returning from a family vacation. I then went out with his best friend 😉
    Ahhh, sigh.

    • Astra, I’m all for cancelling school vacations if it means not losing your boyfriends. Something about those weeks off that seem to make them feel they need a fresh start. What’s up with that, anyway? 😉

  15. You’re being modest, aren’t you, Monica? I’m sure you were much cuter than you remember! And this poor senior really couldn’t afford to “settle down” at that tender age, could he? Still, first loves — first breakups — hurt, and we remember them like they were yesterday. Now that you’ve paved the way, maybe I’ll write about mine some day!

    • Okay, maybe I was kind of cute, in a Latin sort of way. But I was the only one, where the common standard for cute or adorable was white, blue eyes, straight hair, and thin like Twiggy–none of which I had. So yes, I felt I had to compete with that and often fell short. I certainly was never with the popular ones.

      • Yes, Debbie,
        You’re intuition is right. Monica was very cute, and not just in a “Latin” sort of way, and what’s wrong with that anyway Monica. I’m thinking of Bandaras, Hayak, Cruz, Alba, Longoria…
        The boy in question was cute (and fun and exciting), but Monica was cuter with a kind and charming personality.
        Debbie, believe me. I was there. I rode in that Oldsmobile/Plymouth rat trap too!
        Love you MM.

      • I can’t believe you actually remember! I wasn’t sure about the car but that was my best guess. And thank you, thank you for saying all those truly sweet things about me. As a brown girl in a sea of white, a girl could easily develop a complex! You are the best and I miss you buckets!

  16. 5th grade, he bought me chocolates. I remember his name, but I don’t even remember what he looked like. I had no idea what to do with that kind of attention but I was flattered. I do remember that as the start of my attachment to the phone. – running the cord under the door to the basement and sitting on the stairs talking “in private”.

    • Nice memory, Lisa. Especially the part involving the phone. Thankfully, those phones had long cords. I think we even had a phone in the basement. I remember often running down there to take my calls, though never quite knowing if someone was listening in on another phone upstairs. Sheesh.

  17. Heartbreak in high school. Terrible boys.

    I was a bit younger than you. Maybe someday I will explore that one. He had black hair, the bluest eyes and was an artist.

    First love.

  18. First love!!!!

    That was a long time ago Monica, but I remember it as if it was yesterday.

    I met my first love in a shop, my first love was just sitting there, sleek and beautiful.

    My first love was with me for just over ten years, we spent days, evenings and nights together, just the two of us.

    My first love was there always waiting for me when I got home, my first love could be turned on with just a flick.

    I will never forget my first love, and to this day I reckon my first love has not been surpassed since.

    It was a super radio and gave me hours of pleasure!!!

    Lovely post Monica, I missed out the girls at school bit I was too busy playing with my radios.

    However I do remember my first female love and we have been married 27 years this year, she was the first person I ever took out and as soon as I saw her I knew she was the one, and I have never regretted it for a second ever since.

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