First time love
When I was in grade two, my best (and only) friend was a lovely boy with a little bowl cut and stubby fingers called Brandon. We would play together every day. Go out exploring the outer perimeters of the schoolyard, sometimes daring to sit on the fence and dangle our feet into “the great forbidden” area that was, really, just the footpath that ran past our school.
We shared peanut butter sandwiches, climbed trees and played two-person Chinese whispers, which, despite its ineffectiveness, caused us great joy and laughter.
The day before I moved away in year four, Brandon took my hand, kissed me very lightly on the lips and walked away.
I have not seen or heard from him since that day, which seems ridiculous in this age of technology and a billion and one social networking sites promoting connectivity. But, in a way, I never want to see him again, as the memory of our nine-year-old selves is so young and romantic; I’m terrified our sixteen-year-old selves would only spoil it.
In grade six, my wacky, fearless friend convinced me to write a rather crass and embarrassing love letter to a boy I had lukewarm feelings for.
I wound myself up to convince myself he may possibly like me back, although at that time I was probably naïve as to what that really meant. After he read it – and of course allowed his friends to read it as well – he wrote a very lovely letter back, which I have kept tucked away safely in a box of memories, admitting he did not share these feelings but admired me very much for my “bravery”.
As embarrassing and ridiculous as it was, I never regret writing that letter. Not only did it make me a little more fearless in confessing my feelings to people, but it also created a hilarious memory for me and my friend.
In grade eight, I found my niche with a group of four other girls. We did all those cliché things that grade eight best friends do. Even the one where you get in a straight line and strut it down the middle of the shopping mall pretending you’re Mean Girls… Yes, we did everything together, told each other everything and created a bond between us that will mark our lives forever.
Grade nine saw the end of our short-lived, yet incredibly life-changing friendship as a group. All that is left now of our once-invincible relationship is a sense of respect for one another and the independent lives we now live.
I guess my point is that there are so many kinds of love and so many ways that love affects and changes you. It is violent and angry, naïve and contented, comforting and beautiful, embarrassing and public, perfect it in its imperfection. It is never just one emotion. There is no way to bottle up love and say “this is it, this is the standard, this is how it goes…”
Really, love never dies. Even when the relationship, or friendship – the love – dies, the people remain tucked away in a little corner of our hearts.
You’d think that eventually your heart would get so full you’d have no room to ever love again… But hearts are amazing things. There is always room to accept new love, as well as store away those beautiful memories that carry us to our graves smiling.
If you had a gang and this treehouse was your club gang hut, how happy would you be?