It is hard to believe but some twenty years ago I labored and fretted, baking a cake for my high school sweetheart’s fifteenth birthday. I fretted and worried, wanting to impress him. What flavor of cake should I get? How should I decorate it? Would it taste good?
While nail biting, I invited a few of our mutual friends over to my house for a surprise birthday party for him. I am happy to report that the cake turned out tasty, two of our mutual friends showed up and we had a nice afternoon at my house for his surprise birthday party.
I was in love with Brian and saw us staying together all throughout high school and saw us getting married after we graduated and saw us eventually having children together. We had even started planning what we would name our children. Katie Michelle if it was a girl and Jacob Michael if it was a boy. He became my whole life. It is amazing to my adult self that one person could have such a profound and lasting effect on my entire life like Brian did.
Many events in our lives dictated that this was not to be so. His parents decided to move out of the school district. And being teenagers, we were each torn in a number of different directions. Wanting to be social with our friends, loyal to one another and find a way to balance it all, all while trying to obtain driver’s licenses and jobs and exert our independence. I felt him drift away and I felt rejected. A boy at church that was four years my senior began showering me with attention and eventually caused Brian and I to break up. After that we shared a love-hate relationship for several months before we finally broke up for good the night of the party being held for my sixteenth birthday when he and my grade school friend Katie finally kissed and hooked up. I was crushed.
This chain of events sent me into a tailspin of self destruction. It took me many years to eventually get him out of my system. My self destructive pattern caused me to become a teen mom and marry the first time for all the wrong reasons (though I love my two older kids to death and would never trade them for the world).
It was bittersweet for me to discover while we were still dating, that my current husband has a great relationship with his own high school sweetheart and that they remain in touch all these years later. He and I even attended her wedding two summers ago.
In my attempt to try to maintain a relationship with Brian, I ended up causing his wife a lot of grief. About ten years ago, Brian and I went nearly six solid months straight exchanging emails almost daily. Although we swore we would never cheapen our friendship by having an affair, if we’re being brutally honest, ten years ago, we did exactly that even if it was never a physical affair. It most certainly was an emotional affair. We were sharing things with one another that we should have been sharing with our spouses. It should come as no surprise that my own marriage ended a few years later, though for different reasons. Fortunately for him, it appears he and his wife were able to get past that and they remain married today.
I can now be honest when I say that I wish him the best. I used to have to force myself to say those words, more because I knew that is what I should say and not because that is how I really felt. I was incredibly unfair to his wife and am deeply sorry for the pain I caused her. I have been tempted to get in touch with her to apologize now that so much time has passed and now that I have gotten myself to a healthier place mentally than I was back then. However, my better judgment prevents me from doing so. At this point I believe the best thing I can do is simply respect their marriage and keep my distance. I am not difficult to find online, so if either of them ever wants to get in touch with me, they can… but I will not force myself into their lives again, though I wish them well.
Brian, if you ever read this, know I am wishing you a happy 35th birthday today.
Jenny, if you ever read this, please know I am deeply sorry.
First loves are hard to get over and are impossible to forget. I would love to hear from you readers about your first loves. Are you still in touch with your first love? How did the relationship end, or conversely, did you eventually get married? I would love to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Please comment below or email me directly at email@example.com.