High school is an interesting time in a young girl’s life. Thirteen years old you enter into this giant, scary new place and you feel so small. All of a sudden your day goes from being in one small area to trekking across hundreds of hallways with millions of rooms and you are so afraid of walking into the wrong one. It is sink or swim in that universe.
Luckily for me, all my friends from middle school were a year older. I was ahead of the game by the time my freshman year rolled around. No sitting and waiting, I was able to walk right up to the sophomore and junior area at lunch and see so many faces I had known who would kindly take my hand through this new chapter. However, amongst the faces I knew, there was one I hadn’t recognized. One face so handsome and kind it made you take a step back to see if it could possibly be real. That face would lead me on some crazy adventures in this lifetime, but thirteen year old me had no clue.
At the time I was dating a junior who I thought I was going to walk down the isle with one day. He was a sweet kid on the track team. Him and I were almost inseparable, and my best friend began to look for a boy so we could live in all of those teen movies you see growing up about double dates and what not. She met a boy through our mutual friends, but of course she needed my opinion on him. We decided to make a plan to run into him at his bus stop so I could get a full look at this potential candidate. When the day came to execute this scheme, I was more than ready. The bell rang and her and I raced to the bus stop to catch him. There he was, the most handsome sophomore I ever did lay my eyes on. Nice height, beautiful green eyes, and the slightest accent left from when he moved to the states. He was perfect! I was so excited for her I could barely hold it in. And from that moment, the four of us had our perfect crew.
However, things don’t always work out with your first boyfriend in high school and as the storybooks go, mine dumped me after about three months. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe this was happening, I felt as though my heart had been shattered. I luckily had the comfort of my friend and her boyfriend, which got me through. But once again, as the story goes things don’t always turn out how they seem and my once friend and her beautiful boyfriend also came to an end.
Him and I stayed close and I comforted him through this rough time. She had moved away and already had a new boyfriend in a new state. He spoke to me a lot in this time, maybe because I was the closest one in the situation or because he saw something in me, I’ll never know but he kept me very close. I never saw him as much more than just her boyfriend and a good friend. We got along great but I never could imagine a romantic relationship with him. But after a few months, that was all about to change.
We began spending more and more time together after school and on weekends. He lived up the street from me so everyday after we got off the bus he would walk me home just to talk more, even though it was well out of his way. We would text most nights and meet up in the morning before school started. Things started to look like they could be turning into something more than just a good friendship. One day, a few friends, him and I went down to the beach to have a bonfire. We were waiting on our parents to drop off the firewood. My friends knew something was up between us so they disappeared and all of a sudden it was just he and I. The sun was beginning to set and we were talking. I was, at the time, known to be a bit touchy with my friends so if I kissed someone on the cheek they usually never thought much of it. I saw my opportunity and leaped at it. Luckily for me, he leaped back and that small cheek kiss turned into the first kiss to make my heart stop and knees go weak. That day was the start of a new life for me.
We began a small relationship, nothing too serious because he was supposed to be moving back home. He didn’t want to commit to anything without knowing for fact that he would stay, but he never did know anything for fact and I was all in for whatever crazy he could throw my way. And crazy it was. We fell in love in the most intense way and spent almost a year and a half glued together at the hip. We fought, cried, screamed, loved, and cherished it all. I took him to Disneyland for the first time in years and he showed me a whole new world, teaching me about South Africa and his family. I couldn’t believe that such a handsome and interesting man could exist. It was perfect until one terrible November day.
He sat me down and told me his mom and him were going back to South Africa. We had been fighting on and off for a while and things seemed to be going downhill, but I could never imagine the pain that I felt when I heard those words. I burst into tears and although he wasn’t ever one to show emotion, he held me and sobbed. We knew we couldn’t stay together because he had no plans of coming back anytime soon. He knew it was unfair to ask me to wait for him and although I wanted to I knew that it was too much for me as well. Those next three days before he flew were the most miserable I had ever been in my life. My whole world really came crashing down. We said our goodbyes and although we really did love each other, we parted.
Five months went by. We had some communication, but not much. When we did speak, it was always painful. However, one day after three months of hearing nothing from him, I received a text. He was in Atlanta waiting for his flight to California and wanted to see me to “catch up”. My heart began to race; I had no clue what to do. I said yes and we made plans to meet at a coffee shop across the street. I hadn’t been this nervous since our first kiss. I got all dolled up and began my walk. I told myself I would be strong and wouldn’t just throw myself at him although I missed him like crazy every day he was gone. However when I got to his gate and he came out my heart melted all over again. He was just as handsome as I remembered and we spent hours talking at that coffee shop. Right before we were about to leave he leaned in and kissed me. Butterflies filled my stomach just as they did when our lips first met. Since that day we have not parted. About a year later I would move in with him to Asheville, North Carolina and we would be the happiest we have ever been. Today I am sitting in a house on the beach in South Africa writing about our whirlwind relationship with my soon to be husband and I could never imagine being happier. A high school fling turned into a forever love for the storybooks. And to this day, May 15th 2014 will always be the most important day of my life.