Seeing you for the first time in 5 years completely threw me off guard. Seeing you casually leaning against that terrace like you had no other care in the world suddenly made me feel like a first year high school student again.
I had dreamed that when I saw you for the first time after you broke my heart so many times and still made me love you, that I would be the one thing you’d never have. I dreamed of meeting you when I was successful with a license in nursing, slim and beautiful, confident and classy. I had dreamed of making you ask for my number over and over again, and me giving you a smug, simple, NO.
It’s funny how the things we dream about the most almost always don’t end up the way we want them to.
I saw you for the first time, completely out of my element and unprepared. Clumsy. Maybe the make up made me beautiful. I don’t know. All I know is, we saw each other for the first time in 5 years and I am 100% sure that you were just as unprepared as I was.
Surrounded by people who loved us together and loved us apart, I couldn’t help but notice that people were trying to push us together. Make it known that we were the only single pringles at the table. Ask us to pass things to each other, and giggle when we’d put our hands at the most awkward of angles, just to avoid hand and finger touches that would remind me (probably, mostly, hopefully not just me) of 3AM, hand holding and warm palms.
I remember how I was hoping it wasn’t just my imagination when I’d see you out of the corner of my eye, staring at me, or probably the wall behind me. I remember how I’d stare at you, wondering how in the world did it come to this? And then of course, the inevitable game of eye tag, where we try our hardest not to catch the other staring at us.
And I remember wondering what in the world had happened to me? Here I was; so sure that I had moved on and forgotten. So sure that my heart belonged to someone else. Only to be turned upside down, just by looking at you.
So suddenly sure that I had not moved on. So suddenly sure that among all of the crushes I had, among all those ‘loves’ and hits and misses, you were the one who stood out. And then it became clear to me. I had not moved on. Not even close. I had merely pushed you to the back of my mind, forgotten. Because if I had moved on, before leaving you for an indefinite amount of years, I would have walked up to you that night, looked you in the eye, and said goodbye. Said goodbye with the finality of someone who had moved on.
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t even say goodbye. Not even until the very last second. I felt like such a coward.
And so, as I talk with my psychologist friend and ponder about these feelings, I, by the power vested in me, pronounce you (you, not the friend) as my first love.
And I also pronounce you as not dead.