My story began when I met this amazing young man at a dance rehearsal for a sweet sixteen, when I was only fourteen, and he was sixteen. I remember playing around in one of our dance rehearsals and he began to tease me in the most flirty way, I just couldn’t resist wanting to continue our sessions of innocent flirtation.
I then remember looking closely at him, he was over six feet tall, and he would tower over me even with my platforms on. He was very slim and poised, with sandy blond hair, brown eyes, a lovely smile and sweetest voice I ever heard. He loved to ice skate, instrumental music, played football and was an excellent student. I don’t know about the other girls, but to me he was gorgeous.
As the weeks went by my feelings started to get more intense and I often would day dream about him. Then finally came the night of the party and it just so happened that his partner liked the guy that was accompanying me to the dance and since I only like him as a friend, I was more than happy to swap partners with her after the dance presentation.
I remember dancing with the man who seemed to occupy my every thought, almost all evening, it was heaven, and I just couldn’t get enough of him. I wished that evening would never end, but it did. He gave me his boutonnière and I always cherished it.
I never got to see him for a long time after that magic evening. We both went to different schools and roamed different circles, but he certainly was always on my mind. I just couldn’t forget him or the short time we spent together. What I would have given to have gotten to date him, but I was too young. I often imagined myself going to the ends of the earth with him. Your first love can be an all consuming experience.
About a year later there was an ice skating show and I was invited to come and watch. I couldn’t wait to go; he was going to be there. He was part of the show and I was going to get to see him skate. I never forgot the show, watching him skate was amazing. I couldn’t help but envy his figure skating partner on the ice, she got to skate with him and for me that was the ultimate experience.
I bought a program from the show that evening and I just couldn’t wait for him to sign it. I wasn’t really prepared for what was to transpire for the remainder of that evening. My host took me and another girl, I was attending the show with to a restaurant where all the skaters went to celebrate after the show. I was so anxious to see him. I was dying to get close to him one more time, maybe now he would ask me out, perhaps this time my parents would let me date him. My head was just spinning with all the possibilities.
When my host finally arrived, I saw him standing in front of the restaurant; there he was, finally after a year of thinking about him. I just couldn’t wait to get closer. I went to where he was and this time things were different. I asked him to sign my program, which he did and then he wrote the most curious thing. It said the following: “You are looking good; I think you’re very pretty, I’m sorry but I can’t.” I just couldn’t help but wonder, can’t what. If he finds me pretty, what’s his problem? I just couldn’t understand.
We then entered the restaurant and his warm smile was just cold and distant, his voice wasn’t as sweet and he kept ignoring me and pursuing this other girl. If I had daggers, yeah, I would have thrown a few her way. Every time I tried to get closer to him, he would just pull away, and try to get closer to her.
One is so stupid when one is love, God was I stupid, yes everybody plays the fool and that night it was my turn. You know that feeling like being in bad dream or feeling really awkward in your own skin. I felt all those things that night. All the sense of happiness I had felt at the dance floor almost a year earlier was now crushed, blown away. Yes my friend unrequited love hurts a lot.
They say time heals all wounds and yes that is true to a point. I did move on, but one never forgets their first love. I remember years later, when I was twenty three. I decided to go by the ice skating rink where he had skated that evening to see how I would feel. Let's just say I cried my eyes out when I got to my car. I don’t think he deserved a single tear, but I couldn’t help it. I never cried that evening when he ignored me, so it was finally time to face the pain and cry me a river. I haven’t shed another tear over him since then, but have I forgotten him? No, because there is something about one’s first love that leaves a mark on one’s life.
I have met many wonderful men since that time and have felt many different ways. I wish I could feel the rapture of that evening again. Maybe that feeling is reserved for just once in a lifetime and for just one person. Why I wonder. I know that it is better to have loved and lost that never to have loved at all, but that does mean that it has to hurt worse than if they had actually cut you with knife? Actually a physical knife can be more comforting.
Unrequited love is almost universal, felt by almost everyone and in almost every culture. It is a pain that is hard to explain because it begins with a wonderful feeling. Love can bring life and color your world like nothing else can, yet it can cause the most intense pain to. I thank God for the lesson I learned that evening with all the pain it caused, I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for that night.
Next time you find you have been dealt a bad hand by the queen of hearts and have been left to suffer, remember you are not the only one who has been left out in the cold. Bear in mind that this experience was part of something beautiful, something special and something you will never forget. You will not be left unchanged and it will be one more stepping stone in your journey as a human being.