I’ve written volumes and volumes in my journals about him, but I’m having an awfully hard time putting together the words I want to write tonight.
Teenage romance is such a dangerous thing. I know that now. The one thing I will encourage Be-Bop and Rock Steady about when they are teenagers is that they should concentrate on themselves while they are young and not get wrapped up in someone else. There will be plenty of time for relationships after college, or trade school, or whatever they decide to do with their early adulthoods.
I met him at a New Year’s Eve party when I was 15. He was a day shy of two years older than me. I suspect we both might have been shy enough to stay away from one another, but some mutual friends thought some matchmaking was in order. I’d never had a boyfriend, and I think my friends thought I needed one. By late January, he’d asked me out to a movie.
We really had a pretty laid-back relationship until he graduated from high school. I kept thinking he would go off to school somewhere; he’d talked about it. I remember even having a conversation with him, basically giving him permission to see other people. Looking back on it, I realize now that was my super-passive self expressing interest in dating other people.
But he didn’t date other people and I didn’t date other people, while I was in high school at least. He saw me through my first four manic episodes. We got fairly serious fairly quickly. I stopped hanging out with my friends in favor of spending all my spare time with him.
I could go on and on and on about our history, as there was nearly six years of it. We lived together for nearly three years. It was disastrous. I dated other people and we made each other miserable. Suffice it to say that I was not very nice to him in the end. I was particularly unkind the last time I spoke to him on the phone, several years ago. We live in the same town now, though I doubt he’d speak if we saw each other on the street. It breaks my heart.
So, if I could just say to him here, though I doubt he’ll ever read it: You’re a kind soul and I wish you much love and peace in your life. I’ll be so glad I knew you, for forever and 20 days…
The bear above, the bear he gave me that first Valentine’s Day in 1995, that bear belongs to Rock Steady now. Rock Steady calls it Mommy’s Bear, and he loves it with all his heart. It’s the last remnant from my romance with that man I loved once long ago, with all my heart.
Thank you, Jared, for your unending patience, kindness, and love. You are my soulmate.