I was 18 when I met the love of my life.
But, he wasn’t really the love of my life.,. to the naked eye he seemed perfect, quite, sweet, funny, loyal. What he lacked was devotion, dedication, true commitment. This story isn’t about him though. This story isn’t about my first love, it’s about my last love.
I feel I need to start from the beginning, so first I will tell you about my first love. In November of 2015 I fell in love, we will call him Henry. I met Henry some years earlier in passing at music venues in my home town. He was mysterious and kept to himself mostly, something about him drew me in. It might have been the dark curly locks he nonchalantly peaked out from under. Perhaps it was his charming grin he seemed to try and hide to himself. But, what really threw me head over heels for him was his gentleness. Thanksgiving 2015, we had been talking for a few weeks now, and I was spending the evening with him at his parents' empty house. We were down in the basement game room, cuddling watching a movie—mostly not watching—Henry made me feel things I hadn’t felt my whole girlhood in all my dating years. His hands felt strong and as he pulled me closer I felt myself melting. I was his. I wanted to be his anyway. I don’t think I’d ever had a man in my life turn down sex because he wanted a stronger emotional connection to me before taking that step. But Henry did. I almost burst out crying because I was so touched. Henry and I were wrapping around each other, the feelings and kissing growing strong and fuller, I made the move I thought any guy would want me to make. Henry pulled back, looked longingly into my eyes with his big, sad, brown puppy-dog eyes, and he said “I’m not ready yet. Is it okay if we wait a little while?” I was a goner.
Almost a year later, I moved in with Henry. At first our lives felt perfect. Slowly but rapidly within the first 6 months of living together our relationship started to unravel. Henry worked at a bar, he started coming home later and later, it felt as though he was evading me. We fought a lot about this, and other things. Everything felt so torn and I longed for the days in the beginning when everything had felt so pure, so fun, perfect. My heart started to shrivel and I stopped waiting to hear from him. He had stopped texting me throughout the day. I felt like a chore he hated dealing with. The end of the lease was looming and I was afraid. Afraid this would be it, we would split. Why would he want to get another house to live together if we had been fighting so badly for months? I didn’t think he was happy. I definitely wasn’t. I was stressed, I wanted my happy loving mystery boy back. I proposed we work on things and not let everything disappear. We had another really bad fight, I remember it was a Wednesday in May 2017.
Thursday May 27th, it felt like we had made up. We’d slept in the same bed after letting the fights die down. We’d made love in the morning, and breakfast and I wished Henry goodbye before I left to work. I remember holding him tighter than usual that day and I didn’t think much of it, but I would figure out that night why I’d felt like I shouldn’t go to work that day. I got off work at five in the afternoon, I raced home to and empty driveway. I was panicking at this point. I feared the worst. I walked into our house and my heart both sunk and burst in one swift movement. I looked at empty walls and shelves. Henry had moved out while I was at work that day. I was devastated. I cried for hours. I couldn’t think straight. Henry had ghosted me, no note, he wouldn’t reply to calls or texts. My heart crumbled into shards that day. I gathered my things and stayed at my mother's house that night. I moved the rest of the way soon after.
You would think that would have been the end of that. It wasn’t. About a week later I finally heard from Henry. He was staying at a friends and wanted to see me. I know what you're thinking. But I was a fool in love with him. He said all the right things and eventually I forgot about my heart hurting and forgave him. Mid July we moved into a new house together. It was perfect again. I lived in fear of him leaving me again though, and I knew it wasn’t right and it was unhealthy. But I wanted him to stay. I suppressed a lot of things that bothered me to avoid fighting. September 15th, 2017 we got engaged. Now it wasn’t a traditional proposal by any means. It was actually my idea... I wanted to have a commitment. Things wouldn’t spiral out of control if we fought sometimes. That was normal. But running away from issues wasn’t normal, I thought if we were married he would settle a bit. We went to a small antique shop together and picked out a ring together. It was a beautiful little ruby ring. It wasn’t expensive, but it didn’t matter. It was exactly what I wanted and for a while we were both so excited and happy. Things felt comfortable.
The holiday season slipped by and the warmth did too. By February 2018 Henry was slipping away again. He asked me to call off the engagement. He broke me. That was the last piece of hope I had for us. I wanted everything with him, and he wanted to be alone. He said he didn’t want to make me cry anymore. That I would never be happy because he wasn’t who I wanted him to be. I cried for what felt like a whole month. My heart ached. Nothing made me feel better. No one made me forget about him. I was completely confused, hurt, and didn’t know where to even start to find my way back to myself.
Here is where my story turns. I know most people, and quite literally everyone I knew personally, would never understand or accept what happened next in my love live. While I had been dealing with and going through my break up, my sister had also been breaking up with her boyfriend of years.
Let me explain that my sister was nothing like me in her relationships. She really used this guy. She was sleeping around on him almost their entire relationship and only when she decided to dump him did she tell him the truth it crushed him. We will refer to him as Jay. Jay confided in me a few weeks after their break up, I think he could feel how similar situation we were in. Talking to Jay really helped me in ways I couldn’t explain. He was just good. Good and pure and full of forgiveness.
Jay moved back to my home town a few months later, and in April 2018 I discovered he was living in my town. I called him up immediately and wanted to see him. We had formed a strange but innocent friendship over the last few months in helping each other get over our break ups. I had just had my 21st birthday and I met Jay and a bar downtown. I don’t know if what they say about love at first sight is true.. but the moment I laid eyes on Jay I felt my soul leap out of my body and I thought I was going to embarrass myself and faint right there in front of him.
Jay flashed me the most garish smile I’d ever seen and I felt butterflies. My first instinct was to run. This was my sister's ex, I couldn’t possibly consider a relationship with him.. could I? Jay gave me a warm welcome and we had a few beers and talked all night. The whole time my mind was racing. Was Jay possibly feeling any of these crazy feelings I was experiencing? I felt guilty for feeling attracted to him. I tried to convince myself I didn’t feel these things, and hoped it would just go away. Jay and I quickly became best friends, we hung out almost every day for the whole month of April. He taught me how to play pool and I taught him how to make jokes that weren’t just bland sarcasm. We got along incredibly well. When we’d talk about our hopes for future love; we had the same ideals and wishes for partnerships that put in the same effort we did. Once night after a few beers and some pool, Jay expressed he had feelings for me. He told me how it started months ago when I told him about my past and what I was working towards, and then when he started to get to know the real me he was absolutely falling for me. Jay opened up and left his heart exposed on his sleeve hoping I wouldn’t break it. I couldn’t hold back how I felt about him. I loved him. I had fallen in love with his kindness and willingness to communicate. We had a long uphill battle ahead of us. But we decided it wasn’t fair to either of us to hide these feelings out of guilt. We care clean with my family and as expected everyone was mad at us. My sister swore hatred. A month or so later finally everyone had calmed down a bit.
My sister let her past go, and gave me a chance to really be free in the Love I felt. I leave the state we Jay to start our new life together in a month. I dream about our endless adventures ahead and for once in my life I know I won’t be abandoned. We have an RV and the road and each other. That’s it. And you know what they say, when you meet your once in a lifetime love, miscellaneous needs seem unnecessary. I look forward to this never ending adventure with love in my heart and my soul mate by my side.