Remember the first time you fell in love? I had a long distance love, where we crafted beautiful love letters to each other and rarely saw each other. We were kids exploring our blossoming hormonal states, but we were smart kids and we used words. He’s still a good friend.
Remember your first real stab at a relationship? He pursued me the summer before I started high school, the age my daughter is now. We dated for about two years – very serious. I look back with a certain soft nostalgia – he was so sweet to me, made me believe for first time in my life that I was beautiful – but I can also see the seeds of all of the problems that I’ve spent the last 20 years working through.
All of this is up because I found Mr. First Boyfriend on Facebook yesterday. He looks great. He’s lost weight since high school and now I’m guessing his body can back up his attitude. I haven’t seen or heard from him in about 20 years. It’s weird to know someone so well and not know them at all. I’m not sure what to say.
I want to thank him. He was patient and kind to me. He helped me through flash backs of sex abuse. He was my companion and my knight against a cruel world. I came to learn myself through us learning each other. I loved his sense of style as well as his sense of humor. He was not the first person I ever had sex with, but he was the person I explored sex with. We spent hours together that literally saved my life. And most important, he introduced me to the world of roleplay gaming – D & D and Cthulhu.
I want to apologize to him. I was badly scarred from sex abuse and very scared of being in a relationship. I ran away the first time he kissed me. I have always been polyamorous by nature. As a teenager, I did not have a model for how to proceed. While I never meant to hurt anyone, I think that I probably did not handle my multiple relationships with any skill. I always came back to him, but I think he would have preferred monogamy. I hope that he forgives my lack of skill, understanding that I was young and had a lot to work through.
Which makes it ironic that I also want to shake him hard. It took forever to work out my body issues after he repeatedly told me that my thighs were too big. And I want to go back in time and teach my younger self about consent because no one should EVER respond to, “I want to stop.” with, “Wait, I’m almost done.” It took me years and years to be able to say no and expect to be taken seriously. Not all of that is his fault, but it still makes me cringe when I think of it.
At least we had a lot of sex. I was his first. And still he waited 9 months for me to be ready. I recorded each instance of our sex in my journal, covering pages. I kept the wrapper for our first condom. Actually, somewhere I have a whole file of mementos of our relationship – love notes, prom pictures, and the first song he ever wrote – it’s for me! I’m sappy that way. And I like to think of how adventurous we were sexually. From terrible strawberry warming gel to fucking while he had a fever to me bent over behind the door while my mom made dinner in the next room.
We’ve both gone off in our own directions, but in a different world we might be sharing our lives. There was once a lot of hurt between us, but now I mostly feel happy for him and his successes. I wonder what he makes of me. He helped me so much during a challenging time. I like to think that I gave him things that he needed too. Actually, every person I’ve been intimate with has changed me irrevocably, left their touch on my soul. Isn’t that the power and prerogative of love?