We met in 2002. Em and I were both thirteen, best friends, and complete opposites. We spent a lot of time together, until we both realized that we were crazy about each other. We got together, but for fear of messing up what we already had, we stayed friends. He waited for me, I had my boy crazy phase and no matter who I was chasing after at the time I couldn’t get him out of my head. When we finally decided to be together, we stayed that way for a few very short months. We were each other’s first real boyfriend/girlfriend, and first love. We were ridiculous. Teachers hated us after that; we’d put our desks together, not stop talking during class, and even when they’d separate us, they’d find Em on my side of the class once again. We even hid under lab desks in science class so that we could hold hands. Then, whatever the circumstances were at the time, going to different highschools, (and the fact that we were so young) split us up, and I experienced my first heartbreak.
The time we spent apart was peculiar. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to get over him. I got rid of all his things (burned them, to be exact) and pushed him far, far away from my memory, thinking that I never wanted to see, speak to, or hear of him ever again. (And foolishly assuming that that’s all it would take.) I ended up going to his school a year later, but not for him, it was mostly due to location. Little by little, he kept reappearing when I least expected him to; in the halls, with other people I knew, getting me out of class when my dad would come to pick me up early. We rarely spoke, but he was always in the back of my mind. Without meaning to, him and the way I felt about him was what every single one of my other boyfriends after him got compared to, and so was I to him, apparently. We both went through a rollercoaster of extremes when it came to relationships, and no one, coincidentally came close to that feeling. Every time I’d see him with another girl randomly my stomach would drop, and I could never explain why because I had gotten over him. Somehow, he always remembered my birthday, and called or e-mailed me every single one until 2007, when he stopped. He came up to me and apologized one year for everything that happened between us, but we never said a word to eachother after that, and spent the majority of highschool through glances from a far and minimal to no interaction.
I moved 6 hours away for college and continued dating other people, even had other very serious relationships that crashed and burned every time. I hadn’t seen or even heard from Em since 2007, other than his status on AIM that said he was at boot camp earlier this year. I wanted to e-mail him and wish him luck, but I couldn’t bring myself to, and even thought that after that, I would really never see him again.
Then one night this past October he e-mailed me out of the blue. We talked for a bit, and he asked me to keep in touch and gave me his number. On Halloween night, I was at a party and decided to leave early and gave him a call. We talked until 7 that morning, and kept talking every single day after that. That’s when he told me everything. Apparently, it took him a long time to get over our break up. Like me, no relationship, no matter how long or how significant made him feel the way I did, and in a strange way, in a corner of his mind, he kept hoping I would just come back. Finding this out changed everything I thought I knew about us. All those years I thought he hated me. He thought I hated him. I was terrified, all those feelings that I tried to keep away were suddenly, after so many years, coming back. I had no idea what to do with him or if he even felt the same way.
Fast forward to November 25, 2010. He was on Thanksgiving break, and I was also home on school break. He showed up at my house the first night, and my heart dropped as soon as I opened the door and saw him. This was the first time in 3 years since we’d seen each other, and hugged for the first time since middle school. Nothing changed. Very nervously, we walked around my neighborhood trying to figure out what to say to one another. Then we found a playground nearby and sat at the top and stayed there til morning. I went to kiss him on the cheek and he turned his head, stared at me for a moment, and kissed me instead, and all of a sudden, I was thirteen again and he was that boy.
Two days later, he took me on the best date I’ve ever had. He wore his dress blues, gave me red roses and the same chocolates he used to give me when we were kids. We went to dinner, and I felt like royalty on his arm while everyone stared. After dinner, we sat on a lifeguard tower on the beach. The moon was gorgeous, and he played guitar for me. It was as if no time had passed at all. We walked along the water holding hands, and at midnight, we got back together.
Now, he’s 483 miles away, and a US Navy Sailor. I always told myself I would never be with a man in the military, but when it comes to Emanuel, apparently everything I thought I stood for, was proved wrong. It hadn’t worked out with anybody else because I had already found the man of my dreams, and all it took was time. We’re in no way perfect though. We test each other endlessly, and disagree on a lot of things, but now there’s no one, and no other crazier ride I want more. <3
This is for you, darling.