He moved into our little town my sophomore year and caused a buzz of excitement. When everyone knows everyone, a new face is more than welcome. Devin was tall with dark hair and brown eyes. His wide smile left girls in puddles up and down the halls. I watched him run onto the football field and stared at him longingly in class. He knew he was the center of attention and he loved it.
Girls weren't the only ones smitten. Devin had many friends, but quickly found a best friend in Trent. They became inseparable, whether in class or after, on the field and at church. They teased and laughed at their boyish jokes.
Then it happened. Devin picked a girl- because truly, he had his pick. Does it matter who it was? It wasn't me. I found myself less devastated than I'd expected, and when the halo around Mr. TallDark faded, my eyes shifted to the one who was standing next to him.
Trent was just as tall, but blond and blue eyed. I had a group of guy friends I hung out with. He was one of them. Our circle had lunched together and we sat on opposite sides of the Sunday School room. He was comfortable. But, suddenly, he was something else. The air around him became shiny. One look could send my stomach into a tailspin.
Ours was an innocent courtship. Holding hands as we walked the halls. Sitting together on the bus to ball games. Slipping notes to each other when the teacher turned away. Our kisses were very chaste, so new we were to this game. I wasn't yet 16 and not allowed to date, so we spent time together when we could- school, church and any evening possible. My parents thought he was adorable. His mother did not feel that way about me. It felt so rebellious to continue our romance while she fumed.
I loved Trent as only a 15 year-old can love. I found a new confidence by seeing myself through his eyes. He professed his love for me often and without reservation. It was a shower of kindness that I basked in.
We were a couple through winter and into the crisp air of spring. I loved walking the lawn around school, my hand firmly held in his. Once a month, there were dances and we would meet there to spend the evening wrapped in each other's arms.
Summer came and my 16th birthday was just beyond the horizon. I couldn't wait for the chance to go on real dates with Trent. With school out, our time together was drastically restricted. I missed him.
Then, one Sunday, another friend began talking about dating. He had a friend, new to the area. Wouldn't it be nice if I could go out with him when I was old enough? My mind did an about face. For the first time since falling for Trent, I considered the possibility of someone else. In a moment of immature rashness, I broke up with him and consequently broke his heart. I knew almost immediately the mistake I'd made. I cried over it and tried to figure out how to fix it. I went to his home. I talked. I tried to take it back. It was too late. The damage was done.
My family moved a month later. New school, new friends, new crushes. We weren't far enough, though. Our paths still crossed, and it pained me every time. Trent had moved on. His new girlfriend and I shared a name, which felt like the ultimate betrayal. My heart ached for him for a long time.
I saw Trent a couple years ago at our class reunion. He was shorter than I remembered. And older. Of course, so am I. I introduced him to my husband and he introduced me to his wife. We sat across from each other at a table and didn't speak. Too many years had passed. We were strangers with a small, shared slice of our lives.
I'll always be grateful for my first love. He was the first to teach me what it is to be adored. The confidence of knowing someone wants nothing more than you, just you. I would find others who felt that way, and luckily married the one who felt it strongest. But, he was the first and always will be.
*This was written for TangledLou's love challenge on Periphery