They say you never forget your first love.
David was mine.
At the beginning of junior year of high school, I was totally crushing on him. We were in the same group of friends. We had a few classes together, but I remember our ap chemistry class. I wasn’t suppose to be in that class because my math level wasn’t high enough, but my mom had gotten me in anyways. I was obviously behind in math and David was obviously ahead. He’s a math genius. He was like three or four levels above me, taking calculus ab while I was taking geometry. He helped me understand the math, I helped him understand the concepts. The chem class was mostly our group of friends, so we went to all of the Panera study sessions together and we basically ruled that class. Honestly, this class developed my first love with David, and my forever love with science. If Vanicek hadn’t let us goof off all class, I might not have loved David or science.
David and I went from hanging out only in our group of friends to hanging out alone. We acted like a couple, but we didn’t do anything about it until March. He asked me to junior prom at one of my club volleyball tournaments with a huge banner and a shirtless Jp as a question mark. I knew Gabbie had orchestrated most of it, but it was amazing. I loved it. We went to prom in a big group of our friends. We danced and had a great time. We went to some afterparty and drank a little, but we went back to my house pretty early. I changed out of my dress and we laid down on my basement couch like we had so many times before. He asked me to be his girlfriend and we had our first kiss that quickly turned into our first makeout. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s a night I’ll never forget.
And then I left on my weeklong DECA trip to Anaheim. When I got home, David was waiting for me in my driveway with flowers. Then we spent the summer together. I painted up for his state game, we went to a Carrie Underwood concert, we watched the sunset from the back of his beat-up, old, red pickup truck in the middle of nowhere, we went to the zoo and the college world series, and basically spent everyday together whether we were alone or with all of our best friends. We were happy. We fought about stupid shit because we were stupid high schoolers, but it was exciting and fresh and we were happy.
Then I got early acceptance to Texas A&M and things got hard. There was no way in hell that I was going to give up my dream school, no matter how amazing his eyes were. He knew that, so he applied to A&M. Spoiler alert: he didn’t get in. We both decided to spend our senior year as if college wasn’t a real thing.
He went to all of my volleyball games and I went to all of his soccer games. We went to homecoming and football games and parties and hung out all the time. We got really close. This is pretty bad, but I don’t remember the first time we said I love you. I can’t even remember who said it first. I’ve always had a shit memory for stuff like that. I remember having a blast at Blake’s annual New Year’s Eve party, then he started wanting to have sex. I don’t know why, but I set some arbitrary rule for myself that I had to be eighteen.
For my birthday he cooked me dinner. It was great and I remember that he bought these new gray pants for that night. His ass looked amazing. He thought we would have sex then, but I didn’t want to lose my virginity on my birthday. I don’t know why, but it seemed wrong. It was my day and I didn’t want to share it with any other milestones besides me surviving another year. For Valentine’s day, he took me on my dream date to Build a Bear Factory. God I’m so fucking embarrassing, but it was everything that high-school-me wanted. I made him a monkey named Lionel Messi and he made me a puppy named Charlie after the restaurant he took me to before our first date to junior prom. We still didn’t have sex. This time, I didn’t want to be cliche. He bothered me about it constantly, but just in a stupid guy way, not in a pressuring asshole way.
A couple days later, we were hanging out watching movies in my basement. I don’t know what changed, but I was suddenly just ready. Ready for him to stop bothering me about it, ready to get it over with, ready to be able to talk with all of my girlfriends since I was the last one still hanging onto my v-card. My parents said they were going out with Michelle and Todd and left for the night. I remember looking at David and asking, “Wanna have sex?” His eyes lit up and we went to my bedroom. We lost our virginity to each other. Then we went to dinner at Chik fil a.
My friends were right. It wasn’t like the world tilted on its axis. I didn’t feel different. I didn’t love David any more or any less, but we did share something bigger. We gave something to each other that was a one time only present. There are no do overs when you lose your virginity. I don’t want a do over. Maybe David does, but I don’t. My first time wasn’t roses and chocolates, but it was real. I was so in love with him and he was so in love with me. It felt right. It was right. I’m glad it was David.
Prom season was quickly approaching. I wanted David to ask me to prom. I know we were dating so it was kinda ridiculous, but lots of guys still ask their girlfriends. I wasn’t shy about telling David I wanted him to ask me, preferably in some cute way. I talked about it all the time. I told my friends to ask him if he had any plans, but he always blew them off. At first I thought he had something planned, but as prom got closer and closer, I worried that he really wasn’t going to ask me. I basically begged him everyday to just ask me. I told him I didn’t care if it was cute, he could just say the words, write me a note, text me, I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to be asked. He always said he had it handled.
Somehow I got it into my head that he must’ve planned something the day of prom just to get back at me for annoying him. My excitement built and I was constantly on the lookout for him to surprise me, but by the time I went to my hair dresser, I knew that he hadn’t planned anything. He thought it was just a forgone conclusion that I would go with him. I went to the bathroom halfway through my updo and cried my eyes out.
I remember this moment so clearly. I was hunched over the white marble sink, blotting a cold paper towel under my eyes to lessen the swelling as tears continued to stream down my face. I was wearing one of my dad’s ugly old flannels so I could unbutton it and take it off without ruining my hair, half of which was teased, braided, and pinned up and the other half was just in a clip at the side of my head.
A thousand scenarios went through my head. Honestly, I didn’t want to go. My boyfriend, my first love, had let me down. I felt betrayed. Because he didn’t ask me to prom even though I made it very clear that it was important to me. I had asked friends to help him, and he had pushed them away. I had begged him and he had ignored me. It turned into something bigger than just being asked to prom. I had wanted something so badly, something only he could give to me, and he had just chosen not to do anything. He knew it would hurt me, but he did it anyways. And he led me on about it. He kept pretending like he was going to ask me, but he never did. He broke my heart.
I had been crying for way too long. My hair dresser probably thought I was taking a huge shit. I finally got control of myself. I looked into the mirror at my swollen eyes and I didn’t want to go to prom. And in that moment, I hated myself. I hated myself for letting a guy put me in this position. I had found a red dress that made me look fucking amazing. My hair was going to look amazing and then I was going to get airbrushed makeup. I was not going to let a stupid boy take this night away from me. He didn’t deserve me, but I deserved to have the night of my dreams.
I finished getting my hair and makeup done and then I got in my dress. I felt like a million bucks. Or more. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as good about myself as I did on that night. I was a force to be reckoned with. And then I saw David and I realized I wasn’t as strong as I thought. I was planning on telling him to go fuck himself and that I was going to prom solo and I was going to be the hottest girl there, but one look into his seriously amazing blue eyes and I knew I wasn’t going to do that. He knew I wasn’t alright. I was blinking back tears, but he said all the right things. He knew I was mad and he was sorry. I couldn’t stomach it. I just told him we’d talk after.
We took pictures that made us look like a happy couple. We went to dinner and we danced. A really annoying girl got crowned prom queen and I rolled my eyes and bitched to everyone about it, taking my bad mood out on her and her ugly dress. It felt almost like normal when we were in our group of friends, but on the ride home everything hit again full force. I was feeling all of these emotions and I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I wanted him to know how much he hurt me, but it was just a stupid prom invite. I hated myself for valuing something so petty. I hated myself for relying on a boy to give me validation. I hated myself for needing someone.
Then we got pulled over. It was actually quite hilarious. When people ask me about my prom, this is what I tell them about. David had driven his dad’s nice suv thing instead of his rusty pick up truck. David thought I didn’t like his truck, but I did, I loved it. I loved the memories of him teaching me stick shift and I loved riding in the middle seat, his arm around me as we cruised. Anyways, David didn’t know how to work the lights on his dad’s car and we got pulled over on the interstate. We explained out situation, and the policeman just looked relieved that we were completely sober. He could probably tell because the air awkwardly emotional and filled with unsaid feelings. The policeman just reached in, turned on the lights, and sent us on our way.
I don’t remember much of the rest of the night. I think we went to Connor’s. I don’t think I drank that much. I’m sure we fought. I’m positive David cried. I know I didn’t sleep with him. I’m one hundred percent certain my heart was broken.
I tried to break up with him on the way home the next day, but he talked me into getting back with him. A lot of people thought I was heartless and that I didn’t love David as much as he loved me, but most of them don’t realize just how hurt I was. I knew it was a stupid thing to be so mad over, he and everyone else told me so. He never told me why he didn’t ask me. He just said he didn’t know and that I was overreacting. I believed him.
Our relationship was never the same. We spent the summer together, trying to get back to where we were before prom, but we couldn’t. I hated myself for letting him treat me that way. I tried to break up with him again when I left for Texas, but he talked me into trying for a semester. Most people wouldn’t believe that David could talk me into anything, but I loved him. I put on a tough face for everyone, but I loved him even after he broke my heart. I felt so pathetic and I hated myself for it, but I stayed with him.
Then I went to college. I didn’t tell anyone I had a boyfriend. I never picked up when David called me and I barely texted him back. I even went on dates with other guys, although I never let them hold my hand or kiss me or anything close to that. I even went on to a fraternity date party where we stayed in Dallas for two nights for the big Arkansas game. I didn’t let him do anything, but we drank and danced and slept in the same bed. I went out on my own and I explored who I was without David. I grew up. I loved myself more everyday. I didn’t want to go back to being the girl I was with David.
When I came home for Christmas break, I went to visit him at his dorm. He grew a beard and I hated it and made him shave. Then I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life and I slept with him on his dorm bed, knowing I was going to break up with him after. But once again, I couldn’t do it. I didn’t even try. It took me a couple of days to gather up the courage again, and then it was the day before Christmas Eve. I asked him to meet me between our houses, since we his house backed up to my street, but like two houses down. It was really convenient when we wanted to sneak around and when I wanted to break up with him a neutral, private place. I guess the middle of the street isn’t exactly private, but whatever.
I watched him coming down the street and went to meet him. It was snowing, but he was only wearing a thin jacket because he was stupid like that. He was already crying so I could tell he knew what was coming. I wrapped the blanket I made him for Christmas over his shoulders and I broke up with him. No matter what he said, I stood my ground. I knew I was breaking his heart, but he had already broken mine. I left him kneeling in the snow, sobbing as I cried the short walked back to my house.
That night I heard his familiar taps against my window. He wouldn’t stop, but I was determined to keep my distance. I put in my headphones and waited until morning. He had left gifts on my window sill, but it was an odd collection of random items. A superhero toy, even though I loathe superheroes and he knew that. Some hemp cord that I still to this day wonder why he gave to me. A wood carving of his initials. It was literally a random assortment of shit and I want to know if that was suppose to make me miss him or be my Christmas gift, either way I’m still confused as hell about it.
I talked to him because we were in the same group of friends, but we didn’t resolve anything.Then it was Blake’s annual New Years Ever party and David got drunk as shit and cried loudly all night until I told him to shut the hell up or cry somewhere else. I can see why people thought I was heartless. I guess I kinda am. I went back to Texas and I thought he’d get over me. He texted me more than he did when we were together, saying the type of things that every girl wants to hear. He said he was going to move to College Station and go to community college to be with me, but I knew he couldn’t afford college without his scholarship. Our friends said he stopped showering and going to class. He said it was my fault, but I had always told him you are in control of your own happiness. And he was making me unhappy. So I blocked his number and I’ve never really seen or heard from him since.
All of our friends stopped hanging out with him because they say he went off the deep end. When I came home for summer break, no one had seen or heard from him. I made Erika text him the following Thanksgiving to see if he was alive. He was, and he had finally changed his profile picture from the picture of us at junior prom. Sometimes I see someone around campus who looks like David and I’m still afraid he followed through with his threat to move here to win me over.
Last weekend I went to a professional soccer game with the friends I’ve made in my research program. David was all I could think about. I knew he would’ve loved being there. I was that annoying girl who talked about her ex boyfriend, and once again I hated myself. I really wanted to text David. I almost unblocked his number, but then I texted Jenna hoping she would tell me what a horrible idea it was. She told me it was okay to text him. If Jenna thought it was fine, there was no way Erika was going to tell me no. So I texted Mason, and even completely hammered at some punk rock concert with Jp and Ryan, Mason gave me the answer I was looking for: why the fuck would you even consider doing that. Relieved, I kept his number blocked and his well-being a mystery.
I honestly hope he’s doing great. I hope he is kicking ass in college for engineering. I hope he has amazing friends. I hope he gets a great job and marries the perfect girl and gets everything he wants out of life. That’s the truth. I wish all of that for him, because he’s brought me closer to having that for myself. After almost two years without him, I have gained a new perspective. He wasn’t a perfect boyfriend, and I know I wasn’t close to a perfect girlfriend. He probably remembers our relationship differently than I do. These are the parts that were important enough for me to remember.
I don’t regret any of the time I spent with David, except that first semester of freshman year. I shouldn’t have been dating him and going out with other guys. That was one of the worst things I’ve ever done. But I’ve definitely done worse. I still get mad when I think about not getting asked to senior prom and I still hate myself for feeling that way. But I wouldn’t change any of it. It made me who I am today, and I kinda like myself right now.
David taught me so much about love, about life, and about myself. I wish I could thank him for that.
I loved David. A part of me always will.
They say you never forget your first love.
I know I’ll never forget mine.
my fav pic ever of us up to no good in walmart // im high on pain meds for my broken as fuck arm
academic excellence ceremony junior year // our first pic just us two
junior year prom // please excuse my fat arm
carrie underwood concert // david hated country
summer dates in dundee // memorial park
senior year homecoming // we were so damn happy
me breaking my ankles trying to ice skate // he just pulled me along
blakes annual new years eve party // before all of the yearly drama
my eighteenth birthday party // some italian restaurant
build a bear dream date // featuring charlie and messi
academic excellence ceremony a year later // also the last picture where we’re still virgins
senior prom // fake smile
all star soccer game // david’s team won and he looked so hot when he played
our very last pic together // marissa’s going away party before freshman year