There is more to life than him. There are cafes on cozy city corners with vintage chandeliers and that waiter that always smiles at you when you order a chai latte. There are christmas trees that shine through apartment windows and that seventy year old couple across the hall who walk around the park at 9:30 every morning. Rainy Thursdays when you’re awoken by the patter of rain on your roof and Sunday nights when the week is yours to conquer. There’s swimming in the ocean at dusk when the sky is pink and the saltwater is warm. There’s sweet wine to drink with your best friends and karaoke songs to butcher with any willing participant. There are bubble baths after a long day and a clean bed with fresh sheets. There are adventures waiting in some far off country and a boy who will look at you one day like you’re the only person in the damn world. There is more to life than heartbreak.
The first boy you fall in love with is the starting quarterback. His blonde locks grace the top of his head like a halo and other girl’s mouths involuntarily drop when he walks by, and yet he chooses you. After the football games you get into his rusty pickup truck, but he doesn’t drive you home; always his house first. You say nothing when his hands go too far up your skirt and when his team loses he gets angry, really angry, and you might leave his house with a bruise or two but it’s okay because you love him, right? You were only sixteen.
The second boy you fall in love with smokes cigarettes and wears old leather jackets. He listens to classic rock on a stolen record player in his room with black walls. His fingers strum the chords of that angry electric guitar as you watch from a table in the back of the bar. He thinks he knows everything about the world, everything about you, but he really only talks about himself. He’s mysterious and confusing and yet you think maybe he’s the one. You utter I love you in the darkness of his room one night, but he pretends not to hear. You were seventeen.
The third boy you fall in love with reads alone in the library during lunch and twiddles his thumbs when he asks you out after chemistry class. He comes to your house that night with roses and introduces himself to your father with a shaky voice. He brings you to a movie and takes an hour to muster up the courage to hold your hand. His warm fingers intertwine with yours and suddenly it’s bliss. He walks you to your doorstep and after a terribly awkward silence, he leans in and places an innocent peck on your lips. Overtime, he makes you realize you were never really in love, not until him. You’re eighteen, and you finally got it right.
hard to know what love is when you’ve never really had it