By Hannah, age 14, South Carolina
A fall breeze blows my auburn hair; the sun casts light on my tear-dripped face. My hands trembling, I reach for my glass of lemonade. The sugary-sour substance trickles down my throat. I swish the ice in the cup to make a noise other than the sounds of me whimpering for a stupid boy. I whisper, "I'll never forget the memories of lemonade."
As gravel flies behind my go-kart wheels, my body pumps adrenaline. "Hannah, get ready. We're going to meet the folks across the street. Mud covered or not!" my dad yells.
I'm dressed now. I was forewarned that a really cute boy about my age resided across the street. Walking, I see a few distant figures sitting down, laughing. I make my way over to say hello. I already know one of the boys, Jeremy, from school. The other two stand up to introduce themselves. "I'm Joshua. You're pretty."
I giggle nervously and turn towards the boy more my age. "I'm Hannah."
"Uh ... Loften." He sounded kind of mean. They turn around and continue to laugh, so I question it. "See that lizard?" Loften says. I nodded. "We killed it with a stick." Boys.
I stayed and hung out a while with my new friend, but eventually I had to leave him. From that day we were best friends, until that wasn't all I wanted to be anymore. I had feelings for someone like I'd never had before. I was always nervous around him, always trying to look good for him.
One spring day I walked home with the cousin of Loften's ex-girlfriend. She knew how I felt about him, even though we were keeping it a secret from pretty much everyone, especially our parents. He was finally my boyfriend, all mine. However, I had a problem. I hadn't been kissed yet, though I wouldn't let him know that.
Jeremy, Loften's best friend whom I had known since second grade, shared that he hadn't been kissed either and that he wanted me to be his first kiss. But I was dating Loften. I was so confused. Heart racing, tummy fluttering, smile widening, I couldn't help myself. He leaned in and so did I.
Wishing nobody had seen, we walked to class, promising to never - and we meant never - speak of it again. But someone did see, and they told Loften. He broke up with me. He returned to me though, and I knew never to make that mistake again.
We grew very close - I loved him. Oddly enough, we lived on the same road. Lemonade road. When Loften and I would sneak out at night and meet at our special place, we always had the most amazing talks.
"Hannah, you see that star?" His voice was shaking at the same speed as the hand I was holding.
I simply replied, "Yes."
"I think of you when I see it. As long as that star is in the sky, I'll keep loving you." His lips gently pressed against my blushing cheeks. More and more nights like this captured my heart for his keeping.
I remember, in the middle of the road, where the pavement changed to gravel, Loften first told me he loved me. He meant it ... at least I thought he did. I thought the nights on lemonade road would be eternal.
I can't begin to explain how comforting Loften was. He amazed me with every breath. A long and lovely five months together ruined by an unfixable conflict. But my love for him never died.
Eight longer months passed, full of mistakes, regrets, and lessons learned. I missed him more than anything. I needed him more than ever. I pinky-promised my heart to him; forever and forever, he will have it.
"We've been talking a lot lately ..." I paused. "What's this mean?"
"Hannah, I still love you. Can you come over tonight?"
I said sure, and hung up the phone and began to get ready.
I walked in his front door, feeling awkward ...
"Where's your mom?" Ignored. "Loften!"
Tugging on my hand, with a huge smile, "We're alone at last, Hannah."
Music woke me from my flashback; I jumped up startled. One new text message.
I miss you.
I miss you too, Loften.
Some things never go away. I honestly believe if it's true love it will always have a spark like Loften and I had. No matter what, you can never forget nor replace your first love.
But I'd never try.