Six Years Going Strong
By Danielle, age 17, South Carolina
Middle school love never lasts, at least that's what I was always told. It's obvious now those people never experienced true middle grade love. Sure, we didn't make it past those eighth grade halls with hands intertwined, but our love influenced those around us and smashed through our high school halls. Three solid years of my life went to him, and what do I have to show for it?
A box full of letters, a lost heart, and a mind full of memories haunts my life every day, but the most important contribution he made was friendship. The words "I'm sorry" still linger indefinitely in my mind as if one day they will actually mean something once again. That tight touch and high-pitched voice fill the chambers of my heart, replacing the happiness that resided there with pure pain.
It all started off as a meaningless prank for a hated girl on a picnic table at Team Time. This sacred time on Fridays the school let us have "our time," as they would call it. To all us students we saw it as "torture on the blacktop". Our teachers would align the benches and whisper about their students as if we couldn't hear them, and we would separate into groups as far away from them as possible. Thirty minutes is all we had, but those minutes dragged by in agony even though it was our fun time.
One of those Fridays altered my life forever. Everything was planned perfectly for the occasion and followed through with great precision. He asked me, I said yes, she got mad, and it ended, well, not quite. We had to make it seem real so we decided to date for at least a week. Well, that week turned into weeks, and those weeks into months.
Every day we sat together at lunch outside, and walked the halls in step beside one another. We shared secrets and spent long days with each other. What started out as a harmless joke turned into rapid, flourishing love. Fall turned into spring many times before we realized how much time had passed. To this day I don't know what made that last month so bad, but I can only figure he realized something within himself. Our three year mark approached as we stayed on the phone waiting for the clock to turn to twelve. How was I supposed to know this would be the last time?
"I love you, Babe."
"I love you too, Sweetie."
Right after the call ended I jumped online to announce our three year mark. Everyone had been jealous of the love we shared, as far as we could tell. People said we would get married - boy, they didn't see this coming. No one did. I signed onto Yahoo Messenger (wow, old days) and scrolled to see who was online. I was only in the C's when his IM box appeared.
Hello my Dear<3
I've got something to tell you Danielle.
Alright. Spit it out then silly. lol.
It's over Danielle. It's not that I don't love you cause Baby I do. I just need something new ya know?
NO. I don't know! How about you explain it to me! INFORM ME!
Danielle is now offline.
We didn't speak for months. Every night I cried myself to sleep, but tears don't last forever. The river dried up after a few weeks of constantly flowing. Sleep is a gracious understatement for only getting two to four hours of sleep a night. All his letters were tear stained and crumpled beneath my body. My phone scrolled through his texts over and over until it would die at night. I couldn't talk or much less walk by this time. My knees seemed to buckle beneath me if I attempted to stand.
In the hallways I ignored him.
At Team Time I sat near a tree.
At lunch I sat alone.
This went on for months until I decided to log onto Yahoo one last time before I deleted it: *****firstname.lastname@example.org. His IM box popped up immediately with an old message.
I knew you'd be mad. Honestly, I wanted to do it in person, but whenever a time came up I just couldn't do it.
I exited it off only for it to arise again.
Danielle! Don't sign off! Just listen please!
I can't take this anymore. I love you so much! You're all I think and dream about. I'm sorry for everything I've done to you. Can we pretend this never happened?
Pretend it never happened?!?!?!?!? Are you serious? I've spent months dying on the inside because of stupid you! That feeling doesn't just diminish with a simple I'm sorry!
Danielle I'm sorry. I know how you feel, but please just give me one more chance to show you I'm not as stupid as you think.
No. Never again!
Can we be friends at least?
I know it seems stupid, but just hear me out. We both need each other in our lives. I see you at school Danielle. That light about your face is gone. We need each other.
Okay, fine. Maybe .....
Just say you'll try =(
Thank you. I promise you won't regret this.
Your promises mean nothing to me anymore.
Danielle is now offline.
No one told me how hard it would be to be his friend. Gradually I started talking to him again, but it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I watched other girls hug him and saw their names on his hands (middle school trends, ugh). Over time it became easier, once I realized he wasn't the same guy I dated and fell in love with. Something had changed about him.
It was me.
Our love had shown him what love really was and what it felt like to lose it. He thanked me every day with that same embracing hug and crystal blue eyes. The life had returned in my emerald stones along with the accompanying best friend I had always wanted. Sure, we tried again, but it was apparent we could never have what we did before. Three years as lovers and three years of friendship have given me the best past six years of my life.
Today, I'm with a guy who has showed me there's always room for someone to love you more than any man before him. I may love him more than my ex, but no one can replace my first love.
To all those who say that middle school love doesn't last, I just proved you wrong. You never specified what kind of love it had to be.