An Open Letter To My High School Love

*Sigh.*

This is a chapter of my life that I haven’t opened in years, but here we are, opening it, reading it, and maybe even rewriting some parts now that I am an older and wiser version of me.

It all started sophomore year. We first talked in the library and boy will I have that moment ingrained in my brain forever. At first, you were just some boy my friend knew, but you quickly became so much more than that. We had an instant connection, an unbreakable bond. But that day in the library…that day unleashed a two-and-a-half year whirlwind of emotions. However, I would never trade that experience for anything in the world for it taught me so much. Although our history could be a whole other article, I am choosing to live in the present. So my love, now that the readers at least have our origin, here’s to you.

We started off as friends, but with each text, each free period, we got closer and closer. I opened up, which is incredibly hard for me to do, but with you, it was so easy. Easy. That’s how it always was. You understood me and we understood each other. I was undeniably, unapologetically myself around you. I was so comfortable and I had never felt safer. I wore my heart on my sleeve, which again, I don’t do. But with you, I knew it was secure. I wasn’t afraid to because I felt protected by you. I felt loved and cared for; supported. When I was with you, nothing in the world mattered. Whether we were at the diner, the beach, the movies, or even texting, all the background noise fell silent. It was just you and I in our own bubble. There were times when I swear I was looking at the world through rose-colored sunglasses. Cliché, I know.

But then, you broke my heart. Shattered it to pieces. I could feel it. Not only did I face heartbreak because the guy I liked didn’t choose me, but also because I lost a best friend. The best person I had ever met came into my life when I didn’t know I needed someone and then you walked right out. In and out, in and out, time and time again. Betrayal.  Embarrassment. Confusion. Sadness. All these feelings running through me and I didn’t know how to juggle them all because the person who I went to with anything and everything was suddenly not that person anymore. What do I do when we run into each other in the halls? Do I say hi? No, it will be too hard. I didn’t think we would be normal ever again. But time passes and we heal. You slowly came back into my life, this time better, different.

The end of senior year sprung upon us too fast, or in other words senior prom season, and you invited me. You invited me! I still remember where I was when I got your text. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to make of it at first. I guess I never really thought the day would come because a) school dances were never your thing and b) I did not think everything we had been through would have led to that moment...but I said yes. Sitting with you on the bus, our legs slightly touching, the subtlest yet one of the most significant moments we’ve had. Later that night when you told me you had feelings for me, well, it was about time. Unfortunately, things between us never really went anywhere. We talked a lot about it…what it would look like. We went on a few “dates” though nothing really felt different between us. Weeks later betrayal came over me when you told me that you, in fact, did not have the same feelings for me as I did for you.  That is where our story ends.

I write this today because I want to thank you. Thank you because this was the most real life experience I have ever had. Thank you because I learned just how much inner strength I have. Thank you because I know what heartbreak feels like and I know that I will get through it when it happens again. Most importantly, thank you for letting me love you. Thank you for allowing me to know what love feels like, to know that I have the potential to feel that strongly, that those intense feelings exist within me. Sure, there are moments when I truly think I will never love anyone as much as I loved you, but those same feelings mean that I am human, and that is perfectly okay with me.