The first Chris
Our high school uniforms did not allow for much individuality being they consisted of white polos and khaki pants at all times. The more "alternative" kids, such as myself and Chris, would use hair dye, piercings, and funky glasses to break up the monotony of the dreaded Catholic school expectations. Chris wore yellow-tinted glasses, had long hair, and was short with a beard. He was a dream. When I would see him walking in the hallway with his goofy grin and hear that contagious laugh, I would melt inside. The romance between Chris and I started when I joined a band called, "Stuck in Puberty." Yes, you read that correctly. That was the name of our very serious band. A friend of mine introduced me to her older brother and his friends who were in need of a drummer, so I became their "drummer" (I use quotations here because I knew only one beat and played that same beat in every one of our songs). I was extremely quiet and reserved, so they thought it funny to nickname me "Rage." When our bassist was absent, Chris would fill in. He was really talented at the bass and would later tour with a band after high school. I started crushing hard and I think one of our friends helped us get together. I remember feeling like an imposter going to prom with him when I was only a sophomore. From there, we dated and had a lot of fun together. We went to many concerts, ate lots of delicious food, snuck in and out of each other's houses (since we both still lived with our parents). He was extremely sentimental and artistic. I still have some of the paintings he made me because they are too beautiful to get rid of. Even though it was young love, I do believe I felt real love with him. He was my first love and it was the first time I realized that I could feel safe around a man. It became difficult when he was in college and I was still in high school. We couldn't see each other as much and I felt like our lifestyles were really different. We ended up parting ways. Well, to be honest, I broke up with him and hurt his heart. It's something that I still feel awful about to this day, but I know that it was the right decision, even after all this time. I have recently moved back to my hometown and will occasionally, unintentionally drive by the park across the street from his house. I see his same car in the driveway and I will begin to reminisce fondly of the times we had together. I also feel a strong hope in my heart that he is doing well. Oddly enough, I am now engaged to a different Chris and it feels like a different kind of love, an adult love. I'm grateful for the love I shared with my first Chris. It all sounds a little strange, but I often ponder the reasons why people come in and out of our lives. Maybe his reason was to teach me how to love, which in turn, helped me love my second Chris. Even though the first Chris and I no longer speak, I do hope that he is doing alright and living a happy, healthy life and I hope I never forget that feeling of first love.