Chapter One – Firsts

Summer, 1995

No one ever says anything but I always feel like there is a heavy helping of judgement to accompany this story. I was 14, in the summer between 8th and 9th grades, middle and high school, although in my town, that really only meant no longer having to go into the far end of a long hallway to get to class.

He was 17. He had lived with his grandmother, his mother’s mother, for most of his life, but after getting into some minor legal trouble (I don’t even remember what it was now), she had sent him back to his mother.

His mother lived a few doors down from my cousin, with whom I spent most of my free time at that time.

I honestly don’t really remember our first official meeting, only that we hit it off. It was literally a lifetime ago. I’m also not 100% certain the order of events, only that they happened. And that part of it was over the July 4th weekend.

Of course, because he had moved to town because of legal trouble, his 18th birthday was an automatic end to our summer. But even with that, I still call him my first love.

When a 17-year-old boy gets involved with a 14-year-old girl, the assumption is that he only wants to manipulate her into something for which she is not emotionally ready. It was never like that with Alan. We kissed. A lot. And there was, for lack of a more eloquent explanation, a great deal of activity on third base, but it was all on my terms.

Or maybe he manipulated me to believe that.

No, honestly, I don’t believe that but future stories will maybe explain why that thought, a thought I never had at the time, would even creep into my mind.

He was my first love. He was my first kiss.

In what could only be described as a perfectly formulaic teen movie moment, we had our first kiss beneath the Independence Day fireworks.

At least I got to do that once in my life.

I’d like to say he gave me my first taste of alcohol but – unbeknownst to my family – that came a couple years earlier. Middle school was a rough time for me. But that’s another story for another blog. We did share a beer or two that summer.

One night, not long after that July 4th kiss, I spent the night with my cousin, as I did so many nights in the summer months. We set up a tent in her yard…

…so that her mother didn’t know it wasn’t just the two of us.

Alan and Sam, the only other friend he had made in his short time in town up to that point, joined us. I never did find out what happened between Sam and my cousin that night; I never wanted to ask. Alan and I shared a beer and a sleeping bag.

This is one of my less action-packed stories. Baby steps. Hopefully they will get better as I get more practice. But I feel like it’s an important one. Alan was my first love. My first kiss. My first real boyfriend (there was a boy a few years before, when I was 11. We held hands sometimes and stared at each other awkwardly then his family moved out of town). He was my first time spending the night with a boy. My first broken heart. I may not be able to tell you all (any) of the ways his presence in my life helped me become who I am but I would never say he didn’t.