You never forget your first love. Some of us may get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss; but every once in a while, you find someone who's iridescent, and once you do, nothing will ever compare.
You don't begin life until you begin high school. It's when all your senses are awakened, and you feel the first stirring of existence. I still remember to this day, the lonely smart boy in my class who didn't talk much, advanced beyond his years who kept a small number of friends and had the reputation of being cool and collected. The first day I stepped in class, he turned to look at me from his solitude corner, gave me a weary nod like the world was about to collapse on his shoulder, and then he suddenly grinned. And I was irrevocably in love. But it was not as sunshiny as it sounded, because the feeling was strange to me and I did not acknowledge it quite as I would have if me now were me then. We were in the same class for three years, and all he ever cared about was being on top of the class, and all I cared about was how to beat him to it, and all the other classmates cared about were love letters, Manchester United, New Kids on the Block, and keeping up with the latest hair trend. He kept to his friends, I kept to mine, and occasionally when I beat him to the top, he would grudgingly but admiringly congratulate me, in so little as a sentence. Oh I dreamed about him. I fantasized about him. In as much as my young 13 year old mind would allow.
Then one day two years later, on the eve of SRP, he asked to borrow my History notes. He never borrowed any of my notes before. He never borrowed from anybody either, especially not girls. He was that smart and that proud not to borrow anyone's notes. Period. So when he borrowed mine, it spoke volume.
And following that, unconventionally, and it all went without saying, during the exam period ... was how he unofficially became my high-school boyfriend. In as much as the dating scene in those days allowed - short love notes, scribbles on text books, booth phone calls, and occasional walks from the classroom to the toilet and back. We never sit together in class. We never stayed back after class. We never held hands. Not even a kiss, if we only knew how. No hand-phone, no Internet. And all the time, I had my best friend chaperoned me from afar.
I wrote two whole journals about the whole encounter. He deserved to be put in three, but there was too little communication or perhaps it was one-sided initially, that I had not much else to write about other than my own imagination and fantasy. I could compose a whole page just narrating about him asking me for an extra pencil. Or about him being sick. Or about the way he sipped his coke. Or about the way he walked. Or about the way he combed his hair. Or about his expressive eyes and hooded expression. Or about his voice.
I flipped so hard I was this close to finish a whole novel. It was the best first-love story I've ever experienced. But then something happened during the intermittent period awaiting exam results. I grew up. Up until now, I had a feeling he still resented me for it. But then, that's another story.
Every now and then when I think about him, I thought of how I used to feel back then. We were so different in personalities everyone wondered how it was that he had chosen me out of all the other girls. Or to be accurate... how it was that I had chosen him. What was right about it all is the age-old saying - you do not choose who you love. You just do.
You may call it infatuation, crush, puppy love, anything ... but even in our naivete, we had called it first love. And like the first of every experience, you will always be reminded of it. The irony of it is, you will also remember your first heartache. Flipped for life...
If I had it any other way, what would I have done differently? My bet would be not to end it. But hey, I was just 15. What did I know?