Whenever I'm feeling low, I think of my first love, Henry.
It was love at first sight at the tender age of 13. We were a rich kid and a poor kid in love in a school of rich kids, and we had to undergo awkward therapy sessions with the school counselor who tried to tell us that we were too young and that classes had certain tendencies etc. The entire school knew of our affair and we were dubbed "the Lovebirds". It was amazing, being so open about our relationship. I loved Henry, and I didn’t care who thought what, no matter that he wore the same clothes over and over, or that his shoes had holes, or that his backsack was torn. He made me laugh; he made me smile.
We were together through most of high school. Our junior year, we broke up though; Henry went through some pretty rough times with his family. His father was an alcoholic who spent what little money they had and beat the kids and his mother up.
I wasn’t there for him. After a while I felt that Henry’s problems were too much for me to deal with. I wanted to go be a teenager and have fun.
Somehow I feel if I was still with him those things wouldn’t have happened. My Henry needn’t have suffered so much. I could have protected him, intervened with fate and prevented all the pain. I keep blaming myself. If only this, if only that...
Two years ago I started talking to him again. We met up for coffee and talked and laughed like old friends. There was a twinkle in his eye and I felt so in love with him once more. Even the lulls in conversation felt comfortable. He was different, yet the same. He was no longer the naive shy schoolboy, afraid of what everyone thought; he was now sophisticated and fiercely independent with his own opinions. When he told me of the things he had been through I cried with him. When he told me of his girlfriend I pretended to be happy for him.
We've kept in contact since, meeting up for meals occasionally. My thoughts often stray to him, late at night or first thing in the morning, even as I lay in the arms of another. I wonder where he is, if he still thinks of me. How does he look this morning? Does he still smell of rain and popcorn? I miss you, Henry.