the beginning

Let’s call him S, mostly because his name doesn’t start with S.

I was sixteen when we met. During the summer. We must have crossed paths two years prior, during the year we attended the same high school, but it would have been just that – walking past each other in a hallway. Certainly we didn’t know each other until he’d graduated, and I’d come into my own a little more.

Still, it was just after I started school that year that something stirred and I began announcing to my girlfriends that I thought my soul mate this time around was male (announcing this even as I was deeply in love with one of those friends, and trying to get into the pants of several, and oh oh do I feel silly typing all this out), and that we’d already come across one another. I didn’t think back on that much, until recently.

Anyway, summer. I’m sure we met through mutual friends. I don’t specifically remember our first contact, nor do I remember our first kiss (though I wrote a journal entry describing it with more than a little heat). My first major memory isn’t really of him at all, it’s of letters I wrote to him. Four days after that first kiss (again, I know this thanks to my journals), my aunt took me to Europe, and rather than documenting my travels in a journal, I wrote daily letters on ruled yellow paper and sent them off to him in thick packets. I bought all my envelopes in Italy; they were orange and if I folded my letters in half twice — lengthwise, then crosswise — they fit perfectly. I’d always intended to copy those letters down into a proper journal, and I tried several times, but I only finished last year, after I moved into the house I bought with (for) my ex. Just a few months before S showed up again.

(Lord, this is going to be a really long story if I keep up with these tangents.)

So, after knowing S for a very short time, I trusted him with all my memories of the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. I trusted him blindly, and though it’s not the point, he lived up to it (except for one letter that succumbed to water damage when he slept outside with it and it rained). I spent three weeks in Europe with him tucked in my pocket, on the tip of my mind.

When I got home I found letters he had written to me on his own summer travels, letters with paragraphs I remembered exactly all this time. Sometime that summer I made copies of my letters to him; fifteen years later I finished copying them into my journal. And in between, life trucked along.

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