There's one boy from deep in my past who manages to come back to me in my head, my dreams, and somehow, in my heart at sometimes the most inopportune moments. And friends, I'm wondering if I'm alone in this...
He was perhaps my first love, if I ever even loved him because I'm not sure 1) that I have ever really loved any boy/man or that I'm even capable of such and 2) that I ever knew him enough to love him. But there is something that pulls at my heart, my memory and shuts down the smart part of my brain when I think of him.
I met him when I was probably 12 or so. He was my big brother's friend. He was the requisite cute, smart, athletic, sarcastic, if a tad short. I think it was the eyes and the dimples that did it for me. And I became the Number 1 Pain to him from that moment on. I teased him mercilessly. Never cut him slack on anything. Challenged him in every way. And totally wore my heart on my sleeve from day one.
In high school he was a senior and I was a freshman and we ended up on "stage crew" together for the spring show. The teasing continued, the tickling started. I was so over the moon. But he was older, with a date to the prom. I wrote him the dumbest poem ever in his graduation card. And said goodbye as he went off to the Air Force Academy.
Two years later he showed up at graduation - I was there bidding more friends goodbye and chatting up alumni. He stood by me for about 15 minutes, unnoticed. He had grown and matured. Finally he turned to me and said, "Aren't you even going to say hello?" And I melted there and then. My current boyfriend forgotten, I lapsed into the same, comfortable verbal jousting we always enjoyed. I said Yes when he asked me to go to the beach with him during his short break home. I fretted about what to wear for days, and didn't mind when the beach trip got cut short by the rain so we went home early to my parents' house where he kissed me on the living room couch and I melted.
Thus began a 6 year cycle - he'd go off to school and then later off to base, stopping home some summers and at Christmas. Sometimes he'd write a note or two inbetween. Sometimes not. But when he was in town, he'd call and I'd jump. Movies. Beach. Drives to Lookout Point. The time we watched "The Sound of Music" on my parents' couch and he sang to me, "You are 17 going on 18 I'll take care of you..." My boyfriend of the moment was always forgotten the minute he came to town. I never considered it cheating - we were just friends. And usually he just kissed me goodbye. So what if my heart ached for months afterward?
I remember Junior Year of college - he had disappeared for a while after his graduation. I was in the lounge in the middle of a dorm meeting when the hall phone rang and someone said, "Hey Mellie it's for YOU! Some Boy" I was currently dating a few boys (one the Ex). I called them "bachelor# 1 [or 2 or 3]" to their faces. I was not too happy with men in general. Until I realized It. Was. Him. Same feelings. Same buttery legs and racing heart. Same "YES" when he asked if I could see him.
We walked on the beach, had a nice dinner, shared music and laughs and a college party. "Top Gun" was still a popular movie. I thought he was Tom Cruise. I wanted him to be Bachelor #1. My friends thought he was an Arrogant Ass and kept calling him "Bachelor #4" - to his face. This time he did a little more than kiss me. I was pretty much a prude so he didn't get real far, but I thought about it. I followed him back home that night and spent the night in his otherwise empty house with him (my school was only 45 minutes from home). When it became clear I wouldn't do THAT he put me in his bed and slept in his parents' bed.
He left early the next morning, off to see the rest of his family in New Hampshire. I never did come up with a plausable excuse for showing up at my parents' house at 8am on a Saturday morning.
We saw each other one more time - about 6 months later. This time I didn't kiss him. I wouldn't even go out with him other than for a quick drink. I explained I had a serious boyfriend and that it just wasn't going to be that way between us anymore. He was so taken aback. And wished me well. When I got engaged 9 months later, I sent Him a note, explaining how much he always meant to me and hoped he would find his Mrs. Right one day like I had found mine.
We exchanged Christmas cards for a couple years - much to the total annoyance of Ex - and then we lost touch. About 12 years ago at my brother's school reunion the Boy was there and asked about me. He said to my brother, "Boy I really blew it with her didn't I." My brother's then wife [evil woman] got his number and passed it along to me. Ex and I had already begun divorce talk, although it would take another 11 years to pull the trigger, and I was home from Spain with the kids for a visit. I called the Boy. We talked. He made plans to come see me - borrowing a small jet and flying in to the local airport where I'd pick him up. I called him back and canceled. And walked away.
I have tracked him occasionally through various databases and things available on the internet. I think I know where he lives. I don't know if he ever married. He didn't show up to my brother's last reunion like we thought he was going to. I was home, just in case...
And yesterday while watching Steel Magnolias, he popped in my head again. Sometimes it's an old song, sometimes a movie, sometimes an airplane flying by. My friends were probably right about him - I mean c'mon the boy used to send me photos of himself standing next to his fighter jet or his sports car. Yeah me and probably 20 other girls. I don't know why he pops in my head like that. I can't figure out why he still means anything at all to me - lost youth? Regretful choices? Carefree jousting? Woulda coulda shouldabeens? I don't know. When I really think about it, we didn't have but a handful of dates, shared a bunch of letters, a couple phone calls. How well did I ever know him?
And so, I thought I'd turn to my bloggy friends for a normalcy check - anyone else have A Boy in the memory banks who you just can't erase?