Boxes of chocolate, candy hearts, cliché love quotes emblazoned on stuffed animals…it’s that time of year again. And as corny as it can sometimes be…I have to admit I love it. I love every bit about Valentine’s Day, but not because of all of the savory sweets (though that is a plus). I love it because I get to spoil my best friend with sickeningly sweet treats and remind him of how much I love and adore him; my boyfriend, Kris.
I have heard many times, and from a variety of sources, that your first love will never be the person you end up with. That person is supposedly some sort of trial-run, a part of growing up, you will eventually grow apart and find your own ways. I completely disagree.
I met Kris at the most unlikely of times. At 16 years old, I was going down a questionable path, and always out and about into something with my best friend at the time. I’ll never forget the look on our faces when our eyes met. A big, strong, tan, lifeguard-looking guy wants to dance with ME?
And we did. We danced all night long. At 16 and 18 life was bliss. It was an unforgettable summer. Missing curfews by night and playing poolside by day.
Life was good.
It didn’t take long until we fell in love. It was inevitable, but it took us several months before we finally said it. Neither of us had ever been in love before, never had a serious boyfriend or girlfriend. But this. Now this was something else. He made me feel so accepted, like no matter what -everything was alright. I always wanted to be with him. After long nights of dance rehearsals I would drive clear across town just to see him for as little as an hour. He had become a part of me.
After a year of being inseparable, and another blissful summer, the day had finally come. Kris headed to Eastern Oregon University for his first year as a college football player. The night before he left we had a big party with all of his high school friends. That night has been seared into my memory. I had never seen him cry before, but as tears rolled down his cheeks, I sobbed –for his sadness as well as my own.
The following year was extremely difficult, but with Skype and visits every few weekends, we did it. We made it through. I attended Eastern Oregon University with him the following year. Now, yet another year later, we are stronger than ever. Our love has definitely matured, but that intensely passionate way that all emotions are felt with a first love still remains, and I pray that it doesn’t ever fade away. Because even though it means I will feel the sad times so very deeply, I feel the happy times with that same intensity.
So this Valentine’s Day, I cannot wait to honor my lover, my hero, my partner-in-crime, my best friend, the one who continues to grow with me, Kristopher.