Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Liked A Boy

When I was 19, I really liked a boy who wasn't my boyfriend. 

He didn't live in my hometown. He didn't have the icy blue eyes I was used to. He wasn't anywhere near 6'4 or have a gangly way to his walk.

He had a brilliant smile though. I had known him since I was 11. He smelled like grass. I even told him that. The first time he hugged me after all of those years since I had seen him last, I blurted out, "You smell." 

He had then taken a step back and looked at me confused. I immediately followed up with, "Like grass. But in a good way."

It wasn't really a compliment. But it wasn't an insult either. It was more like a fact that I awkwardly announced when my nerves took the reigns of my mouth. It made him giggle though. Which is the first time that I noticed that I had that power, he told me that later in the night.

"You certainly can't make me laugh, but you do make me giggle."

It's a statement that stuck with me. It's another one of those moments I put in my pocket and kept because it made me feel different than before he had ever said it. It changed something about my confidence.

He would get in his truck to come see me, driving 45 minutes both ways and sometimes his buddies were in tow. I liked that. I liked that he went out of his way to be near me.

We only lasted a summer as I weaved this innocent crush throughout a still young relationship with the man we now refer to as "he." This boy that I really liked who wasn't my boyfriend, he talked to me. He really talked to me. 

He'd make fun of my "city" ways and was well aware that I had someone else in my life. But that someone else I was confused about. I still have the journal entries and letters to "him" to prove it. I needed some space, and I filled that space with a boy that lived just north. 

I only saw him a handful of times during those two months at home from college. I was too scared to let go of what I currently had to break away and really sort out my feelings for this boy who had brothers and hunted and patted the floor of my parents' basement to signal that he wanted me at his side.

And now, eight years later, I almost fell for his brother (hint: you read about him in the previous post). It's funny how life circles about and how small, small towns really are. It's also strange how I never told my friends about this, except for one who was there a few times when the boy came to visit. It's also the only thing I never came clean about to the "he" who would eventually become my husband.

I kissed another boy. I liked another boy. Another boy made me feel something in a way my boyfriend, at 19, never did. I'm seeing my memories in an entirely different light now. I'm experiencing those moments in my dreams in a whole new way. I'm looking at people I've known for nearly all of my 27-years of life and realizing that I have so much more to write about than the one who stole from me. I can also write about the ones who gave me a lot. That's my clarity.

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