I am attending an in-school workshop with an author I enjoyed, Vicki Grove. My friends Theresa, Ashley, and Ben sat with me. The girls and I were discussing the school dance that was a couple months away. As we were discussing it, Ben turns around (he was sitting in front of me) and asks me to the dance. I had a crush on him for a few months and I happily accepted.
Ben and I had our first date shortly after that. We went to see the movie Lost in Space with a couple others (I think it was his twin brother Nathan and one of his two girlfriends at the time-- yes he had two girlfriends). We saw the movie at the AMC theaters in town (which not long after our first date closed for good. It is now an Office Max). Sometime after the 8th grade spring dance, we officially called ourselves a couple.
Between 8th and 9th grade, we spend a decent amount of time together. I went to some of his baseball games, he wrote me letters from Boy Scout camp, and we saw several movies. One of them was Armageddon, which gave us our song, Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing."
We entered high school ready for an awesome four years. We figured out when we would see each other between classes and sat together at lunch. I attended his football games occasionally. One Friday night, watching the varsity game, we somehow got into a conversation about kissing. We were with his twin brother and my friend Kathryn. Both of them knew we hadn't kissed yet (which at that point we were together for about six months). Nathan demonstrates that it's easy and kisses Kathryn (to her surprise). Hours later, my Mom picked all of us up and took the twins home, Ben was retrieving his bag from the trunk of the car and decided to kiss me. I felt like I was in heaven that night. A couple weeks later (and a lot of kissing later), we go to Homecoming together and have a blast!
Ben calls me two days before Christmas and breaks up with me. I am upset and seek out my friend Ashley for moral support. The next day, Ben's mom brings him over to my house. He gives me a present and asks me to forgive him for breaking up with me. I forget about how hurt I felt and was happy we got back together.
Over the following year, we have many enjoyable times. We see several movies, hang out at birthday parties, go mini golfing, and I even attended church with his family. I attended his football and baseball games and saw him perform with the high school orchestra, like any good supportive girlfriend should. :-) We also fell in love. We were open and honest with each other and loved when we had time for just the two of us.
During our sophomore year, Ben gained several friends through orchestra and theater. Several of them were girls and I sensed that they were jealous of me because I was with Ben, especially at my Sweet 16 birthday party, where he serenaded me with a song in front of everybody. I ignored the feelings of animosity with those girls and reminded myself that Ben was with me.
Yeah, that didn't last much longer.
Two days after Christmas, Ben called me. His best friend Khalid was in town and I was ready to go over and visit with them. That never happened. Ben broke up with me instead, and this time it was for good.
It took me a really long time to get over him. For one, we never stopped hanging out. It's very difficult to move on when we continued to sit together at lunch and hang out with the same group of friends. Then he cheated on his next girlfriend with me, which made me feel like he wanted me back so I let it happen for several months. After that whole mess ended (as in he and I stopped seeing each other in secret and after they broke up), our relationship with each other had shifted. We became friends.
In our first semester of college, we had a mini reunion of sorts. We visited each other a few times (I was in St. Louis and he was in Kirksville, which was about a 3 hour drive). To me, it was enjoyable because it was comforting and it brought back good memories.
Today, we remain friends. Even though Ben was my first love, I don't have any loving feelings for him anymore. After all the years, I finally realized that we were never meant to be together and I was fine with that. I also think that it's really unique that we continue to have a great friendship and any feelings we had for each other in the past will never get in the way. I attended his wedding last fall and have become friends with his wife. He was my high school sweetheart and I will never forget the good times we had as a couple.