Back in 1998, my family moved to a small town in Louisiana with one caution light and one small Mom and Pop store. School started and I began seventh grade with all new people and my baby sister. (I was held back in first grade due to an illness keeping me hospitalized the whole year) I walked into the gym where our seventh grade classes were gathered and two girls; Kristen and JoAnn, met me with smiles and made me feel welcome. As I was getting settled in to my new school and meeting new friends, I see this eye-catching blue-eyed boy with blonde parted down the middle hair and the most breath-taking smile I had ever seen. My new friends and I talked about him often, but I never had a real conversation with him. We had only briefly joked around with each other and talked with mutual friends together.
Then in eighth grade, I had my friend, Stephanie, go ask him if he would ever date me. To my surprise; he said yes! We started dating Valentine’s Day that year and instantly fell in love.
Of course this was both of our first loves. Just a few short months later, his Dad had to move for work and we were heart-broken. After crying and talking, we decided to have a long distance relationship. We wrote each other often, called and visited when we could. After a few years passed and hearing others say it wasn’t fair of me to make him wait and that we probably would never be together in the same town again, I did what I regretted for years to come. I wrote him a letter breaking up with him. I didn’t feel 100% about my decision, but I did it anyway. We moved on and started dating other people and then I got pregnant. When my first love heard the news, he was devastated. Then something I thought would never happen; happened. He moved back to town! By this time he wasn’t speaking to me because I was pregnant by someone else and he was still hurting. As much as I hated it, I had to see him, so I went to see him while he was at school. (I had already stupidly quit) He was at lunch when I got there to see him and was checking out my best friend… yes, my best friend! They eventually started dating and she stopped talking to me too. Of course this hurt me, but what could I do? I had already hurt him more than he could ever hurt me.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and when he was eleven months old, I started dating a guy that my older sister had introduced me to. My first love had come to talk to me at my mom’s, but since we both were dating someone, the conversation didn’t go too far. He then graduated, married my best friend, joined the Air Force and moved away. I tried to be friends with him and his wife on MySpace, but she had sent me a message telling me that they agreed not to be friends with ex’s.
I felt like a part of me was lost forever and I would never feel the kind of love I felt with him. I kept all of our letters, pictures, cards, a stuffed giant Tigger he bought me for Valentine’s Day one year and everything that reminded me of him. I put everything into a shoe box (except the giant Tigger) and took the shoe box to my baby sister’s house and stored it in the top of her closet.
The new boyfriend and I had dated for seven years. It was the most hectic and challenging relationship ever. He was in and out whenever he wanted and sleeping with everyone he could. He was abusive, on drugs and drunk all the time. I felt stuck. Like I couldn’t get out and move on with my life with my son. Then three years into the relationship we got pregnant with our baby girl. He said he was going to change and become a better man for his family. He didn’t, so I told him I couldn’t fight with him or put up with him being a drunken dope head anymore. He eventually went to rehab and claimed to be a “changed man” and even seemed like he was. We talked through his whole rehab treatment and I took the kids to see him. When he checked out of rehab, I told him that if we were going to be a family, he had no more chances. That was his one last chance. He had to be there for us at all times. Six and a half years into the relationship; we finally got married. Once we got married, he changed back into the man I left. He was going to the bars, drinking, doing drugs, hanging out with his friends every day, not working and probably sleeping around again. While I was driving 150 miles a day to work two jobs and take the kids to school and daycare, he would sleep all day and then when I would get home, he would leave to go out and leave me to cook, help with homework, clean, and get the kids ready for bed. After six months of marriage, I sat him down and told him he had to choose. It was going to be his family or his friends and partying, but not both and he said “you can’t make me choose you over them”. That was it for me. I got mine and my kids things together, got a place to live closer to work, school and daycare and left him.
Then, one day while on Facebook, I received a friend request from my old best friend. Yeah, the one that married my first love and wouldn’t accept my MySpace friend request. (I didn’t reply because I didn’t know what to say) Then I looked over at the “people you may know” section and see my first loves picture and name. I started felling sweaty and my heart started beating as fast and hard as it did the first day I saw him in seventh grade. I clicked on his profile and stared at his picture for the longest. I kept telling myself “poke him. No don’t. Yes, just do it. No, it’ll start something with his wife. Oh, just do it.”, so, I did. I had never felt so nervous in my life! I was so scared of what was going to happen. Then I receive a message and it was him! My heart stopped. I wasn’t even breathing, I was that nervous. I kept thinking “oh my gosh, what’s it going to say? Is he going to be mad at me?” Then I opened it and it read “you can’t be chucking the deuces, that’s my thing”. I realized at that point that we were both giving the peace sign in our profile pictures, so I replied with “great minds think alike”. We continued with the normal “how are you? I’m doing alright”. And then I asked him why his wife would send me a friend request and he said that I must not have heard that they were going through a divorce. (What!? Why hadn’t any of our mutual friends told me this?) Anyway, come to find out, while he was deployed and serving our country and trusting his wife to be faithful, she was sleeping with a co-worker of hers. So we had both married someone who wasn’t worth all our time. We were chatting online every chance we got. He was deployed at this time, so we didn’t get to talk on the phone like we want to, but then one day he called while I was at the mall with my baby sister and her best friend. My heart stopped again when I heard his voice. It was so comforting. It was grown up, but still familiar. Unlike my southern belle accent he laughed at. He kept saying “I don’t speak country!”. He had definitely been away from home too long.
I never thought I would ever get the chance to say that my first love from Junior High and I were officially dating again. I became the happiest person in the world. I went to my sister’s house and dug out that old shoe box from the top of her closet and read through our letters and looked at all our pictures from when we were dating before. It felt so good. It brought back so many memories. He was stationed in South Dakota and I still lived in Louisiana, so we did a lot of back and forth traveling to see each other. On March 30, 2012, I flew to South Dakota to marry my first love… my best friend… my lover… my soul mate.
Finally, I felt like my life was complete. My first love was back in my life and my kids loved him and were so excited to see him. A few weeks after we got married and five tests later; we found out that we got pregnant the week we got married.
Yay! We were so thrilled! After fighting with my ex, we finally got to move to be with my first love/husband in South Dakota and begin the rest of our lives together. Our baby boy is now 7 months old and we are one happy family.
Even after being apart for 11+ years, we still loved each other. It never faded. There’s always a place in one’s heart for their first love. I’m just thankful that my first love and I got a second chance at a life together. He is the best husband and father to my kids. My older two kids are blessed to have such a man to look up to and I’m blessed to have such a wonderful and hardworking husband that loves us all.
Our love story is my favorite story.