First Love, Best Love, Pt2

Continuing from

So, the guy I loved, wrote out a fantasy life about, dreamed of, was in love with my new best friend.

Did it hurt?  Shyeah.  Was there anything I could do about it? No.

So life continued.  Freshman year of High School was an exciting time for me.  Of course I’d found my way into a few demanding classes – namely honors English.  And there was band, which took  a lot of time and effort.  Marching in formation while playing an instrument is HARD.  Plus, I was meeting all kinds of new people.  People who would later have a bit of a negative impact on my life.  But I digress.

It was hard watching Josh and Katrina together.  So hard that I think I’ve blocked out most of the memories of that year that had to do with them.  I know I saw them together.  I’m sure I saw them kissing.  And because Katrina was a friend, and fast becoming a best friend I know she would have talked about their relationship.  But I don’t remember anything about it now.  It is a blank spot in my mind.  And one that I have no desire to explore.

What I do recall is them breaking up.  It was at the end of freshman year.  How a few short months of love can change one’s world.  Well, if you’ve been there, you know.

I don’t remember the details of their break-up, though I have hazy images of Katrina, red-faced from crying, and Josh, red-faced from yelling.  After all these years, those memories could be confused, clouded and corroded.  But that’s how I remember things.

Now Josh and I had somehow remained friends through all this.  How, I am not sure.  Again, it’s been lost to time, and that cloud of “thou shalt not remember.”  So, to not strain my mental facilities overmuch, we’ll just say, “It is known.”

The summer of 1994.  Most of my friends had been accepted into Varsity Band that year, including Josh.  Band camp therefore was even more fun – and exciting.  Whether it was because he knew that I adored him or just because we were both available, Josh and I grew closer.  It wasn’t until we attended a party of an upperclassman later that summer that I found out how close.

*I won’t tease – you can have this moment now, and then I’ll do the cliff-hanger.*

It was at James Hunter’s house, the party that changed my life.  James was a saxophone player, incredibly sexy himself, and the dream guy of many many girls in my circle.  (Yeah, I had him several years later, but that’s a different story entirely.)

Thanks to my new friends – Sara Nieves in particular – I was getting myself into a whole new world.  One that included smoking pot and drinking.   And was just what I needed.  A lot of my friends weren’t happy with the path I had chosen.  But Josh, he was willing to see what the fuss was about.

The party that changed everything was a pretty mild one, from what I remember.  Sure, people were smoking and drinking, and that one asshole was, as usual, hell-bent on burning down the tree in James’ backyard.  But once things quieted down, and most everyone had gone to sleep – or passed out – I was left alone with Josh.

The John Candy/Steve Martin movie, Planes, Trains & Automobiles was on.  Oh, I wish I could draw you this picture, as I remember it so clearly.  Josh was sitting in an armchair, and I was sitting on the floor beside him.  The words that passed between us seem so insignificant now.  All I remember, all I ever want to remember, is when he leaned down and his lips met mine.  The first lips mine had ever touched in passion.  And what passion!

It was electric.  It was mind-bending.  To have this boy, who I’d longed for for years, wanting and needing me in that moment.  To be stretched out on the floor with him, his lips, tongue, hands performing magic that I hadn’t known was possible…

James’ mother interrupted us before things could go further.  Bless and damn the woman.

But a spark had been created that night.  And sparks so often turn to flames.  And flames, so often devour.


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