I guess we all adjust to the ones we’re with. Or maybe I just lack the backbone to be myself in front of other people.
Guy #143 was barely of legal age, he still went to high school, lived with his mother and was also unbelievably mature for his age, not to mention cute. While part of me couldn’t help but feel like a pedophile, another part fell hopelessly in love.
Guy #143 was mature for his age. I didn’t say I was.
The year was 2015, I was 32 years old and life threw me my first and only high school crush. We had the best conversations, it be about the burdens of parental supervision, high school gossip or how hard having homework can be.
When you fall in love for the first time you don’t know any better or it’s the single most important life event in the history of life itself. Every hug, every kiss, every app, all of it matters. When you’re in love for the first time, you don’t yet know you’re suffering from a psychological disorder that tends to prelude clinical depression the way Oreos precede a sugar crash.
At 32 I was old enough to know all that. I had been in love before. It had depressed me on more than one occasion. Yet for all my experience, I had never actually been with someone who was in love with me as much as I was in love with him. In terms of having a successful love live, the first month of my two month relationship with Guy #143 was probably my happiest to date.
Not wanting his classmates to see him dating a Guy old enough to be his teacher, Guy #143 insisted we’d keep our thing under wraps. Not wanting to be considered a pedophile, I happily obliged. If anything the secrecy only made our love more special, more meaningful, more like something people make movies about.
We started off with a one month streak of four successful dates, interwoven with endless WhatsApp conversations in which I fueled our connection by validating all of Guy #143’s drama for the serious stuff that it was.
Yet as much as it made me feel young and alive to be doing his homework, it was precisely the fact I found myself doing homework at 32 that made me wonder if Guy #143 and I had any future to speak of.
On the other hand, you don’t care about the future when you’re in love for the first time. Not even me, who had taken 32 years to finally enjoy life as a teenager. I wasn’t about to let go of that.
But I guess the future looks different depending on how old you are, regardless of maturity. Guy #143, as it turned out, saw it differently.
I will never know why, but one day Guy #143 went from saying I love you during sex to saying his mother needed him to be home at ten, instead of sex. All the enthusiasm, his sparkling personality and playful bedside manner…it all vanished into thin air. What was left was a teenager who kept all his feelings inside but would rather die than talk to an adult about it. No matter how hard I empathized with his mother issues, no matter what Whatsapp emoticon I threw at him, not even the amount of homework I did changed anything about his curtness.
The joy I had felt during our first four dates was replaced by despair. As so often happens when you fall in love, it lures you in before it reveals its true nature. Butterflies turn into bats, birds and bees become vultures and flies, happy becomes black. It had happened to me before, but this being my first high school crush it came as a surprise nonetheless.
As weeks passed, the dates stopped coming, as did the emoticons. A day or two after finishing his paper on the Russian Revolution all frequencies went silent.
I was heartbroken for about a week, far from the worst sugar crash I ever had. I suppose I was relieved I could stop living life as a teenager.
Turns out people tend to lose perspective when they’re in love for the first time. Thankfully, I learned my lesson and never fell hopelessly in love ever again for well over a year.