My first encounter with love was at the age of fourteen, so really, it was just a crush, but at the time it was a big deal. I was asked out on a date by a guy a little older than me, let’s call him Jake.
He was tall and handsome, long floppy hair hung over his green eyes. He was adventurous and outdoorsy – looking back we really had nothing in common.
So, of course, fourteen year old me, said yes and we went on a date. I was so excited, and had got changed out of about five different outfits before I decided on a pair of light blue jeans and a white top. This was my first ever date and I wanted it to be perfect.
We went to the beach, it was a sunny spring day in England, and we planned to make the most of it.
We sat on a bench up a hill which overlooked the bay, and watched the ocean foam white and come crashing down onto the pebbled shore. There was a light breeze that brushed against our skin, which sent goosebumps running up my bare arms.
Birds swooped in and out of the trees around us, each one singing their own song, yet it still sounded harmonic to my ears. Their melodic tunes were rudely interrupted by the occasional squawk from the seagulls that fought violently down on the shore, for the last of someones sandwich – but it was still peaceful.
Everything was going great.
At the age of fourteen I was a dancer, I hadn’t started my journey into creative writing or music yet, but even then, I was big on romance. I listened to James Blunt and watched every romance film I could at that age. I have always been a dreamer, and in that moment, looking out over the ocean, Jake’s hand in mine, I felt like I was in a movie.
Until a bird crapped on me.
I had seagull poop all down my jeans. I turned red with embarrassment as I frantically thought of how I could make this go away. I was not prepared.
Looking back now, I think it is pretty funny and I would probably react much differently now, but at the time it defiantly scared me.
That relationship didn’t last long, a couple of months maybe. I remember he broke up with me in a park near my house, for some made up reason about how it wasn’t working. I was upset, naturally I thought that this was going to be the love of my life. My first and last. I carried on with my life without him, going to my dance classes and watching films with my Mum. I was okay, and I knew deep down this was probably best for us both, but I still couldn’t hide the pain. My Mum was there for me, telling me I would be okay and there was someone out there who would treat me better. That was harder to believe at fourteen than it is now.
A few weeks after we broke up, I got a text from him. He was waiting outside my house and wanted to talk to me. His bright eyes shone with apologies, and longing – he wanted me back.
Our bodies started to move closer towards each other, sat on the floor of my living room, my heart racing in my chest and my mind spinning a thousand different emotions, questioning my decision to let him back into my life. But my lips never made it to back his.
We drew apart, hearing a loud bang outside, causing my heart to temporarily stop, and a feeling of disappointment washed over me.
My Dad had reversed straight into Jake’s motorbike on the driveway.
To this day, there is still a turquoise mark on the back of my Dad’s Mondeo. My Dad insists it was an accident, but that smile on his face suggests otherwise.
I experienced my first crush at the age of fourteen, but my first love, (other than my cat, Ziggy) was my parents, who have always been looking out for me and always will.
When meeting someone new, and falling in love, it is important to remember who was there for you before that person. Don’t loose sight of your true friends, more often than not they will stick around for longer than your love interest anyway. Having someone consume your mind and body can be an electric feeling it is addictive, but remember who you are. Learn to ground yourself and prioritise not only yourself, but your family and friends too. And if your love interest doesn’t understand…ditch them. It’s not worth loosing everyone around and yourself.
Now when I see that turquoise mark on my Dad’s car, I just laugh.