It took a little while before anything happened. I started actually crushing on him around Halloween. Eventually he got my number and invited me to go slacklining.
Then he escorted me through a haunted house - a perfect opportunity to hold hands. I should probably remember the exact day he asked me to be his girlfriend. This was, after, my first official boyfriend. But I don't. I remember going to a midnight movie, climbing onto an elementary school roof, and a lot of late night walks. But I can't for the life of me remember that official date.
Ironically he was my home teacher. But he never came once. Officially anyway. I don't know if macking counts.
After the first semester he went home to work until he left for his mission. We visited each other a few times over the break, but ultimately I couldn't handle dating someone while I was at school, seven hours away, and he was working towards a mission. Let's be honest, commitment scares the crap out of me. So does actually falling in love.
And I don't think I ever loved him per se. I may have been caught up with the idea of it all. A college boyfriend. Pre-med. An easy transition from, hey I like you, to actual dating. But he was really wonderful, not just an image. Here was a boy who, instead of teasing me about my ACT score (something I was really self conscious about) made me feel smart. We studied together. Here was a boy who, instead of being reluctant to invite me home (because his family hated that we were dating) couldn't wait to introduce me to his family. And I loved his family. I practically would have married him just to marry into that clan. We clicked right away. I was joking with his dad, talking with him mom, and learning about the middle school life of his little sister. It was an entirely new world to me. I felt so grown up, driving a few hours to see my boyfriend - although I never really got used to that word.
We had so much fun together. We went sledding and he showed me around town. I introduced him to my friends back home, and they actually liked him too. Or at least, they said so. I believed them, because they had not been quiet about disliking the last boy.* He made me a blanket for Christmas, one I still use almost everyday and I went crazy over-analyzing and trying to figure the perfect gift for a first boyfriend.**
We stayed in touch after that semester. He's on his mission now in Brazil, and we write on occasion.That first semester was a lot of fun.
Thank you for pleasantly surprising me when it comes to how great a boyfriend can be. Thank you for kissing me in - actually in and not just under - a tree on campus during one of our late night walks. I can't walk by that tree without remembering, and smiling. I'm going to miss that.
(The sign reads: always kiss me goodnight)
And thank you for not actually looking like that when we kissed.
*you know who you are chica
**apparently it's a shirt.