I was a junior in High School. She was a senior. I had noticed her for quite a while from afar, and I came to believe that she noticed me also. We had some things in common, we knew from having mutual friends, although we never met. She always seemed so mysterious to me- someone who was liked, but who seemed to keep to herself a lot. She was different than other people, I could tell.
There was a band I was interested in and she had the CD- she would loan it to me soon. The day she handed it to me in the library she did not say a word. So strange. But that was it- that was the opportunity we needed. The excuse we needed to interact. Over time we spoke a few times. We seemed destined, I think we both knew that. But neither of us was going to ask for a date or something like that- somehow that seemed too mundane for us. One day she asked me “Do you want to go for a walk?” – that was her style. Wow- of course I do! We went for that walk at lunch and finally had a chance to talk at length. We talked quite a bit over the next several days.
One day she came over to my house after school. It was a beautiful and sunny spring afternoon. My window was open bringing a slight breeze into my room. The house was quiet, no one else was home. I showed her things in my room and we talked. I was sitting on the floor and she was sitting on my bed as we talked- at one point she leaned over me and her hair fell on my head. And it was like a shock of electricity that broke the tension of static. She put her hands on my shoulders, when I responded she came down to the floor to embrace. We held each other. And we held each other. It was like the weeks of tension, and the months of wondering from afar, were now being explained and reassured. We didn’t speak, just held- it was like we communicated all that we felt with that hug- and it was incredible. By the time we let go over two hours had passed and she soon had to go. I never had a hug like that before- and never have since.
That was the beginning of my first love. We feel deeply in love with each other. It was spring- a beautiful time to be alive and in love. We would skip classes and go in the back of the school, out of view from everyone, and sit there next to each other, or lay in each other’s lap, in the sun, talking for as long as we could.
Melanie. She was so unique- that is the word for her. She was an original. I never knew someone like her before, and have never met anyone as authentic as her in the years since. She was unique in the way she looked, thought and lived. She was half Japanese and short. Me with my shaved head and her with her partially purple hair, were quite a striking couple.
She was an artist. A real artist. Paint-on-her-overalls artist. And it was not just the paintings that she did that were art- she brought art into all aspects of her life. The notes she gave me were never plain- they were often exquisite works of art with watercolors, sketches and drawings. The mix tape of wonderful songs was in a hand painted sleeve. In my locker at school she would leave me a note in a small bottle, or a painting with a message within it for me. It seemed everything she did was a work of art- and much of it was for me. I was not someone who particularly appreciated art before that, but now I loved receiving it all.
When I saw her bedroom the first time I was blown away by how she decorated it. Pictures of people’s eyes cut out of magazines tapped up all over the walls, and other things that seemed so mysterious to me. In June I went to the graduation when she graduated from high school. Her parents were very quiet and reserved, but we got along fine and I went with them on some family outings. My parents liked her and we brought her on our summer vacation. She got along well with my friends, even if she was always a bit apart. She was so much of an individual she was basically untouchable in terms of making fun of her. I don’t know if what she exuded would best be called confidence, or indifference to the opinions of others, but it seemed like anything that someone might throw at her would bring them no satisfaction.
She was not just my first love, but also my first lover. The first time was a bit too rushed for our style, but things do not always go as planned and when you are young you often have to take advantage of privacy when you can get it, not when you would like it. And of course we had plenty of chances to improve upon that first time: in my bedroom, in the backyard of my house, in the park after dark, next to a secluded mountain lake we hiked to.
It was a summer of love, in all senses of the word. We went so many places together. And even when we didn’t go somewhere special- it somehow was special. So many things were for the first time. I would drive or walk anywhere to do something with her.
We thought we would always be together. We did not plan anything specifically, but assumed it would work out some way. In the fall she started college, and while it was only about an hour away, in fact it was a world away. The difference between 11th grade and 12th grade was minor, but the difference between someone in their last year of high school and someone in their first year of college was immense, and apparently too great for us to bridge. She met other people and wanted different things. And while I was hurt when it ended, now when I look back I can only smile.