My friends say writing stuff down helps so I bought this book. This isn’t a Diary. No. I’m a hard guy. Let’s call this a Journal. I want to write about my first love, so here goes nothing…
Looking back, I’m not sure when exactly I fell in love with her. We’d been friends for years when I realized that I liked her more than I liked my other friends. I remember the first time I saw her. It was the first week of college, our orientation week. I’m not sure now if it was the first day or the second day, but I was sitting with some friends from high school and there was a group of girls sitting in front of us in the lecture hall chatting lively about something. I remember that they laughed out loud and we all glanced towards them as people generally do and that was when I noticed her.
Mind you, I didn’t love her then, it wasn’t love at first sight, no. I just noticed her as a guy notices a girl. She was sitting in between two other girls, wearing blue jeans and a yellow tank top. She was slim, with shoulder-length hair and bright eyes that danced as she spoke. She was telling the other girls something, half laughing as she spoke and it made me laugh too, wondering what was so funny.
As days turned into weeks, I found out her name was Jessie. She was in a number of my classes but we each had a different circle of friends and so our paths didn’t cross often until one day when we had to work on an assignment together and then from that day, we became friends. I would look out for her after class and we would walk together to the next lecture hall, chatting on the way with her and her friends. I wasn’t looking for a girlfriend or a relationship so I didn’t mind when she started dating one of the guys in our Uni and it didn’t change much in our relationship. We were still friends.
Now let me tell you what this whole story is about, why I’m telling you this. See, from the first time I met her, Jessie was this confident, approachable girl who didn’t mind hanging out with the guys. She was fun to be with and she was always the centre of attention, shouting out loud across the hall or laughing at someone’s jokes in the middle of a lecture. She wasn’t afraid of anything and I think that’s what drew me to her. The thing is I’m a shy guy. I’m really sensitive and I don’t like to be the centre of attention or be in the public eye. I love writing poetry and listening to music and I loved her confidence and her sanguine nature. She had all the qualities that I wish I had.
She was what I needed to be perfect. She would make me whole.
So somewhere in our second year, her boyfriend broke up with her. I remember it like it was my own break up. I was sitting with a couple of other guys at the entrance to the lecture hall when she rushed past us. I called her but she didn’t stop. Just went off mumbling something about being in a hurry. The next day, it was all over school that they had broken up. She seemed okay with it. Normal. Too normal for someone whose heart had just been broken but that’s how Jessie was. She was so carefree that she had gotten over it in one night.
Maybe that was when I fell in love with her. Sitting there remembering my countless heart breaks and broken limbs. Nights of smashing my fist into walls after breaking up with one of my girlfriends, or drowning my sorrows in as much booze as I could find. I loved her for being better than me.
And at the same time, almost immediately after, I realized why I would never date Jessie. You see, the problem with a girl like Jessie is that you can never tell what she’s feeling. You can’t guess and I wasn’t ready to go pour out my heart to her when I wasn’t sure if she felt the same way or not, and i wasn’t ready to hand her my heart knowing she could break it easily and never look back. I would never get over it.
Now as I write this, I still love Jessie. She’s dated other guys, I’ve dated loads of other girls and I’m dating a girl right now. We’re still really good friends and we share everything. But there’s one secret I keep from her.
The secret of my heart.