love at sixteen.

When she met him, she was 16, still battling her own mind and fighting the world at the same time. The wars raging inside her were as constant as the wars being waged in the world. She was undecided on the course of her life and she was still trying to find out who she was. She had never truly loved or been loved. 

So when she met him, and he opened doors for her,

And paid for her meals, 

And walked to her door to meet her mother instead of honking his car horn,

And went to church with her, 

And prayed for her and with her,

And took her to meet his parents,

And refused to treat her with anything but the utmost respect,

And asked her to hang out during the day rather than at 11 at night,

And told her she was beautiful inside and out,

When he proved himself to be a good man,

She felt things she never had before. She felt this jittery feeling in the pit of her stomach when she saw him in the school hallways walking towards her. And she felt herself become short of breath when he kissed her on the cheek in front of everyone because he wasn’t ashamed of her. And she felt her palms become sweaty when he told her she looked beautiful everyday. And she felt her heart swell when they cuddled together with her head on his chest, lips pressing soft kisses into her hair. She had never felt these things before and she had to wonder,

Is this love?

A gentleman was someone she had never known before, for the one man who was supposed to love her her whole life had left before she could even say the word “dad.” And being an only child meant there was never an older brother to look out for her and make sure she was on the right path. The only love she’s known was from her mother who tried her damn best to give her daughter the world. 

What she was feeling: the jitters, the shortness of breath, the sweaty palms, the heart swelling, this was first love. This was the boy she’d never forget. This was the boy she’d compare every future boy with. This was the boy who set her standards. This was the love that would hurt the most. 

But despite the inevitable pain she was bound to feel (because yes, this was all going to hurt like hell and no, this probably wasn’t going to work out), she loved him with all she could. She loved him with her whole heart and then some. She loved him with everything she had because this was her first love and she’ll be damned if she didn’t savor these feelings, didn’t enjoy these feelings, didn’t relish in these feelings, despite the pain the future may hold. 

  • m.f.

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