Given that Valentine’s (ick) Day is approaching and the book I’m currently reading has many references to First Love’s, I thought I’d use it for the topic of today’s post…How many of us recall our first love? The impact of it? The experience of it? What made it so important? And did it set the tone for future relationships?
For me, the my first love set the tone for future relationships; though I oddly didn’t realize it until a couple of weeks ago. It was one of those wafting realizations that didn’t set in until after the fact. That tidbit revealed that my first love set the tone for my being attracted to and staying with men who were philanders and/or emotionally reckless men.
Kibbles, the name I’ll refer to him as was one of the most popular young men in my town in spite of his being a high school dropout and three years my senior (his age seemed relevant then) He was light-skinned, extremely attractive, well spoken, a little too short for me, but that apparently didn’t stop me, extremely charming and charismatic, and about as trustworthy as a thief in a jewelry store. I’ll side not that save for the height, I could very well be speaking about my own father; another startling observation I’m now making. Ick! Hell, they’re both also Capricorns. Ick again! Da cuss???
Let me not be derailed…Kibbles was of no real interest to me initially. His reputation preceded him and given what I’d heard, I figured it best to simply remain on a “hi” and “goodbye” association with him. He lived in the same apartment building as my aunt making him pretty unavoidable sometimess, but I managed not to be swayed by his liking for me. Things changed the night of the Class of ’83’s prom when the guy I really liked blew me off. Well, he had every right to given that he had a girlfriend and all, but my young little heart didn’t want to hear any parts of that. The route home from the high school after watching the Class of ’83 do their Show and Photo opps took me past my Aunt and Kibbles building; he was outside. I tried to avoid interaction since I was in no mood to be social, but his charm won and I engaged in conversation; later exchanging phone numbers. I remained cautious because my crush was the best friend; damn near family of one of Kibbles cousins and I knew there were codes and lines that prohibited that kind of boundary crossing. Later, after careful consideration, I decided it would be fine. It was just talking right?
Given my dysfunctional home life; my apparent detest for living in the U.S; and feeling constantly unwanted/unloved, my need for companionship became the catalyst for Kibbles becoming a friend. We spoke frequently on the phone and I saw something in him that others never spoke of; his intellect and sensitivity. I’d later find out he was all the things I aforementioned; however, initially, he presented something shocking and stimulating.
Since I wasn’t looking at him with hearts in my eyes, it was easy to get caught in his undertow an find myself now wanting to spend time with him. Not sex; just being in his company, so I started finding ways to make it happen; naturally without my aunt (a known gossip) finding out. I successfully managed a few trips to his (really his mums) apartment after school; feigning extended track practices or some after school activity in order to be with him. Little did I realize I was falling for him. His eyes seemed only for me and after many internal arguments, I admitted that I was in love. It was mutually professed and that’s when all hell broke loose.
Fast forward through me finding every way in the book to see Kibbles on a more frequent basis. Fast forward through the various rather well written on both our part love notes we exchanged. Fast forward through the hours long phone conversations. Fast forward through me arguing about his ‘alleged’ as he said it was improprieties. Fast forward through me finally conceding to moving through all the proverbial bases, but never allowing for the home run. Now, slow down for me getting bold one night after working the 4-midnight shift at my little part time job at Roy Rogers (remember that place?) and having to stay at my aunts because it was very close by and I had to work at 8 the next morning and then me sneaking out of her apartment and going to his. Gasp!
Unlike many of my peers, my first sexual experience was something akin to what you may read in a romance novel. There was soft music, dim lighting, delicate words spoken, care and attention paid; you name it, I got it. It was all so beautiful until I had to sneak back into the apartment and think I’d gone unnoticed…I hadn’t. At some point my aunt looked in the room and thinking I may have gone home; called my mother who said I hadn’t and now my butt was had. My aunt never let on that she knew what I’d done and I went on to work that morning barely functional since I’d not gotten much sleep and was floating two clouds above nine.
Fast forward to my getting sick at work. Working in a fast food restaurant, smelling raw meat, fried chicken, after having not eaten much the night before coupled with my lack of sleep didn’t a well girl make. Mother was called to come and get me and get me she did. I was barely in the car before the verbal assaults filled the space between us and the ass-whooping that ensued as we no sooner got in the apartment. The results was a classic cause for the Dept. of Child Services intervention and they did. (That’s a story for another day)
Post that event, I was naturally forbid from being anyway near my aunts building and I was made to take the longer route home from school. My every move was questioned, screened, checked and double checked to the point where I was a prisoner in my own home and life. I’d sent written word of my capture to Kibbles so he’d know what was going on and he’d make stealth visits to the school in order to see and check on me. Given what I’d endured on account of him, you’d think his loyalty and fidelity would be the bond that kept us together right? WRONG!!!! He cheated with wanton abandon and I found out about every last one of them. I was hit with a laundry list of lies, bullshit excuses, and pledges of love, but in the end the writing was clearly on the wall when in his most profound act of “love and loyalty” manifested itself in the impregnation of one of my classmates. His mother and twin sister, both of whom I was very close with lost their minds, cursed him, and shamed him for his actions. Their allegiance was with me and they each comforted me for all I’d endured.
Over the years since I graduated high school, he and I attempted to be friends again since I’d remained close to his sister and mother, but it was for naught. The pain was too strong, the resentment and embarrassment too intense, and the reminder of it all in the face of his daughter. It wasn’t until his mother was literally on her death bed that I finally forgave him. It was what she wanted and I promised her I’d work through the past pain and friends again. She always told me that in spite of himself, he had loved me and I was a good influence on him. For some years, I kept my promise, but he ruined things as he’d done in my teen years and I had to end the friendship and send a special word to the heavens to his mother for being unable to keep my promise.
Fast forward our reconciliation many years later in the form of letters of apologies from him and his acknowledgement of his past indiscretions of many forms. It took some convincing and we became friends again. I noticed a few things during that time that struck and stuck with me…He always held me on a pedestal; even giving me Angel as a pet name; too bad he rarely treated me like one. He’s always said I was wise beyond my years and that he wished he hadn’t messed up or that I’d had his baby…Whoa! That was always a doozy! His word and deed rarely even were hand in hand; even to this day.
After trying to remain friends on and off for nearly 3 decades, I realize we just can’t be. There’s just too much damage in so many forms now. The worst being the precedence he set for my staying with men unworthy of my love. My being attracted to men with questionable emotional integrity. My tolerance for infidelity and the ability to find a way to make excuses for it. Looking back now, the greatest part of my being with Kibbles as a First Love, was losing my virginity. It was, as I said, a quality and substantial experience. I guess if you’re gonna walk away with something, make it something memorable. He at least got that part right.
So, I close with that being my memory of my first love!
yea, I said it!