I turned my back and started walking away. Jon followed. He was subdued now. We sat on a ledge in the parking lot and watched Selassie and the boys bundle Selorm into the car. He was still screaming and cussing. This was surreal. Jon put his arms around me and I held him. That night, and how it was handled, I would chalk down as regret number one in a long upcoming string of regrets.
What is hard even to wrap my brain around is why Jon and I even kissed. How did that happen? And why did it feel so perfect? He kissed my cheek with such tenderness and sincerity. I turned my face to him and he kissed me. We kissed for so long, so deeply. My heart was beating so fast. Where had all this come from?
“I love you,” he murmured.
I felt my heart skip a beat. Why did this feel so real, so honest and so true? When it was all so random, one night, one act of spontaneity? And yet I knew; I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be.
“I love you too.”
Teenage love; nothing serious, right? Not possible to fall in love like that, just hormones talking, maybe? I am twenty-nine years old now, and that was one of the most perfect and sincere moments I have ever felt. It’s hard to describe teenage love with serious words. No one takes you seriously. For over ten years after that kiss in the National Theatre auditorium, my heart remained his. I was sixteen years old and I felt undeniable love for the first time, love that haunted me and eclipsed every other event in my life for what felt like a lifetime. What was the recipe? Was it a full moon that night? I can’t remember. I had something good then. I had something perfect. I was so in love, and he was so in love with me. It’s not easy to know if a guy truly loves you. That love that is written all over his face, spewing from deep within his heart, his soul. That love that holds no questions; you don’t think about it, you don’t analyze it. You just know this guy right here loves you.
But I had begun something, hadn’t I? I had started myself on a path of pain and hurt. And I didn’t know how to stop.