In response to my last post, the lovely greg asked, "Do you remember the first moment that you realized you were in love with FG?"
Well! As it so happens, I do. But like any perfect moment, it requires some background.
FG and I grew up in a small, insular town where you basically knew everyone who was your age, +/- one grade. So we knew each other but we didn't start really hanging out until the summer I turned fourteen, which was also the summer before we started attending the same school. I was entering high school, she was starting at that school as a sophomore. Even that summer I was becoming infatuated... there were those endless, unspeakably fascinating conversations of early love, both of us on my kitchen floor, or over the phone while I walked barefoot on the kitchen counters or leaned out the bathroom window.
On the first day of school I remember thinking about her all day--it was a special orientation day for freshmen and new students, so she was there, and I kept imagining where in the building she was or what she might be doing. It didn't take long for us to start finding reasons to run into each other between every class, sit together at lunch, the whole nine yards. Occasionally I wondered what I was doing but honestly the drive just to be in her presence was so strong I didn't think about much else.
(Of course I wasn't thinking about whether this was a crush. I was a girl, and girls didn't have crushes on girls. Full stop, end of conversation. In fact, don't even start that conversation. That's how it went in my head.)
Towards the middle of September, or maybe earlier, I don't remember the exact date, there was some sort of assembly that was, again, just for freshmen and new students. On the way back I walked with FG and another new sophomore, who made a sardonic remark about having to spend so much time with the "damn freshmen."
FG half-glanced at me and replied, "Well, I've been spending time with a freshman. And a damn fine one, too!"
And that was it. Bang, hey presto, it's all over: I was in love. I still remember the hallway being soaked with honey-colored sunshine, feeling invincible and like my knees were about to give way, a new painful joy that started in my heart and throbbed out past my fingertips and toes.
I don't know if I said anything in more or just wandered off to my library orientation, grinning stupidly. But I remember smiling all the way through the presentation on call numbers and card catalogues, and thinking: "I'm in love. I don't care what this means. I don't care. I'm in love, and I'm never going to forget this happiness."
And I haven't.