I didn’t even see her face; she was standing in front of her locker with her back turned to me. The pace of my heart beat began to increase. Frantically yet subtly tugging at the sleeve of my friend Sarah’s shirt, she instantly read the message I was trying to send to her, forcefully taking me by the hand to commence an introduction. My heart started drowning, and my vision began to get cloudy, unable to hear a word from the thumping heartbeat in my ears; thoughts raced through my mind as the beauty of who I now know as Lauren whisked me away. This I believe in love at first sight.
Many claim lust, infatuation, and attraction as the misinterpreted love at first sight. But I beg to differ; this is a feeling not many encounter, a feeling that’s beyond explanation. Upon my first glance of Lauren, immediate ideas arose, not of the typical sexual fantasies, but the romantic, emotional appeal I dreamt of having with her; despite her gorgeous brown hair, and flawless smile, a keen intuition casted a hook wedged too deep in my cheek to remove. Other guys weren’t obsessive over Lauren. She wasn’t the popular girl, or known by many. I’d say the average guy wouldn’t even double take at her if they passed her on the street, which was a reassuring sign of my genuine passion for her.
I wish I could say that Lauren was overcome by the same feelings as myself, but pursuing this love, was first gut-wrenching in its impenetrability. My goal in life was not to be a doctor, or winning a state title, but more so summed up in the winning of Lauren’s heart. This relentless task lasted for about five years, first beginning in the seventh grade.
Naturally I was always an outgoing person, and had no difficulty with approaching others. Asking Lauren on dates hundreds of times a week, and Instant messaging her the second she signed on to AIM, I quickly learned was not an effective strategy. I had to put some thought into this challenge, and carefully plan my tactics. Every conversation and contact I had with her was carefully thought out. I came from all different angles, coincidentally running into her at the mall, conveniently becoming a member of the track team—the typical teen stalker tendencies before face book came along. I could recall reading her away messages, and planning my day accordingly. As I grew older and became used to the feeling of rejection I grew better at expressing myself to women. In attempt of fulfilling my love for Lauren I sought out advice from my older brother, who had his fair share of relationships. His advice to me was proclaimed in this statement. “Lue stop being so soft first off, the trick to getting a girl you really like is being her best-friend first, and then she’ll start getting a feel for you.” I began to place this revolutionary idea into effect the very next day. The key to advancing my friendship with Lauren was adhered to being indifferent.
Avoiding the usual hug and obsession over her, I began to give her some space, and actual time to breathe. I was not aggressive about hanging out, just consistent in my care for her. Boyfriend after boyfriend I had to witness, and assist her in her relationship issues. I recall thoughts of jealousy and frustration trying to locate what others posses that I didn’t, but if Lauren was happy, I was happy. At this stage of my life I formed a fascination with love, and falling in love. Watching romance films occurred on a nightly basis, although hidden for only me to unravel myself in, to avoid others of becoming aware of my new interests. My genre of music quickly vanished, and was replaced with R&B, and slow jams I would commonly fall asleep to, with only Lauren on my mind. As our friendship carried through high school, Lauren began to notice my loyalty to her, and real concern of her well-being.
Before I knew, it was the summer before my senior year of high school. Lauren and I were both committed to soccer, and a large amount of our summer vacation was spent together on the practice field. Shortly after our daily practices, I hit another speed bump that brought our romantic relationship to a screeching halt. A tragic event occurred in Laurens life; her older brother had passed away by means of suicide. Pursuing a relationship with her was out of the question, instead comforting her in this dreadful state was my number one priority.
Midway through my senior year, my goal was finally reached. Our friendship had bloomed into a romantic one, but only for a short while. Young and still inexperienced we had our differences. While my friendship with Lauren lasted quite some time, and still does today, my feelings never seemed to be diluted. I can still see someone driving the same car as her today, and my heart will jump and stay lodged in my throat. Regardless of how unsuccessful our relationship was, there still isn’t a day that goes by where a thought of her isn’t expressed. I would gaze at her and truly want to be her tears; to be conceived in her heart, born in her eyes, live on her cheeks, and die on her lips.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.