This I Believe

Lee - Westfield, New Jersey
Entered on September 15, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love

This I believe. Teenage romances are not made to last. I believe that high school relationships have a definite time period and can last only as long as the two people stay in high school. At the moment of graduation, the relationship fails; and as unfair as this may seem, it has been proven in my own life. This lesson was not one taught to me by my mother, or observed from a friend’s relationship; however, this was a lesson learned through my own hardships.

I am sitting in my Hyundai, on a rainy night in late August. My girlfriend is sitting next to me, waiting for me to say something incredible; something that could both culminate our relationship in an emotional way, while at the same time ease the process of saying goodbye. My body is bursting with feelings and words and phrases, but I could not say anything.

I met Catherine in October of my senior year. We were nothing alike. I was Jewish, she was Catholic. I was loud, goofy, and borderline obnoxious, and she was shy and quiet. Nothing was guaranteed in our relationship, except an ending. I knew that I was leaving for college in a year, and if our relationship lasted that long, we would have to end it. At that time, however, the concept seemed logical and did not bother me. The beginning is always the best.

I hear the rain patter on top of my sunroof. Just as my car is covered in water, I feel the tears coming through my eyes and running down my cheeks. The feeling of loss and emptiness is overwhelming. But still, there is nothing I can say to her. We can just stare at each other, in disbelief at what is happening. In twelve hours I will be moving into my new dorm and beginning a new life. I will be meeting new friends and new girls. I do not want to believe this, but subconsciously I accept it. I look at her face, which, like mine, is covered in tears. I say “I love you” before we stare at each other some more. My mind wanders to the past Valentine’s Day.

The February frost bit my arms. I knew I should have worn a long-sleeved shirt. I am at her door, waiting for her to come and open it for me. I told her that the restaurant we are going to is casual, and that she does not have to dress up. As I watch her come downstairs, I realize how lucky I am. I think to myself how beautiful of a girlfriend I have, before I tell her as she opens the door. As I start driving, I tell her that I need to stop at home to pick up my wallet for later. She insists that she pays, but I tell her no. I ask her to come inside and say hello to my parents. She was unaware that I, along with the help of my mother, cooked a Valentine’s Day dinner under the romantic and dim candlelight. She loved the teddy bear and flowers waiting for her at her seat at the table. It was only February, and August seemed years away.

The months turned into weeks, and the weeks into days.

My legs feel weak as they walk up the familiar stairs to her door. I am cold. Not from the February frost, but from the summer rain that splashes at the ground and wets my ankles. I am holding her hand, and I look at her. I want to pick her up and tell her I will see her tomorrow. But I know that it will not happen. We reach the door, and still, there is nothing to say. I tell her how wonderful of a person she is, and how fortunate I have been to spend so much time with her. It does not feel fulfilling. There needs to be something more, but I cannot find the words. She takes a step inside as she looks at me, and gives me a kiss on the cheek. I feel the tears swell up in my eyes as I realize that I will not see her for a while. My throat has a lump in it, and my body aches. I had never imagined that the end of a human relationship would end with more love than it began with, but this paradox is now a reality to me. She looks at me in the eyes for the last time before she shuts the door. I want to bang on the door and scream and break it down, but I cannot. I turn around, and walk down the stairs and into the rain. As the cool rain hits my head and falls down my body, I come to the realization that this romance is now just a memory. I feel as if the past year was merely a buildup for a definite ending. However, I understand that my life will continue, and I will meet new girls. I also understand that I have learned a lot from Catherine over the past year, such as how to treat someone who I love, and how to care for another person who I feel so deeply for. Therefore, long after the rain has dried from my body, and the tears have been wiped from my cheeks, I have come to a realization: I strongly believe that although high school romances are not built to last the test of time, they serve as a tool to educate the inexperienced, and are valuable and necessary for successful future relationships