There’s something very rejuvenating about writing the name of a lost lover in the sand. It’s a validating feeling, a sublime prescription of memories past. The waves crash onto the sand imperfectly and there are traces of her name still there, staring back at you. You wonder what went wrong.
Firsts are always special. If not their personal idiosyncrasies: the way she unconsciously bit her bottom lip when thinking deeply, then as perpetuating psychological constructs. Firsts don’t fade as easily as the others. Nor should they.
Sometimes, as you fall more and more deeply in love as every day passes, she falls out of love. It’s a protracted journey to the end but the distance, sometimes physical, always emotional, begins to appear in the form of scars. There are doubts, dreams even, but your love will not be swayed.
She is special. She is the best thing that’s ever happened to you. She is a first. The first one to send you those thinking of you texts at 3AM in the morning, the first to appear after a long day of class with your favourite milkshake in hand and roses in the other, she is the first to tell you that you mean something, to her, to the world.
Sometimes, that love overwhelms us. You are special. You deserve everything.
One day, she starts going quiet. The sentences she speaks are shorter. The sunset you’re watching is less golden than that first many years ago. The colours are fading from the photos and the reddening of the cheeks that had invariably followed the retelling of inside jokes and the intimate compliment began to fade away. It’s not happening though, you refuse to admit it. You love her. She loves you.
Days wear on and you don’t speak for days at a time. When you’re together, there’s an elephant in the room and it’s clamping your mouth shut. The silent pauses are longer. The eye contact wanes.
One night, you dream that she kisses another man. You wake up with tears in your eyes. The green light showing her online becomes a haunting image of your fears. You feel like Gatsby. Except you’re out of money, and out of love.
It’s not as if you stop working for the relationship. Far from it, you pour your heart out as never before, travel further and put more thought than ever. You feel drained but surely it will be worth it. For the future’s sake. She asks to talk. And just like that, all the memories, funny moments, secrets and shared stories, gone. Your new phone wallpaper is a daily reminder of that loss.
When love dies a natural death, a whole half of you is ripped out. And against all mathematical odds, that half seemed to take with it the half you had too.
It will always be nice to envision a future with her. It only makes sense right now. She was the first to make you feel the raw caress and intimate closeness of love, of friendship and of the new. It’s comforting to think that we could have been. It always will be.
Firsts represent idealism and fresh hope, unbounded by the parameters of reality. But firsts are just one part of life, and sometimes, that’s all they were meant to be. But you will always love her because she embodies the blossoming hope of love that first appeared in your heart before heartbreak.
It is on us to remember our firsts, to treasure them as memories and to reflect on them fondly one day. But first, it’s time to move on and open a new door in life. You have the key.