I am twelve years old passing notes in class to my best friend. She is wickedly funny in a way that is almost intimidating. Boys like her. Boys never like me. I’m not overly worried. There will be a day they do, I think. I sit with her and we eat our lunch in-between giggles.
I imagine my perfect boy: dark, wavy locks, dimples, a face that is somehow goofy and handsome at once.
I am only twelve so right now, he does not exist. And that’s fine. I have an entire life, right?
I am fourteen years old trying to figure out what this loneliness is. My friends are joking about school and boys and bullshit. I can’t name this loneliness, so I don’t. I chalk it up to hormonal angst. I listen to Sad Girl songs and cry along. I think about a boy I do not know. Still looks the same: dark, wavy locks, dimples, a face that is somehow goofy and handsome at once.
I haven’t kissed anyone and that’s okay. I’m fourteen. Honestly? I’m still playing Neopets. I feel terrible if they are malnourished.
I am sixteen years old and my father has just died. I am not dealing very well, so say the adults in my life. I am not processing. I flirt with a boy during his funeral. He has brown hair and is almost right. He is almost what I imagined. This will be how I save myself. This will be how I pretend everything is still okay.
I kiss him hard. My Neopets all die. Probably. I don’t know. I don’t check. I’m too busy burying my pain in a boy with dark, wavy locks.
I am eighteen years old and my heart has been broken. Everyone thinks it’s because of the break up. Nobody takes the time to remember my father died. That maybe my sadness was not about a boy. Maybe it was deeper than that.
I am eighteen years old and hardening my edges. I’m not melting as easily. I’m not looking for my fantasy boy. I have seen the underbelly of life and I’m not sure I like it. Things hurt, and I’m not sure I like it.
I don’t care so much about him, the fantasy, with dark, wavy locks, dimples, a face that is somehow goofy and handsome at once.
I am sitting in the audience for a high school play. Average, at best. I am there for a friend.
And then, there he is. The boy. The dream boy. Dark, wavy locks, dimples, a face that is somehow goofy and handsome at once.
I have loved him for years without knowing his name. I have loved him in my dreams, in my waking hours. There he is, the boy I didn’t think actually existed.
He was you.
And I still can’t believe I was ever so lucky. I can’t believe I got to fall in love with my dream guy.