When I Was Seventeen

Alf Santos
Alf Santos

When I was seventeen, I fell in love with the idea of being wanted. I wanted to be loved by a guy that I had convinced myself I wanted to love. I was overly focused on an image I wanted to portray rather than the feelings I wanted to experience. I wanted to be the cheerleader that dated the captain of the football team. He wanted to be the football player that bragged about the cheerleader he was able to get into bed with. Foolishly, I believed that if I tossed around three little words I would acquire the love I wanted in return—I was wrong. I spent so much time trying to convince someone that I was worth it that I lost myself in the process.

He had me by the wrists and I willingly let him. I tried to hold onto an idea for as long as I could until I was left in the middle of the street with a duffel bag on my shoulders one hundred miles from home. He might have said things that he will never be able to take back, but he left me scars that dug deeper than words ever did. With time the bruises faded and so did the false love I thought I wanted. In the process I forgot what it meant to be independent and focused, I forgot what it meant to love myself first. I put a childish boy before my priorities which resulted in failing classes, academic probation, and eventually dropping out of the university I worked so hard to get into. In the end, I learned that you cannot put your world in someone else’s hands because when they leave you’ll be left with nothing but scars. TC mark

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