In Love, We Are All Teenage Girls (No Offense To Teenage Girls)

Hearts drawn on misty windows and pieces of paper torn from notebooks. Jagged edges. Or edge. Bits left behind in a 10-inch spiral. Initials linked by plus signs. Taking turns being on top. You try on a different last name. You try on a different life. A gold-plated ID bracelet. Again, initials. Heavy on wrists around which you can wrap your thumb and forefinger. Jackets, too broad in the shoulders, too long in the sleeves. You know him by scent. You know him by heart.

You don’t see beyond the moment you’re in, initials drawn inside hearts. Plus signs a handmade wedding ring. You swoon. You say I love you even when you don’t mean I love you. You substitute I love you for everything you can’t say. You don’t think about the things you can’t say, because you are too busy saying I love you.

When-not-if. Never if.

An impossible-to-maintain feverish feeling that will fade, even though you don’t listen when everyone tells you that the impossible-to-maintain feverish feeling you feel will fade.

Not us. Not two sets of initials joined by a plus sign.

You draw more hearts. You reverse the initials so that you are not on top, or so that you are on top. You use colored pencils.

Best friends. Best friends forever. Joy Division got it wrong. Love will not tear us apart. Nothing will tear us apart.

For keeps. And always. And we’ll wear masks at our wedding and send crayons with our wedding invitations so the invited know the color they have to incorporate into what they wear. We will have two weddings. One for our family and friends; one for us. We will get married in Hawaii and Paris and London and Moscow. We will not call these weddings destination weddings because you are my destination as I am yours.

No need to hyphenate our last names. I have gotten used to wearing yours.

But then you wake up next to someone who has become a stranger, not overnight, though this transformation feels like it happened overnight. Or maybe you are the one who changed. You woke up someone different than you were before, and you do not know how you became this person.

You love but you are no longer in love. You stop saying I love you when you mean everything but I love you. You say you no longer believe in plus signs and hearts drawn on misty windows. Your initials no longer look good together. You hate their last name.

Impossible, first loves. First loves are first for a reason. First loves come before second loves before third loves before fourth loves before several loves who you do not yet love but who, one day, you will love. They do not love you yet either. But they will.

Good morning texts. Lunches at undiscovered restaurants. New bodies to learn and to memorize. New bodies on which to leave fingerprints. New sets of initials. New last names to try on. TC mark

image – orange kuma


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  • Kai

    New numbers to delete from your phone.

     (Don’t mind me, I’m at the angsty teenage girl phase)

  • guest

    I just got out of a 1 year relationship that ended because things were getting too serious for how young we are. I’m so afraid eventually, when we get in touch again, we’ll realize we love each other but aren’t in love. Although I’m going to keep repeating to myself, “You are my destination and I am yours.”

  • Viktoriya Gaponski

    Doctor, you were never a 13 year old girl

  • Guest

    “New bodies to learn and to memorize. New bodies on which to leave fingerprints.” – Love this statement. This was one of the first losses I felt when I went through my first breakup. It also always reminds me of the episode of ‘Friends’ where Ross and Rachel break up. Not only are you mentally a part of someone you love, but you feel as if you are physically a part of them.

  • Sophia

    this reminds me of something taylor swift said once at an awards show: “When I was a teenager I felt like we were always being stereotyped as being really intense and dramatic and passionate and hopelessly romantic and excitable, now in retrospect I think I need to let you know those things are amazing. I hope you never lose those things.”

  • Joyce

    This felt like a car crash happening in slow-motion. I know every detail of this.

  • boherubi

    this was heartbreaking.

  • beatrice

    Henderson, it’s nice to know that you’re back :).

    Is it really that terrible to love someone but not be in love anymore?

  • renaye

    sigh. what went wrong?

  • rebecca

    What about after the stage where you act all goofy? What about when you look at someone after that goofy stage and realize that you really do love this person with all your heart? It changes to a feeling of love and protection, you want to be there for the person and you two start to become one as the love grows more steady…. You might not be all passionate and romantic, but they are still your world, and you would do anything for them…

  • Stelingwoerner99

    this is all so true.  There is no escaping this cycle it seems.  You have it down to the dot.

  • free reverse cell phone lookup with name and address free

    Hey, what kind of antispam plugin do you use for your blog.

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