You never forget your first love. Their name lingers on your lips. Their face is etched into your memory’s museum. And if you two part, no matter how much time passes by, your mind still dances around that person’s aura traipsing through your thoughts.
And that’s exactly what happened with Eric, my first love. He and I met when I was 19-years-old and he was 22. I was a sophomore in college and Eric wasn’t a student, but lived in my college town. Back then, the club was my favorite pass time on any night ending in “Y.” One night, I was at my favorite club with my friends and in typical I’m-only-19 style, we were on the dance floor the entire night. The DJ put on Ying Yang Twins and I wiggled like I was on their payroll.
I felt a large hand rest on my gyrating hips and I turned to glance at the handsy stranger. He was cute, so I kept dancing. We danced together the entire night and became inseparable for a year. Eric was the first man I ever dated and the first man I ever loved.
I even remember the day I told him I loved him. We’d just gotten back from dinner and decided to go back to my apartment to watch The Chappelle Show and chill, way before Netflix. We were laid up, three episodes in, both teary-eyed from laughter.
Eric took my foot in his hands and started rubbing it. I giggled at the tickling sensation, “What are you doing?”
“Rubbing your dogs,” he said casually.
“Well, thank you sir, but why?” I asked curious because he’d never done anything like that before.
“Earlier you complained about them hurting when you got off work. I caught a whiff of them, so I decided to rub them,” he said laughing at this own joke.
“Shut up!” I kicked him and we laughed and started wrestling.
Eric pinned me down, “You can’t win this fight. Say you give up!”
“No!” I laughed, still trying to kick, but the weight of his body on mine made it impossible.
“Say it!” He yelled as he held my wrists.
“I give up!” I yelled and laughed.
Eric let go of my wrists and leaned down to kiss me. When he sat up from the kiss, my lips kept moving, “I love you.” I was shocked at the words sliding out of my mouth so easily.
Eric was too. He stared at me. Time felt like it had completely stopped. I wasn’t sure if I should say something else or roll over and die.
Eric got off the bed, “I’ll be right back.”
I rolled over, shocked. I shouldn’t have done that, I thought to myself. I didn’t know what to do next. I wanted to cry and before I knew it, a tear slid down my cheek and they refused to stop flowing.
I hear Eric coming out of the bathroom. He cleared his throat and sat down on the bed. I tensed up. He laid down beside me. He tried to turn my face toward him. I fought against his hand. “Stop it baby,” he said.
I let Eric turn my face towards him. My tears flowed. I was mortified.
“You really love me Dee?”
“I don’t know,” I paused. “I do know. And I do, but you don’t…”
Eric cut me off, “I love you too Dee. I don’t deserve a girl like you.” Eric’s voice shook with emotion.
And there it was–the first time we expressed our love for one another. Eric was always telling me that I was too good for him. I was a college girl with a successful life ahead of me and he was just a “local” who wasn’t sure what he was doing with his life. It was a constant disagreement in or relationship and by the end of my junior year, I let Eric be right and we broke up. Years flew by, I changed phones many times, but I always kept the same number. But before I knew it, I didn’t have Eric’s number anymore.
Eric stalked my thoughts when I was in between boyfriends and situationships. I would search for him when a dude I was dealing with did something stupid or when I found myself single again. Memories of him would make me smile and butterflies danced through my stomach. I would Google his first and last name, hoping to find something. In the days before Facebook and all other social media, Google results were slim.
And then social media took the world by storm and my searches for Eric bore fruit. His face danced across my mind and I decided to type his name into Facebook search. Six different Erics showed up with his last name and when I scrolled down to number five, I saw the smile that used to make me giddy.
I requested him as a friend immediately. And before I could punk out, I messaged him, “Well hello sir.”
The response was shock, Eric wrote, “Dee, is that really you?”
Find out hat happens next in next week’s column!