my first "boyfriend" was a tiny frat boy named tim. he was eleven or twelve, junior high. i was rounding that corner myself. we rode the bus together. a mutual friend who sat on the back bench of the bus as it hugged the rounded edges of the concrete road toward our condo complex asked for my phone number. to give to tim. he called me ten minutes after i got home. ten minutes of pacing back and forth, staring at the open refrigerator, eating three chocolate chip cookies. when he called, i pretended to be fourteen. because fourteen seemed like it knew what it was doing. he asked me to "go" with him. i said yes. and we hung up. the next day i ignored him. the day after that we stopped "going together." my first relationship was checked off the list. i felt successful, jaded, improperly mature.
i was always a bit of a late bloomer.
the first time i spent time alone with bryan, there was a shift. tectonic or magnetic. throw me chemistry or spirituality or destiny or time and place and i will smile at you and nod accordingly. yes, yes. and yes. yes.
we sat under a tree, surrounded by grass and we barely spoke. i imagined i was fourteen. times two. and then some. i showed my hand. i went all in. eyes closed and wide open, underwater and still breathing. i meant everything i said and my actions followed suit. i was the winning hand you always heard about. it was magic.
seven years later and i am now the aftermath of the royal flush. i am the old wives' tale, the fable. the bedtime story. i am home.