Listen to or read the transcript of my submission below:
I remember the first moment I realized I was in love.
We were standing over a wishing well near his family’s mountain cabin, surrounded by a sea of blooming flowers, when we looked at each other and knew that we were about to wish for the exact same thing.
But just as vividly, I remember the first moment I realized my heart was breaking. I was nearly choking from the pain of it and all he could do was hold me and remind me to breath.
He was my best friend even before we started dating, and we promised to stay best friends even after – no matter how hard it may be at first. We were still in love but we were also very young. And it was time for us to move away and experience our own, separate lives.
Nothing really changed at first; I’m sure most people still thought we were together. Slowly, but surely, though, we began to drift apart. One less phone call this week. One less text today. And, eventually, we started dating other people.
It was weird at first and to this day, we rarely talk about our separate love lives. It’s been a constant challenge for both of us, but our promise held strong – we are still best friends. He was the first person I wanted to tell when my brother’s baby was born, the first person I called when my grandma’s cancer came back. We still care about each other. We still love each other.
But our love has changed, just as our relationship has.
No matter how much I wonder what it would be like if we had stayed together – how much different our lives would be today – I know I would never change a second of our relationship.
It has been six years since I first told him I loved him and though the sentiment behind the words has changed and matured and grown with us, it stands as true today as it did back then.
People may have told you that love changes you forever, and, to be honest, I think they are right. The lessons and memories I gained from this love can never be duplicated.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “There are all kinds of love in the world, but never the same love twice.”
That love may fade, that love may change, but that love can never be replaced… This, I will always believe.