My first job was at a porn rental company. This wouldn’t be relevant except that it was also where I got to know my first (and arguably only) love. Cole worked there too. He was the cutest boy I’d ever seen.
I’ve known Cole my whole life, but the first time I really saw him was the day after my 14th birthday. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school. Cole was 17 and entering his junior year at my future high school. I didn’t think there was any way he would notice me, but he did.
Cole and I spent our first few shifts together looking up the porn rental accounts of our mutual acquaintances, friend’s parents and teachers at the high school. During this time, we developed a friendship. He started driving me to and from work, and we started to hang out outside of work.
Cole began inviting me to parties and introducing me to his friends. His father was the third-base coach for a major league baseball team, and Cole took me to a game. After the game, he kissed me for the first time. Then, we were inseparable.
I knew I loved him the first time I went over to his house to read. He was watching a game and we didn’t speak for hours, but it was a comfortable silence. I wanted his company even when I wanted to be alone. It terrified me.
After that, I began to withdraw from him. The harder he tried to hold onto me, the more guarded I became. I was young, and my feelings for him were overwhelming.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to break up with him face to face, so I wrote him a letter and left it in his mailbox. He didn’t speak to me for three months after he read the letter. He took another girl to his junior prom and eventually started dating her. They dated for four years.
When his best friend, Dee, started dating my sister, Cole started talking to me again. Pretty soon, we were hanging out out every day. He would pick me up before school and drive me home after. We would meet up again in the evening. It was like we were dating again, but we were both dating other people.
I dated Cole’s neighbor, Jeremy, for six months before Jeremy became too jealous of my relationship with Cole for us to stay together. When Jeremy and I broke up, Cole had been dating Allison for nearly nine months. Yet, when I told Cole about the breakup, he immediately asked me if he should break up with Allison.
I wanted desperately to be with him and my answer was yes, but I was too proud to say so. I thought if Cole liked me enough he would have broken up with Allison without any assurances from me. But he didn’t.
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