Young Love

I stepped on the bus number 174, handed the bus driver my permission slip and followed my best friend Cara to the back of the bus. I slid in the seat after her as we attempted to push our bags to the floor, The bus got louder as more kids, some as young as twelve, climbed the three steps and sat down.

“What do you want to do when we get to my house?” Cara shouted over the noise.

“I don’t know. What do you want to do?” I replied. She shrugged her shoulders instead of trying to make herself heard.

The seats near us filled up first, The one person seat behind us was the first to go, the others followed that. I looked around at the people who rode her bus and noticed that half of them only lived five minutes from the school in a park. Thank god, I thought to myself, at least it won’t be this loud the entire ride. A couple of boys, one short with blonde hair and one tall with brown hair, sat down in the seat next to us. I smiled at the tall one as he sat down next to his friend.

“Hey, Cara!” The short blonde one leaned around his friend to talk to mine.

“Hi, Tom.” Cara said, sitting up straight in her seat.I rolled my eyes, I knew she had a little crush on him, and now as it turns out, he has one on her. I looked at each one as they continued their conversation, trying my hardest not to make eye contact with the tall one, I had never seen him before. As I was looking and listening to Cara talk, I felt a small nudge on my arm. I turned my head to see the tall guy looking at me.

“What’s your name?” He asked, his bright blue eyes piercing mine.

“Krysteen. What’s yours?” I asked him.

“Logan. Why are you on our bus?”

“I’m spending the night at Cara’s.” I responded, noticing that we were pulling into the park now.

“Oh. Okay.” He didn’t continue, and we both looked away from embarrassment. I was afraid he was going to get off the bus as the driver put it in park and opened the door, but anxious to ask Cara questions about him. As people got up and rushed off, the bus bounced and the noise level left, but he stayed. Hope filled my heart as I moved to the now empty seat in front of me, and he moved to the one in front of him. The four of us turned in our seats so that we could keep talking, our chatter now making up most of the noise on the bus.

As the bus began to slow down in front of Cara’s house, I pulled on my bag and grabbed my clarinet. As the bus parked, we stood up and made our way to the front.

“Bye!” I heard him half-way shout from the back. I turned my head and waved by in return, a big grin on my face. We were halfway down her long driveway before she said anything.

“Logan? Seriously?”

“What?” I was instantly on the defense, but I had never been able to hide anything from her.

“You like him?” She accused me.

“I don’t know. I just met him. Where does he live anyways?”

“Up the road. And Tom lives past that.” She replied. We stopped talking as she unlocked the door and struggled to hold back her dog so I could get in the door. I followed her up the stairs to the room she shared with her sister and we dumped our stuff on the floor. I threw myself on the bed as she closed the door.

“What’re we going to do?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” She sat down next to me, and we fell silent as I looked around her room.

“You have a lot of dolls.” I pointed to her collection of porcelain dolls on the shelves near the ceiling.

“Yeah. My aunt gave me a lot of them.” We fell silent again.

“Have you seen The Ring yet?” She asked me, turning around to face me.

“No. Isn’t that a scary movie?” Her question made me nervous. She loved scary movies, I very much did not.

“Yeah. I have it. Want to watch it? We can watch movies all night.”

“You mean we can watch scary movies all night.” She just smiled at me. “I don’t like scary movies, you know that.”

“That’s just because you don’t watch them.” She got up and shuffled through her movies next to her TV. “If you watched them more, then you won’t be scared because most of them are stupid.”

“Your theory is stupid.” She laughed at me and put in the movie anyways. All night long, we watched scary movie after scary movie. Well, truthfully, she watched them, I hid behind my hands and my hair. Eventually, we fell asleep on the bed, flashes from Urban Legend haunting my dreams.

I woke up the next morning and saw that she was still asleep. I sighed. I was always the first one to wake up when I spent the night at friends’ houses, and I never knew what to do so I always pretended to be asleep until someone else woke up. As I laid there waiting for her to wake up, I thought about Logan. He was cute. Especially when he smiled. I just loved his eyes. I wanted to walk to his house today, but I wasn’t sure how to bring it up without sounding like an idiot. Thankfully, I was spared from the question by Cara. When we had finished eating our cereal that morning, Cara walked in the living room to where her mom was.

“Mom, can we go for a walk?”

“Yeah. Be back before dark.”

“Sweet! Come on!” We ran upstairs to quickly get dressed before running back down and out the door. As the door closed behind us, I turned to her.

“Where are we going?” I asked, hoping that I didn’t have to ask to go to Logan’s.

“I don’t know. Let’s walk this way.” She began to walk in the direction that Logan and Tom lived in. Being too frightened to bring up the subject, I just let her lead the way and dreamed about running into Logan in front of his house when we would walk by it. We walked for a half hour before we passed in front of a larger house.

“That’s where Logan lives.” Cara whispered to me. Almost as if he heard her, Logan came out of the basement door and ran down to us. We stopped where we were when we saw him coming.

“Hey. What’re you guys doing?” He asked us.

“Just walking.” Cara replied, clearly anxious to keep going.

“Where are you walking to?” He seemed to be talking to me, he barely looked at Cara.

“Just that way.” She pointed to the direction that we had been heading in, confirming that she had intentions of walking by Tom’s house, like we had just walked by Logan’s.

“Okay. Can I come?” He asked,

“Sure.” I answered before Cara could tell him no. We began walking again, this time with Logan, our conversation lagging a bit compared to before we stopped. We walked the short distance to Tom’s house and Logan ran in to get him. As they both ran back out, the four of us naturally seemed to split. I walked next to Logan, and Tom walked next to Cara. I could tell from the back that Cara was just as nervous as I was and the only talking I heard didn’t happen until Logan decided to speak up.

“You guys want to go swimming in the creek?” When we all agreed to go swimming, we turned around and let Logan and Tom lead the way. I fell back next to Cara, and followed. The four of us walked on the dirt road for fifteen minutes until we came to an open area with some picnic tables spread out in the distance. The boys turned down the muddy path, Cara and I following closely behind.

We soon cleared through the small strip of trees and found the slow moving creek. The boys immediately started to walk in the water, boots and all still on.

“You’re going in with your shoes on?” I couldn’t believe that they hadn’t thought to take them off. Logan just looked at me and made a face.

“No. They’ll dry out.” He turned and kept going in until he was about waist deep. I walked up to the edge of the water and stuck a flip flop clad foot in the water, quickly pulling it out from shock.

“It’s freezing!”

“Well, duh. It’s October. Not August. Just get in, you’ll get used to it.” I gave him a skeptical look, I wasn’t sure I could get used to it. I looked back at Cara, her arms crossed in front of her chest, and she gave me the same look I had just given Logan. I took a deep breath, turned back to the water, and walked right in. Instantly my toes screamed in agony from the icy shock, but I kept moving forward until I was waist deep, but still a good five feet away from him. A sound from behind me told me that Cara had decided to join in after all. Logan smiled at me, his chest shaking from laughing at my reaction.

“Come on, follow me.” He turned and began to walk down stream. Already in too deep, I followed him to wherever it was that he was leading me. The further we walked, the deeper the water seemed to be, until I was forced to paddle a little, occasionally allowing the water flow to drift me. We traveled for ten minutes before we came to a small footbridge that crossed high over the creek. Here, the water quickly became very shallow and we were able to walk on pebbles and rocks, our feet still submerged. I made sure to step carefully, I had already stubbed my toes quite a few times and the rocks were slippery, all dangerous in sneakers, more so in flip flops.

“Oh!” I flew out my arms to steady myself as I slipped on a large rock and began to fall backwards. Logan turned to look at me and reached out to grab my hand and prevent me from falling on my butt. As his skin touched mine, a spark exploded in my stomach, almost wishing that I had slipped earlier in the trip. He helped me over the rest of the slippery rocks, his hand holding mine tightly as my stomach twisted into tight knots, my face housing the most ridiculous grin in the world. I couldn’t wait for school on Monday.

***

This is the story of how I met my first love. I was fifteen. Most of the story above is true, but it has been nine years so I made up the dialogue and the little details. But I remember very clearly the way it all felt the first time I fell in love. It was another two weeks before he asked me out and we were together for almost three years in high school.

It is those feelings that I want to create in people when they read my romances (future romances). A lot of romances I read today seem to only be about sex. The two destined lovers fall in love only after they have had sex at least once. I’ve even read a few where the first time wasn’t completely consensual. It’s all about sex these days. And while all of that is nice and a fact of life, what happened when romance was just that? Romance? Why can’t it be about love itself without the added mess of sex. Sex can complicate things big time and if the characters aren’t portrayed right, a story can sound like the only reason they think they love each other is because of sex, which is also a part of reality. It just bothers me, but because of it, I’m now extremely picky about the romances I read, I prefer little to no sex. I want love.

So I decided a while ago, that that was exactly what I was going to write. I’m not saying there will never be sex, but I really hope I can convey the image that it only happens because two people are in love. Not because their bodies ache for each other (if you’ve read many romances, you will recognize that this is the only feeling a body has when it’s not having sex). My experience with first love as a teenager will help me do this. Youth, innocence, and love will be dominating features in my future Young Love series.

I wrote the long little blurb for many reasons. The first was to start showcasing my romance, particularly my Young Love series. I’ve also been on this romance kick. It happens every once in a while and I had hoped that writing this would help alleviate some of it because I’m finding it quite difficult to kill people in Bugs if I’m feeling romantic. That’s just not good.

Another reason is because I’ve been neglecting my social media responsibilities, and apparently a long blog post fixes that. Honestly, this is taking me three days to write, and I don’t remember all of the reasons that I had come up with in the first place.

But the final reason is a personal one. I’m not going to get into any details about the past few years of my life, but basically, my past wasn’t acceptable and I was never able to remember it fondly or to come to terms with anything. And now that I’m in a much healthier relationship, I’m finding myself reverting back to who I was before the past few years happened and I feel much more comfortable with thinking about everything I’ve done in my life. And I like it. Because of my boyfriend, I’m more like me than I have been in a long time, which is good. I gave him a big hug the other day because of what he’s done for me. He thought he was in trouble.

On to other stuff now. I have four days off in a row this week and today is number three. But it feels like I haven’t been to work in weeks! I don’t know what’s going on with me, but my days off feel like they’re dragging. And I know that that should be a good thing and normally I love it when they drag, but I feel like I have accomplished nothing, which makes the dragging dreadful. I have written virtually nothing of Bugs. And I’m falling way behind on NaNoWriMo. I have so much to do in so little time, and I really really want to keep to my publishing schedule. This book is taking me way too long to write (I’m obviously making great progress by writing on my blog).

Today is the 14th. I need to quit procrastinating and get to working.

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