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First Loves are critical and seemingly a fairy tale. They almost all eventually end, but shouldn't this way.
Think back. Come with me
Remember your first love?
Most of us were in high school at the time. Struggling and confused in our early to mid teens. Remember, it consumed our entire world, everything we did, and suddenly, for our first time, life made sense. Being completely overcome with wonderful feelings of love, somehow, let us focus, feel wanted, and for once, felt wonderful, because we had a purpose.
We were convinced to be together, and forever. No other option, not once, entertained our minds. We spent all of our possible time together. Cut class, lied to your parents, became interested in exploring and learning everything about one another.
With such eternal love and dreams, also brought, this fear and constant worry. I feared, my love, my soul mate, without warning, could leave my heart, by falling for an other. This was unacceptable. Viscous, our girlfriends did speak, to take no prisoners. Between the feelings of jealousy and insecurities we transformed into much more than, I think our other half, ever felt they signed up for.
None of us girls had a clue what the boys felt. So we felt compelled to decide their thoughts for them. We clearly, believed we had.
Girls bathrooms and locker rooms held critical discussions about these boys. Information that was shared, very private details. Should it leak out, harsh consequences would be punishment, in the form of rumors and gossip.
Why we did this, or threatened to, I'll never know. I just feel we all thought we were grown up, and at 14, nothing made sense. Except for, love. Looking back, I think we believed no one would break our code of silence. How naive I was, given these very same girls, were messing about with each others boys. Unknowingly to the female, who was busy with her own new love.
But my poor guy, oh my gosh. So many questions, rather interrogations. This was me, ensuring he wouldn't know my panic driven, ruthless, determined, comic book persona that was born, the first time I laid eyes on him. Can we say Psycho?! OK, teenager!
I truly believed, I was being the best girlfriend he could ask for. Now, in retrospect, I wonder how trapped or obligated he felt with our own, new love? Was it ever as big a deal to him, as to me? He seemed to really enjoy my company, regardless of the gossip girls. He was full of some truth serum, I never or am positive he had not been with another, during our time.
Here I was 14 years old, and had already quit school all together. This meaning the last grade I ever completed was grade 8. I still cannot believe my parents or the Board of Education accepted, even encouraged this situation. Regardless, I was always at my old school grounds, acting as if I was still there. I just had no other options, how to spend my time. Then the answer came to me. It was him. His name, was Darren.
Love then, is the love I understand today.
Then the decision came, I knew Darren had already been with a few girls. He was, after all, 16, and 2 years in your teens, is a lifetime of difference. I, still a virgin, [ignoring a previous assault a year prior], had no comprehension of what sex was, let alone something one would enjoy doing. Yet, I also, never before had feelings anything like I was continuing to develop, towards Darren. I also, over the past 6 months, felt I could trust him with anything.
The greatest love of my life. Despite how naive I was,reflecting back, it just doesn't matter. It was my fairy tale, and he was my prince. He being my incredible, Darren.
We shared all the same family issues, alcoholic parents, neither of us knew where our fathers were, once they had taken off earlier, younger siblings, mothers just barely hanging on from a rough time with abuse. I found in Darren, validation. He was laid back, funny, supportive, always joking and encouraging me to write. He was beautiful, cared for other people and somehow, stayed in school.
These wonderful traits he had, caused me, to be even more insecure.
I will never know what it was, to this day, nor why, he fell in love with someone like me. Thinking back, I was so awkward and far from what I believed, a girl should be, for someone like Darren.
Suppose I still carry this trait, and ignore it. Fake that I do not feel this way, and exit if one does catch on.
Darren never rushed me, was gentle and kind, above all else, patient.
There began my entry into a love no one the rest of my life could replace. My first.
And how funny it was that our excursions, became sacred, under the football field bleachers, growing ever so frequent.
First loves must come to an end at some point. Or, so I know now. Then I most certainly did not. More so, the way Darren and I ended. It was a Saturday, and my life was about to change forever.
We were heading for the bleachers, perfectly isolated on the weekends. Darren brought a blanket, and I laughed because it was bright red. We both saw the irony in that just maybe, this could draw attention. Well, we didn't ditch it so, red would be this Saturdays bed. I didn't know the degree of the irony in that.
The street at the back of the school was almost always dead, and I, like always, ran accross, fearless. Not a thought a car could hurt me. I looked back and Darren was not crossing, he said ' you're nuts, hold on, I'll cross at the corner, just don't leave.' I could not believe on a dead street he was going to cross at the corner. This was ridiculous.
'Just hurry up and cross here, hurry up, hurry up, Darren there are no cars.' He laughed, and started to cross when a brown station wagon, didn't just hit him, but the front left tire ran over his head. There was a woman driving, she jumped out of her car and dragged Darren from beneath the wagon.
It is this visual I cannot to this day shake from my head. Once she grabbed hold of him, she dragged him from under his arms, his head had fallen to his chest and his blood was absolutely everywhere. I was still just standing there with my mouth open. Confused.
The woman dragged Darren to the sidewalk and put him on a square in the sidewalk , his feet dangling still on the road. She advised me not to leave him, he was badly hurt and she would run for help and be back. Her last words were repeating, 'I'll be right back'
I waited for an ambulance, a policeman, a fire truck, the woman in the station wagon. Even a car to drive by. I don't know how long that was.
It was long enough for me to look and Darren, and the horror he now wore. So helpless, I dragged him onto my lap, held him the best I could.
Distinctively remember chanting, inside my head, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright, You'll be alright.
Nobody came, and that driver was gone. What probably was ten minutes, since the hit and run, might as well have been 10 hours to me. So torn between leaving Darren to find someone or staying by his side and help, both were my solutions.
I began CPR only having seen from the movies, clearly a bad choice, I saw instantly, Any pressure to his body forced large amounts to exit it.
Drenched in blood everywhere, I got up ready to run for help when a car slowed down and stopped. Panicked, he thought I was badly injured, from so much blood. He promised to come right back after he found a phone and call for help.
Would he? What if not? I decided to give him 5 minutes, then listen to no one, and run like fire, to find someone.
With such shock and panic, I only felt fear, Fear that Darren would die with so much time passing, and bleeding so badly.
I first heard the sirens, then the man, I came know as Rod, pulled up and ran to Darren.
There was no pulse, as the Fire Trucks, three, pulled up and so quickly began assessing Darren's injuries, I did not know he was dead.
In fact, no one told me until his mother arrived at the hospital, as well, She never thought much of me. Instant facial expressions, showed intense anger as she studied me.
Her only sons blood was all she could see, great amounts, covering my clothes and all over me. It was if she convicted me, right there, responsible for his death. Or possibly I was reading her pain, and transferring it to my own guilt.
I tried seeing her by visiting the apartment a few times, always the same reaction. Slamming the door very violently. Screaming 'Do not come here ever again', and so I did not. She passed about 4 years after Darren. She stopped living once Darren died. I want to believe they are reunited and both free from pain, and finally, neither alone.
It was a doctor who pulled me aside, alone, and explain Darren had passed on impact, mostly from the wheel that ran over, and destroyed his head, crushing his brain. Apparently he had felt no pain and there was nothing anyone could have done to save him.
As 2 police entered and ended my talk with the doctor, I got so scared. Still believed telling them it was my fault, was the least I could do, and I did. Trying to convince me, this could have occurred a number of ways, I was not at blame. They wanted as much detail, while still fresh in my mind, regarding the woman and car that killed Darren.
It was officially, a hit and run, and since the victim (Darren) died. The driver also moved him, most surely knowing he was dead. An aggressive search and investigation, had already begun. They closed by advising me to seek PTS aid for support to learn coping tools, for a very difficult loss. This, they added, would get easier over time, but I could be effected, most likely, for a lifetime.
My mental stress since he was hit, was not just loss. I had killed him. This was my fault.
Lost, Alone,, Guilty, Horrified, Angry, and Heartbroken. These feelings were growing, not fading. Soon enough, from everyone, to everything, I began hating. We had both lost all our love, our worlds stopped. I had no idea who to talk to, and was pretty sure I didn't want to all the same.
It was if none of this was true , looking back now. Remembering the amount of responsibility and guilt I was feeling and was increasing quickly.
Had I shut my mouth, and just listened to him rather than be a brat insisting him to cross the street, he would be alive and not crushed to death? I kept yelling, hurry up, hurry up hurry up hurry up hurry up hurry up — chanting in my head as I stare at his stone representing an identity to this burial or grave.
I just felt sick. I remember my anger kept growing. Now I was pissed, realizing, that this is how we respect our dead? Why beneath the earth? What's up? I lost it, trying to dig him out and take him to water or even beneath a tree. Clearly not in a healthy state of mind.
My actions proved how confused I was, that all my free time was spent on his grave, and not a sole I could think of to turn to. That's when, what would become a good friend, the cemetery groundskeeper stopped me from digging. W spent hours talking, and he knew so much. That day forward, everyday I spent there, he found time to sit with me awhile.
Given I went to his grave everyday and had all the time to do so, I moved in. Cigarette butts around, pop cans, and the worst, came the drugs.
Whatever means high or not, I wrote. I wrote lyrics about anger and rage, guilt and shame, visions stuck in my head and nightmares.
I always felt Darren was listening and I found some comport in writing. I had found my home, and not yet 15.
I got to know the groundskeeper quite well, he always seemed to get my back. He would gently wake me as night would approach. Their gates closed by 10. Not that I didn't get over those a few nights needing to sleep on Darren's body.
Love and Loss. Our first loves, for the most part, will leave, as I said earlier. Though a shock at the time, many, well I, believed deep in my heart, forever, was just a given.
I truly was lost, so alone, part by choice, and no clue what to do with my time now, never mind, how to leave him alone in that place, where he lie to rot.
As I aged, never letting go
Forget love, he was taken from everything he knew, had wanted, and could be experiencing. Darren was taken from life.
My belief today, comes from an understanding, there is no timelimit as to when someone is able to let go. Without letting go of, the person. If that makes any sense at all. It has been 30 years right now end of August, and I can barely get through typing a sentence per day only to find myself deleting it.
I was shocked when I saw the first comment from me dated 4 months ago. I also was given some good but hard to hear advise. 'Kimberly, it will never be good enough, and you can never honour him to the expectation you have set forth. If you in fact do want closure, publish this hub and edit after if need be.' That was 2 hours ago, 4 am. I will do this. I can.
My time is due. Due today. Today because I am admitting, right or wrong, I feel responsible for the death of my first and forever greatest love. I need to be able to say, I feel it was I, that, ultimately killed him. So how am I going to forgive myself? Forgive, only now, I can. Because yes, it was an accident and yes, a fluke as they say, but most of all, because, of course his death, would be the last thing I would want for him, ever.
I am positive in the last three years, he has tried whispering to me, in the breeze. I would be so happy, if he is able to break through, so I can understand what he is trying to say.
No more goodbyes Darren.
Now thirty years, to the month. As I cherish, always, the details, hopes, memories, gifts and experiences, you gave me, I now stop mourning, but will celebrate.
You were my first, will forever be my first, and wouldn't change a single thing, with the exception of your tragedy, of course.
So Darren, as I sit, this upcoming weekend, on your sidewalk square [southeast, south side of road, 12 squares from Northbound Road], I will chalk in Pink, RIP, sit awhile and begin to heal. To celebrate, you, us. Not to leave.
Babe, I wouldn't want to be me, had I not had YOU!
Godspeed Darren, Godspeed.
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|Reviewed by Mary Lacey, Desertrat
I'm so sorry for your loss, this must have been so hard to write. Even so, you wrote it well, and I hope it gave you closure, even after 30 years something like this would be hard to rememeber and much harder to forget! God Bless You.
|Reviewed by Donna Chandler
|Thank you so much for sharing your story. In the sharing of the words, I hope you also are able to share and let go of some of the pain. The ending is a beautiful loving tribute "I wouldn't want to be me, had I not had YOU!"
|Reviewed by William Huff
|A tragic story, beyond my abilty to truly comprehend such horror...but I will say this..not only do you tell it to us with obvious compassion and concern for us your audience, but I truly believe you are helping others...
Thank you so much for all that you do..
And dear god, i'm sorry for the pain you never deserved...