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  • It was the first night I'd ever spent with her. With anyone, really. We were teenagers, more in love than we ever knew, but we were too afraid to admit it. It was spring break, and I was in Oklahoma for the week. She was going to stay the night at a friend's house in some far removed corner of the state, and at the last second she decided to bring me along. She'd just bought me the first Straylight Run album, and this was the first time we'd gotten to spend much time together. We were internet friends, you see. The house was small, she got the couch and I got the floor.

    I remember putting this CD in and listening to it on repeat. Silent minutes passed as I reveled in the psychological freedom of being with no one but the girl I cared about; no threat of being discovered, no worry as to our future. After a time, she slipped off the couch and laid next to me. I don't remember what we talked about, I just remember her face. Her soft cheeks, her incredibly long hair, the sweet earthy smell about her. We didn't kiss, I don't think we even touched.

    But our friendship changed that night. There was something invisible that passed between us, and we were inseparable for some time afterwards. Of course this disappeared; I don't know of anyone whose first love lasted too terribly long. But for that night, and for the months that followed, we had a purity between us that superseded the world we lived in. Just being close to her, knowing that she cared for me as much as I cared for her, seeing the truth of that in her eyes... that was the night I understood what it meant to be in love.

    Some time later, we went to Wyoming. We had our first kiss in a hotel, and we spent our first week of acknowledging our relationship in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
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