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  • This is not an old story, it is however not a new story. Digital cameras were just coming into to regular use. It was my third year of college, a state college. I was studying visual arts. We met each other on the first day of classes. I had spent the summer working for the conservation corps. The hard work and fresh air had done wonders for my confidence and overall health. Life was simple and full of laughter.

    I first noticed that she was beautiful, though she seemed full of sadness. She had just returned from living Alaska. Through her I saw the person I wanted to become. In late fall we broke away from our studies and practice to travel. First we went on a walk, then canoeing, then camping. Each weekend a new location. On the green river we camped next to a flock of migrating sandhill cranes.

    In late October at her house we ate apple pie and made donuts to give out to the trick-or-treating children. We pulled out the down comforter and slept in the room she had grown up in. By November it was over. She left me with a simple statement. She said "She wished could have met me in 5 years." I always knew exactly what she meant. It was the first time I experienced a "broken heart."

    She was right though. In the years that have followed I have thought of what she said often. Our relationship may have been insignificant to her, I do not know, but it has forever changed me. It, I feel, made me a better man. She was my first love.
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