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  • I met David on the top of a pile of rugs and carpet. It was the 1983 Rummage Sale for our school and we were Sophmores in highschool. It was dirty and smelled funky in the warehouse, but David smelled warm and had a slight hint of cologne. David's ice blue eyes and secret smile made me shakey and fluttery that day. And, I was not a shakey, fluttery kind of girl.

    Within days, we started "accidentally" brushing our arms up against each other at school. I wrote David tiny notes and tucked them into his books. The notes turned into letters, which turned into phone calls that lasted far into the night. We discovered needing each other through sweet, nervous, achey hours. David smelled so good. I wanted to borrow his sweatshirts to bury my face in everyday.

    David taught me to drive, to love music and to trust that someone could love me. But, I could barely manage it. I was secretly empty on the inside and I had decided at age 8 to never, ever need anyone after my mother left us. We had hard family stories that kept leaking into our lives. We spent two years raising his little brother, Frankie, while his mom was sick sick sick with addiction and pain. By Senior year, she committed suicide and we began to unravel a tiny little bit at a time.

    I knew this part. The unravelling. I was not very good at love, but I was very good at pain. I started to help David push away. I started to fulfill my "unlovable" prophecy. I was good at hurting David and I was good at emptying out my heart. My head and my heart were not speaking and by the end of high school, David and I could hardly be in the same room with each other. It was tremendously sad. I hurt him with the stupid things kids do. And, like magnets, we flipped over and could not get near to each other for a long time. We left high school to face new lives and loves. It was tricky. My navigation was off, as David had been my map and I floundered on my own for many years.

    David and I are lifelong friends now. I know he knows that I want to take it all back: to erase the hurt, to have loved better, to have stayed. But we both know my heart needed to grow alone for awhile. We both have created our own amazing families and life all around us. I have filled my heart since then, but I have never figured out a way to truly apologize to David for the hurt a teenage girl can make.
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