To Begin at the Beginning

I’m not a blogger by nature. I love the long process involved in novel writing. So that’s my writing style of choice. But, like everyone else in this world I have a story. Now it’s fair to ask, “Who cares about your story?” Well, I do, and that’s why I’m writing this short one.

I always said if I ever write a blog post it would be about something important to who I am as a man, to what lies at the core and root of me. It took me a long time to figure out what that was, but now I know. I’m sure it won’t be any surprise to anyone that deigns to read this that the most important thing in my life is Love. The strongest emotion. What this whole world revolves around in one way or another. And if I’m going to talk about Love then I’m going to talk about my only true love. The girl who started it all for me. The first scar on my heart, the first one to make my heart skip a beat, my first heartbreak, my first and only everything, Kyrina Marie Smiley.

I met her over 25 years ago. She was one of the shyest girls I have ever seen. I first saw her walking down the street with her older sister and best friend. It was funny because when they would walk back and forth down the street they would always look directly at the ground. Never talking, never looking up, always away. Now it’s fair to say, I grew up in a pretty rough inner city neighborhood, and Kyrina and her sister might have been instructed to stay away from the perceived bad element. Or maybe it was just their way, I later learned she grew up in a small town far from Cleveland, where I grew up. So inner city life must have been a big change for her. I don’t know exactly what it was about me and my friends that frightened them so much but it always made us laugh.

One day, my friends were in a particularly playful mood, as teenagers sometimes are, so they catcalled them as they walked back and forth from the corner store. In hindsight, it was pretty juvenile, but if not for that youthful idiocy I would have never met her at all.

After weeks of me and my two best friends giving them grief, Kyrina’s older sister stopped walking and looked up at us and told us to leave them alone. We were shocked. I never thought they would talk to us, even in anger, at all, but they did. After Kyrina’s sister stood her ground and rolled her eyes at us, Kyrina looked up at me for the first time. And let me tell you, I have never been so shaken in my life. It was never one particular thing that was beautiful or sexy or amazing that drew me to her, it was the everything of her that did.  Her eyes have always been so deep and intelligent to me, her hair so long and perfect, like freshly spun silk, her body perfectly proportioned in every way. From that first moment I saw her face, I have never thought of love without seeing that first image of her. To me, in my mind, Kyrina is Love. She is the beginning of it, the end of it, the all of it. I will never be able to do her justice with words, it is beyond my craft. That first feeling though, let me tell you, it was like a revelation. After that day, I had a tunnel vision for her like you would not believe. When she was around I never saw another soul, never heard another voice, never cared about anything or anyone but her.

After that initial awkward meeting, we were thick as thieves. My two best friends dated her older sister and best friend, and I dated her, of course. We spent all Summer together. From the moment the Sun rose until it went down, we talked, and ran, and played, and talked some more, and flirted,  and did everything together. I must admit, looking back, that I never really knew Kyrina. She was my dream girl. All I ever wanted to do was look at her and it was enough to make me happy beyond anything I could fathom. It was just so superficial. I am ashamed of younger me for not getting to know her and instead only seeing her as a trophy. But I was young and stupid, and I just never knew what to say or ask, but I knew what to feel. That, I always have been wise beyond my years at. My heart sees more clearly than any aspect of my being.

Now we get to the crux of the matter, when I fell in love with her. Now reading this you might ask, “But weren’t you already ‘love at first sight’ in love with her?” No. I was infatuated with her, obviously. I liked the hell out of her, definitely. She mad me smile at how wild she was. And she was fast. I have never seen any girl as fast as her in my life. We would play tag at night and no one could escape her, no matter the head start.  And I was a football and track start in those days. Even I couldn’t outrun her. I used to just sit back and watch her with so much pride. Fast, wild, young, free. She was just so amazing. *Sighs*

Oh, the moment. I was talking about the moment. Yes, I remember now. It was innocent enough. Just a date at my friend’s house. We would all hang there at times because his parent were never home and it was a cool place to chill. His room was on the second floor of the house, and he was holed up in that room, presumably making out with Kyrina’s best friend like rabbits in springtime, or at least that’s what it sounded like. At this particular time, me and Kyrina were hanging out in the tv room that sat under a huge west-facing window. It was Summer, so it was really warm and unbearably humid outside. We talked and watched tv and held hands. It was never about anything more than that with us, we just never needed the overly physical stuff, we kissed and hugged like crazy but never anything more. I remember she was talking about something, she was just so intelligent and always talked at such a fast pace it was hard to keep up with the things she would say sometimes. Anyway, the Sun hit a patch of clouds and for no reason, I can or ever will understand, I felt it. It was like the world slowed down from minutes…to seconds…to heartbeats. I looked up at her, trying to see if she felt it too, if she knew what the hell was going on, and I saw her again, I mean I really, really saw her. Just like the first time we met, when a shy girl from a small town dared to look up at a scary inner city boy, she looked up at me. I saw her lips first, they always moved in a blur at regular times when she talked, but they were frozen almost in slow motion now. Her hair was blowing in the soft breeze of the air conditioner like a scene from a movie. Her eyes, that to this day I still don’t know what color they are, were sparkling like diamonds. And then, as quickly as it came the moment passed, and the Sun came from behind the clouds and shone on her like nothing I have ever seen. I have never before, and never to this day, ever, and I mean ever, seen anyone so beautiful in my life than she was in that moment. I wanted to cry it was just so…so…I don’t know. It was everything. She noticed I wasn’t talking and slowly turned to look at me. She saw my face and asked me what was wrong. I looked into her eyes and said for the first time to any woman not born of my blood, that I thought I was falling in love with her. Oh, my GOD, you would have thought I had just told her I was Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th reference), the look of fear that spread across her face in that instant. I tried to grab her hand and she jumped up and ran out of the house screaming, “No no no.” My friend and his girlfriend came storming out of his room and asked me what was wrong with her. I told them that I told her I love her for the first time. My best friend looked at me in shock, but his girlfriend smiled and said, “Go after her, she loves you too.” I ran like the devil that day, it was the first and only time I ever caught her from behind. She was really very fast. She stopped running and hid from me behind a tree a few houses away. I walked up to her and she was shaking like a leaf. I walked towards her slowly and raised her chin up and she was crying. She was always so brave and reckless, I never thought anything could scare her. I put my arms around her and we just stood there, two teenagers, crazy in love.

I wish I could say this story had a happy ending. It really doesn’t. But our story together has yet to be fully written. For my part, I lost my first love because I’m a dumb ass and I could never truly appreciate what I had until it was gone. A lot of my memories of that Summer are lost to time. For instance, I never remember her ever saying she loved me back. She might have, I don’t recall. I think if she would have told me like I told her I would have died right on the spot. Cause of death: heart explosion due to too much happiness. But I was happy with her. Happier than I have ever been with anyone in my life. Even now after all these years, when I see her, my heart skips a beat like I’m a teenager all over again. My heart, whatever it is worth to anyone in this world, belongs to Kyrina Marie Smiley, from now until this world ends, and only herShe is my first, my last, my everything.

Thank you for reading this short but poignant flashback of my life. Maybe one day I will revisit it and finish the tale. It was something else, I promise you. See you on the other side.

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