I met him when I was 17. He was a state-champion-level athlete, shy, thoughtful, and awkward. I was an outspoken, lost girl with an eating disorder. As we began dating, I opened up to him easily, spilling out my pain and strength and confusion, letting my constricted heart dissolve and absorb into his warm boy-hands. He was my first and my last love.
We dated through my going to treatment and fighting to recover. We dated through him leaving for college and me staying in my hometown, detailing our lives through childish letters and long phone calls. We were growing together, developing on our own academically and socially, but safely within the commitment of each other.