05/29/2012 11:58 am ET Updated Jan 16, 2015


This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.

By Annie

In some ways, my life is partitioned into two very distinct categories: the Before and After. Before the day we met, and after. That is the extent to which you have changed me.

It was Spring break of 0’10. My friends and I were on the beach, living the college dream. We had been planning this trip literally since New Years, working overtime to dredge up enough money for condo fees, Coronas, and bikinis. Our bodies were fit and toned from week upon grueling week, an anticipatory precaution that ensured we look good in those bikinis. All around us, hundreds of rowdy 18 to 20-somethings flocked to the white sandy beaches of Padre, yelling happily to one another and balancing coolers on their shoulders. A stage had been set up in front of the ocean, complete with massive stereos blasting Top-40 hits and a DJ who was clearly enamored by the sound of his own voice.

There was a celebratory feel to it all, a camaraderie that extended beyond the various University flags and petty school rivalries. Fight songs broke out from time to time, but they were tempered by laughter and good-natured ribbing. Blue devils and Tar heels came together to do shots and play raucous games of beer pong; Longhorns and Aggies intermingled without a second thought. We forgot for a while that we were competitors and simply relished in being young and happy and free, kids really, with the world at our fingertips.

It was late in the afternoon when I ran into you—quite literally. I had a nice buzz going at that point, as did my friend Emily, and for some reason we decided it would be fun to sprint into the ocean. But fate had it that you were in the way, and as Em disappeared into the surf, I slammed into you at full speed.

I got the wind knocked out of me (although you like to joke today that I was floored by your good looks and charm). Then I felt your hands on my shoulders, steadying me. The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew that nothing would be the same. Tectonic plates shifted beneath my feet. The earth shook. The walls I had so meticulously assembled to keep others out crumbled to dust. I was yours, entirely, right then and there. Could you feel it, too?

When I looked at you I thought of sunshine, and every other sappy romantic cliché that before I had considered meaningless fodder for the gullible. Your crooked, dimpled smile lit me up from the inside out. I fell headfirst into your bright azure eyes and never managed to climb my way out again. I was drawn to you in a way that was beyond explanation.

After I caught my breath, after we exchanged introductions, the rest was history. We spent the rest of the day together. Then the next. And the one after that. We danced at every bar our friends dragged us to and fooled around in the back of a taxi, which was not my usual style. Later, my feet started to hurt in my strappy too-high heels so you swooped me up into your arms and carried me. The next night we ran down to my condo’s little beach and waded hand in hand through the surf, watching for dolphins. You brought down your guitar and played a song that almost made me cry, but instead I teased you about pulling out all the tricks, and you laughed and kissed me slow and sweet.

It scared me. I was walking on air, of course, but I was terrified too. Never before had I fallen for someone so abruptly and absolutely. I felt like we had known each other for years; your arms were the most natural place in the world for me to be in. Leaving you, after those whirl-wind three days, was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. You held me and kissed me and we both struggled to comprehend the enormity of what had taken place. I fought back tears and you swore you would call.

You did.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two years now. There are precious few Spring Break success stories as far as romance is concerned—you could probably count them all on one hand. It's weird to think that we’re one, that our friends still shake their heads and marvel at us. The timing, as it turned out, couldn’t have been better. I was ready for you to come into my life, even if I didn’t know it then.

You have flipped my world upside down and rearranged all the pieces, and that is precisely how I like it.