The first boy I fell in love with, was a new boy at my primary school. The first time he raced against the other boys and out-paced them all, I was utterly smitten. I think I was probably about eight years old. But he was a year younger than I was, and it just didn’t seem right at that age to have a crush on a younger man.
I started this post intending to write about my teenage sweetheart James. However, somehow it seemed right to go back further and mention all the boys who touched my heart before my teenage sweetheart.
Then a couple of years later there was a boy who was a year older than I was. He found an axe when we were playing in the woods. He picked it up and swung it back behind his shoulder and started to strike an old tree root. I was mesmerised by this wild exciting boy! But then he went off to high school, and he didn’t want to be seen with primary school children any longer.
At high school, I didn’t like any of the pimply gangly-legged awkward boys, until I was around fourteen. There was one. He had dimples and an adorable grin. I liked him. Unfortunately, I was not the only girl who had noticed he was starting to look like he should be in a boy band.
When I had just turned sixteen, I first met Rick He was eight years older than me! He treated me like his little sister, and took me to parties and to Pizzahut! He took me to so many interesting places and introduced me to many people from Liverpool to Manchester. It was very exciting for me at the age of sixteen to have Rick being the older guy who was taking me places I had never been, and at the same time keeping a close eye on me to make sure I was safe and happy.
Rick was one of the most energetic and lively characters I had ever come across. He was full of enthusiasm and had a sense of humour I was enthralled with. He could make anyone laugh, I guess he was a bit of a clown really. But he was responsible and he took me under his wing in quite a brotherly way. He gave me great advice, which was useful as I was entering a part of my life that was fraught with hazards that had the potential to cause me serious harm. Rick really did have his head screwed on the right way! I thought the world of him. In fact, I do believe he had a massive influence on my character during that year after I had left school.
I guess a crush was developing in a way. My Dadda teased me about having a crush on Rick. So did some of my Dad’s friends. But Dadda seemed to trust Rick, because he allowed me to accompany him to Manchester and Liverpool along with his friends.
However, my adoration for him proved fickle in a way. You see one of my best friends Jill told me that she was in love with him. She was also sixteen. She said I was hurting her because I was flirting with him (I was not aware of that) and that everyone thought he and I were going to get married. Now although at fifteen, marriage was not a word I was even beginning to contemplate, I was grieved by what Jill had told me. Jill and I had been friends for as long as I could remember being alive. At the end of the day, my love for my long-time childhood friend Jill was more important than my crush on Rick. I didn’t want to hurt Jill. Se had told me she was in love with him. I might have had a bit of a crush, but it was too fragile for me to voice to anyone. Whereas Jill was bold and brave in her love.
I was really heart-broken about being in the situation where this young man who I was frankly smitten with, had become a thorn between one of my best friends and I. Jill was always going to win my loyalty and friendship. So…I changed my behaviour around Rick. I started to be less cheery and became rather stroppy and argumentative with him. I even told him not to speak to me in public because I did not want anyone to think that I liked him! The odd thing was, I was sitting in the front seat of his car with him while he was driving at the time. Rick was bewildered by my change of mood around him.
Anyway…Rick ended up marrying another girl my age, a very good friend, actually a very special friend of mine, named Keziah. I will tell you more about Rick and Keziah I am sure. They have remained close friends throughout my life. I love Rick and Keziah so dearly.
I should briefly mention a very big crush I had on another young man when I was about seventeen. We were on the same training course as each other and he was such a charmer. I remember him dragging his desk across to be right next to mine and him playing with my hands and hair during classes. He was also very “cool”…everyone our age was under his influence.
What put me off him, was a very cruel practical joke he played on a man who had a severe physical health problem (he had been involved in a massive car accident which had seriously damaged his spine). It was the most stupid and unkind things I had heard of anyone doing. So wrong to humiliate someone like that. Honestly…everyone was disgusted with him. He was suddenly not at all “cool”. My crush evaporated.
Well….these were the boys who touched my heart before my teenage sweetheart James. I will save James for another post.