As a teenager, myself and others would go drinking every Friday night. We’d illegally obtain alcopops or cheap cider, head to a field or empty car park, and drink. We called ourselves the Friday Night Crew- or FNC for short.
One warm evening in May, I was particularly excited about the upcoming Friday night out. At a party the previous weekend, Tony- who I’d always found really attractive- had told me he’d very much like to kiss me, and I’d obliged. This was the first time I was going to see him since. It was unlikely that anything would happen. I mean, for one thing, Tony had a girlfriend. And yet…
I arrived at Reading station, but my crew had gone AWOL. I rang one of them.
“Oh yeah we’re all at a party at Tony’s tonight, didn’t you get the invite?”
So, that was that potential romance out of the water.
But the night was young, so I rang my friend Kate from school and asked if I could tag along with her Friday night plans.
I arrived at the park they were drinking in, and looked around for Kate.
“A NEW PERSON!”
A tall boy with blonde spiky hair came bounding up to me. He told me his name was Chris, then launched into an introduction of the group. I was taken aback by his BAM!-in-your-face confidence. He seems like the centre of their social group…
I cracked open a bottle of WKD, and started mingling. Once I’d started feeling the buzz my spirits improved, but thoughts of Tony were still niggling at the back of my mind. There was no other solution. I had to get with someone else.
Bumped into Chris. It was starting to get cold, so I took off the shawl I was wearing so I could replace it with a jumper.
“Whoa don’t do that”, he cried. “It’s been 2 years!”
“Two years since what?”
“Since I last had sex.”
“Oh, so are you really turned on now then?”
“Yeah I’ve got a semi.”
It was the kind of comment only an attractive guy could make. The kind of comment most guys would get a drink thrown in their face for. But Chris has just planted the first seeds of attraction.
Later on we kissed. Mission accomplished.
A few weeks later, I was talking to Kate on MSN. We were planning our next Friday night drinking in a field.
“Chris is going to be there!”, she teased.
BAM! It hit me like a Mean-Girls-style yellow schoolbus.
I’d had a couple of passing fancies for guys over the course of the year, but I’d always managed to mentally block any feelings too strong due to fear of rejection. But this time, my defences came crashing down. One moment, I’d sort-of-fancied Tony. The next, I was madly in love with Chris.
Friday nights were no longer about drinking, friends, and new people. I had a mission in mind. And my mission was to be with Chris. But progress was slow. Sometimes, he’d show interest. Sometimes, he didn’t. One night, we kissed again. The next week, nothing happened.
But the more confusion there was, the more I wanted him. Chris was my first thought when I woke up in the morning, my distraction through lessons at school, and what I fantasized about before I went to sleep. There have been others I emotionally connected with more since, but I have never to this day felt such a strong, burning attraction to anyone as much as I did Chris. There was just something about him that had me mesmerized.
I went on holiday, and when I came back I found out he’d kissed one of my friends. I drank a load of vodka to drown my sorrows and vowed to give up on him.
The next Friday I vowed to ignore Chris. I wore my shortest skirt to show him what he was missing, and drank an entire litre of Strongbow to myself. I ended up collapsed on the floor vomiting by a tree root, and Chris ended up looking after me. Another friend carried me back to the station.
“You like Chris and he likes you, but you won’t do anything about it!”
Wait… what? Chris liked me?
The following week, one of my friends took pity on me and went to “put in a good word”. Chris said he would be interested, but he wanted to be single for the group holiday to Newquay. I was on tenterhooks.
September came, and the new school year began. It was now or never. I was going out on Friday, and Chris was going to be there. If nothing happened, I’d give up for good.
We arrived at the pub, and Chris was welcomed me enthusiastically. He went outside for a cigarette, and I knew now was my opportunity. We spent the whole evening talking and flirting. The sexual tension was through the roof. He said he was looking for a relationship now. Promising.
Another friend came out to join us, and when he started bragging about getting laid with his new 15 year old girlfriend, I started teasing him calling him a pedophile.
“She has a huge crush on you!” he snapped to Chris in retaliation.
He disappeared, and the sexual tension in the air was palpable.
“I think you have a crush on me too”, I smiled.
“Yes I do have a slight crush on you”.
“So what are you going to do about it?”
“Well, we could go on a date sometime”.
I went home elated.
By the middle of the following week I was starting to panic, but on the Wednesday afternoon, he texted me asking if I was free to come to the cinema tonight. I excitedly told all my friends, and went to River Island after school to buy a new top, which I wore as a dress.
I started to panic that he’d stand me up, but Chris showed up on time looking as good as ever. We went to see a film; looking back the conversation was a bit awkward but at the time I was so happy to be on a date with him that I didn’t care. Afterwards, we went for a walk, kissed again, and he told me he’d see me on Friday.
Before I went out that Friday, I lay on the trampoline in my garden reflecting on how happy I was with life. My initial burning passion had died down into something different. Something calmer, deeper. I started to look forward to building a future together. Perhaps this could be love? Perhaps, at 17, I could finally have my first ever boyfriend?
I met my friends and drank a couple of cans of Strongbow before heading to the pub Chris was at.
Walking down the road, someone mentioned, in an offhand manner:
“Chris is on a date with some girl today. He said he’s seeing the same film he saw on Wednesday.”
And in that moment, my world imploded.
We got into an argument outside the pub, which ended in both of us storming off.
Someone told me to just tell him I wanted to be exclusive. Someone told me I was overreacting.
I tried texting to see if we were going to sort things out. He didn’t reply.
Spoke to him the next week and he told me he was going on a 5th date with the other girl.
Chris didn’t end up going out with her. He said he was “dating this girl, but could still see other people”. I got the impression it ended badly, presumably because he didn’t tell her about the “seeing other people” part. He started sleeping with this girl who weighed around 20 stone claiming that she’s “fat and ugly, but easy and convenient”. They ended up dating.
I fell into a state of deep despair. I was heartbroken, angry, and bitter. I lost all faith in men. I desperately wanted a relationship, but I was convinced all men were bastards. Or maybe it was just me. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough to change them. I put up walls to protect myself, but they ended up repelling everyone away.
Until I started fancying a boy in my halls at university, and got over it.
At the time I couldn’t make sense of the situation, but with hindsight it’s made me realise what I want. I don’t want someone who isn’t sure whether they want to date me or not. I don’t want someone who takes 4 months to ask me on a date. I don’t want someone who can only date me if they can date others. I want someone who’ll tell their friends about how much they like me because I’m on their mind. Who turns down other dates telling them they’ve started seeing someone. Who commitment just flows naturally with.
Because Chris may have been my first love, but true love goes both ways, and that’s what I’m looking for.
Who was your first love?