Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #56 – Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost?

Remember those first loves and the rush that went along with the first kiss? With those first loves usually come some of our earliest heartbreaks.

This week’s prompt is: First Heartbreak

I will give you some questions to help you along. Or, free write if you would rather. You can either respond in the comments or link back to this post. My response will follow.

How old were you when you had your first heartbreak? (For some it might be well into adulthood and that’s fine, too!)

Who broke your heart – first names only?

Do you remember how the breakup happened?

Did you have a ring or token of your love? Did you return it?

Did you think this was true love?

Did you play any sad songs to soothe the pain? If so, do you remember the name of the song?

If you were an adolescent, were your parents sympathetic or were they of the “it’s only puppy love” school of thought?

How long did it take you to get over it all?

Do you remember this person fondly or is it someone you prefer to forget?

After all was said and done, was it for the best or did you remain longing for a love lost?

My first real heartbreak was when I was 17 years-old. My sister was in the Air Force and stationed in. Charleston, SC. Over the summer, my parents and I traveled to Charleston to see her. Over the weekend, we drove out to Isle of Palms to stay for the weekend. I remember it well. We stayed in a huge old white three story house with lots of bedrooms. It was an early mix between a boarding house and what would become what we now know as a bed and breakfast.

My sister invited some of her Air Force friends out to spend the day at the beach with us. There were three guys if I remember correctly. I have a perfect mental image of myself at the time. Young, thin, with long brown hair. I remember wearing shorts and a halter top and a wide brimmed hat. We spent the day dividing our time between the ocean and the beach.

As the day went on, I found myself falling for this tall, dark, young Italian man named Pete. By the end of the day I was head over heels. We walked to the boardwalk and there I experienced my very first ‘adult’ kiss. I felt like I might die right then and there. I was smitten. As the afternoon faded everyone decided to shower and change so we could all go out to dinner, sans parents.

My mom was quite the character and always had an edgy sense of humor. We were all sitting on the sprawling porch when my sister’s friends pulled up, got out of the car and approached us. At first my mom did not recognize them now that they had showered and changed out of their swim trunks. When she finally recognized who they were, she laughed and said, “Sorry. I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.” Everyone laughed except a couple of very prim and proper ladies sitting on the porch.

We all piled in the car and drove to what I think was a Shakey’s pizza parlor. On the ride back, I sat by Pete. I was overwhelmed  with feelings I had never experienced. That evening, back at the beach, we sat on the steps and he sang to me – “Tell Laura I Love Her” is the song I remember most. What a wonderful voice he had. We sat on those steps as night fell and the stars came out – then he had to go.

We left the following day and went to my grandparents’ home in Virginia. When we arrived I had a terrible sunburn. I was blistered, but all I could think about was Pete. My sunburn was so bad my grandmother had me lie on the bed upstairs. She brewed strong tea, cooled it, and soaked towels in the tea to use as compresses on my back. I laid on the bed all day and cried my eyes out. Everyone thought it was the sunburn, but it wasn’t. It was a broken heart.

I never saw Pete again, but I did talk to him years later when I was in the Air Force. The Air Force had a personnel locator service so people could find each other after they were separated by a change in duty stations. I managed to get his phone number and called him. I can remember the conversation as if it were yesterday. He was shocked to hear from me. He was touched and surprised that I called and was truly surprised to learn how I felt about him a just few years earlier.

Years later I am glad it was what it was and we never saw each other again, but I definitely did not feel that way then. It will always remains a beautiful unblemished memory of my first ‘real’ love and the pain of my first crushing heartbreak.