Wednesday, June 21, 2006

remember brad?

I was sixteen, and itching for any excuse to piss off my parents. I had a car and a job, a ticket to freedom in my book. I didn't like to be told what to do, and so I chose to do whatever I wanted. I couldn’t be bothered by such nuisances as curfews and being grounded, and I was smart enough to find my way around them most of the time.When we met I knew I just had to have him. He was seventeen and had been out of jail (jail!) for about three months. He smoked, drank, and sold. He took drugs I'd never even heard of. Vulnerable and insecure, he hid beneath a bad boy demeanor which I found irresistible. I was smitten.

I fell hard and fast…completely and totally in love. The emotional intimacy was accelerated by adolescent naiveté. My parents hated him, which only drove me closer. I remember, less than twenty four hours after losing my virginity to him, my mother asking me accusingly if we were having sex. I was eating a candy bar, and in retrospect, the paradox is amusing to me. I must have looked so much like a child to her in that moment, enjoying my chocolate, and yet she was asking me about sex, and I was not answering.

I remember walking all over New Orleans, all day, with his best friend, trying to figure out how to bail him out of jail. My curfew came and went and I was still in New Orleans. Eventually my mother called, having caught me in my lie that I was studying at a friend’s house. I told her I would be home in twenty minutes. I left Central Lockdown, having already paid his bail, still waiting for him to be released. When I arrived home forty minutes later, I told her I had actually been at his house (which I was forbidden to do, as I was of course grounded at the time, but this lie was better than the truth), and that I had had trouble getting my car started, explaining the delay of my arrival. We yelled and screamed and she told me I was grounded, which I had grown rather accustomed to ignoring anyway. She went to bed, and I waited a dangerously short amount of time for her to fall asleep, and then snuck back out. I drove back to New Orleans, walking alone several blocks from my car to the building in one of the least savory parts of the city to retrieve my delinquent boyfriend. That is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and although I would never do it again, I don’t regret it a bit.

We were kids, insane kids at that, but there was something very grown-up about what we shared beyond just the sex. Inevitably, he broke my heart, and I was a mess for months. But he and I learned some very important things from one another—he, that it was okay to be vulnerable, to trust somebody; and me, to not trust so willingly.

What’s funny to me now is that we still email back and forth, and I still care very genuinely about his well-being, but he almost serves as a marker of change for me. Something like a line on the wall to record my height as I grow. I look back on the time I spent with him, and I see how different I am now from the girl he fell in love with, and how I’m still the same. I’ve taken a part of that first love with me and integrated it into who I am today. And through all the fights with my parents and the heartache of learning you just can’t fix a boy, I don’t regret a single kiss. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

2 Old Comments:

I think that was a very beautiful story.

By Blogger Megan, at Wed Jun 21, 10:31:00 PM CDT  

You were totally "at my house studying" that night, and I remember talking to your mom when she called looking for you. All I could think was "Oh shit Charlotte..."

You're my hero. = )

-Best Friend Roommate

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 22, 11:50:00 PM CDT