First Love Lasts the Longest

This is a short story about your first love, about how it lasts forever. With a sad twist. Trigger warning: there is a death

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1. First Love Lasts the Longest

Love and happiness; such fluid feelings so open to perception. What one person finds as true happiness another could find as despair. And someone who may be loved by one person may be hated by another. That’s why people are so hard to understand. It’s because everyone has different emotions. Well, they’re the same emotions, we all just have different interpretations. You don’t know what it means to be truly happy, maybe you have been, but for what seems like forever you haven’t felt happy. Everyone has bad days, but for you, lately every day has been a bad day. You’re tired. Everything is tiring. Therapist is teaching you how to breathe as if you’re unaware, teachers testing you almost constantly, peers judging you for your every move, family that doesn’t quite get it. It’s lonely. And although you find happiness in being alone, you’re not too fond of being lonely.

You made a new friend not that long ago, she’s so kind and caring. She makes you feel okay. As cliché as that is, she makes you better. And all of that loneliness and sadness and anger you’ve felt, it goes away when you’re with her. When you hear her voice you’re filled with joy, with comfort. If you didn’t know better you’d swear it was magic. Like she’s some angel that’s been sent down to make you okay, to save you from your own destruction. But you know that’s not it at all, she’s just charismatic, she’s just different to the average person.

Sometimes it gets impossibly hard, like today. You broke down. You were a mess, everyone saw all of your vulnerabilities. No one around you could calm you down. You rang her. She picked up. You were okay. She said six words to you and everything stopped spinning. Your entire being calmed down. Six words from her had the ability to fix all of the problems in your life. Six words saved you, ‘Hey, it’s okay. I love you.’

You say it all the time; that you love each other. That to one another you’re all that’s good in the world. She’s been able to make you smile since you first met her and really truly love her. You don’t love her the way she loves you though. You’re in love with her. You wonder what would happen if she knew. You wonder if she’d still stay by your side then. You wonder how long it would last. You wonder if you’d still be friends at all. You can’t ask. You can’t tell her though. You love her too much to make her deal with your issues and emotions. You know you can be a handful, you couldn’t do that to her. Not her. Not when all she’s ever done for you is make you okay.

She’s going away for a while. Some family drama has come up. You wish you could go with her. Wish you could stay by her side the way you know she would for you if roles were reversed. But you’re stuck here. She’s all you have and she’s hurting right now. There’s nothing quite as saddening as seeing someone you love in pain.

First week back at school, she should be coming home today. You haven’t been this excited in so long. You can finally see her dumb face. Can hug her again for the first time in so long. You wonder how the trip was. She’s probably got so much to tell you. You have so much to tell her. About how the teachers gave you all extensions, about how well your performance went. About how the party last week went. About how people have gotten together and broken up. About your new favourite song and movie. So much has happened and you can’t wait to tell her all of it.

You used to complain that maths was boring. That nothing exciting would ever happen in mathematics. For the first time ever in maths you weren’t bored today. There was an officer standing at the door, our teacher opened the door and they asked for you. They walked you a few meters away from the classroom and they started speaking to you, ‘We’re sorry for your loss.’
‘What loss?’ you asked.
‘We’re afraid to say that your friend has passed away.’ You stare blankly at the officers, it’s still processing in your mind, they ask you if you’d like to go home. You shake your head and they let you back inside. You walk back to your seat and you sit down. The same blank expression on your face. Your friends are shaking you gently, asking what the police wanted. You just sit and blink at the board. Five minutes pass, then ten, twenty, half an hour goes by and you haven’t moved. Finally you look down at desk. Your phone is sitting there face up. Her name is on the screen. It’s a text from a couple of hours ago. The first tear falls from your face. Someone turns to you and asks if you’re okay. You shake your head and stand up, trying to breathe. You’re not okay, you just lost the person you love most in the world. You’re shaking now. Screaming. You’ve fallen to the floor pulling at your hair trying so hard to breathe. Your teacher runs over to you and everyone’s so quiet. You call out her name. You cry.

You haven’t said much since that day. You didn’t talk at her funeral you just sat there, looking at her coffin. You haven’t unlocked your phone. Haven’t checked that message. You haven’t been to school. All you’ve done is sat in your room alone, staring at your phone. You’re not sure why. But you just stare at your phone. You’re numb.

A little bit longer has passed, your grades have dropped. Your attendance has dropped. You never go out anymore. You just sit in your room. You’ve started taking up destructive activities. Smoking, drinking, anything to make you feel something. You wonder how it’s possible to feel nothing and everything all at once. You pretend you’re okay when you’re clearly not. Each day you put up a façade that you don’t care about anything. Each night you stay up all night crying, holding her old shirt, staring at your phone.

A couple of months have passed, you’re still hurting. Your only hope had been taken from you. You once though seeing someone you love sad was one of the most saddening things there was. You were wrong. Knowing they’re no longer on earth, near or far, that’s the most hurtful thing.  You take her shirt with you everywhere now. It still smells like her. You and her mum are in her room going through her things. You find a photo from the first time you had ever met, it’s got the date on the back with the world soulmate written next to it. You begin to cry. You cry for what seems like hours. You pick up your phone and you unlock it. You read the text, ‘Hey. I just wanted to let you know I love you. I mean, I really love you. As in, I’m in love with you. I want you to be mine and I want to be yours and I hope we can spend forever together. As soon as I’m home, I’m going to hand this to you. I love you so much.’

A couple of years have gone by since you lost the love of your life. But you’re okay. You’ve found someone who makes it okay. They’re not her, but they still make you happy and you still love them. You apologise to her every night, you still have her shirt and that photo. You’ll think about her for the rest of forever, even though you love someone else now. Because she was your first, and maybe, if she hadn’t have passed away, maybe you’d be lying with her right now.

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