When my parents found out that I was dating a freshman,
They were....not pleased.
My mother lectured me on maturity,
And my dad just made jokes of the whole thing,
With the occasional serious comment about
“The only thing that you should be focusing on right now
A relationship takes responsibility,
Something that you don’t have,
And he probably doesn’t either.”
My mom insisted that I break up with him.
At school the next day,
I explained to him that
The parentals did not approve.
I also told him
That I was definitely
Breaking up with him
Just because they asked me to.
This was one thing
That I would not let my mother destroy.
She could lecture me and call me names all she wanted,
Block him from my phone
And analyze every text and phone call for his name,
But even she wouldn’t be able
To sever me from Francis.
The weekend of Black Friday, I got another lecture
After I called him in Barnes&Noble
while having a panic attack.
“You keep telling him all these pathetic little lies
About how you’re so sad and your life is so bad,
Getting him to feel sorry for you,
That pissed me off more than anything else
That she had ever said.
It was true that I had a tendency to manipulate people,
But I was not manipulating Francis.
I never lied to him,
Never told him stories of an abusive mother
And of me with a fucked-up brain.
All I told him
I was two--year cutter who was trying to quit,
I had anxiety and mild depression,
And I had a strict mother.
And that was the truth.
But my mom had to blow everything out of porportion.
“It’s illegal, you know,
Once you’re eighteen.”
Only if we have sex, Mother,
And that’s not happening until marriage,
So, calm your tits, please.
I sat through the lectures,
I took every blow,
And I kept fighting
For the love that I could feel
While Francis said he fell in love with me fairly quickly,
My love was more gradual.
It was true that I felt an attraction to him
Right from that first moment
When he bumped into me,
But the love itself was something
That I had to be willing to let in.
I had just recently been dumped by a summer boyfriend
a couple of months before Francis.
He dumped me over email,
And called me a bitch when I asked if we could at least be friends.
After that, I swore that I wouldn’t date again
Until I was done with school.
My best friend, Meghan, just smiled and nodded.
Two months later, she tried to hook me up with a friend of hers,
A guy who’d admitted to her that he liked me.
I was annoyed by that.
Then, I met Francis,
And every wall collapsed,
One by one.
He removed them carefully,
So that he wouldn’t scare me off.
I was too fascinated by him to be frightened away,
Even when he confessed to me
his bruised and bloodied past.
And repetitive heartbreak
Created a boy
Who had felt too much pain
For fourteen years.
His heart was still pure,
Even after all the hate and the pain
That he’d endured.
Underneath the dark clothes and black nail polish,
Underneath the neutral face that he’d developed,
Underneath the heavy metal music
And the shadow in his eyes,
A heart unlike any I had never encountered before.
It was scarred, for sure,
But still soft underneath the toughened top layer.
He was gentle, compassionate, careful, caring, thoughtful,
And completely surprising.
I didn’t even know guys his age could be so pure-hearted, so warm.
The stable Earth to my constantly changing Water,
It wasn’t long before he became my life support.