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Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Kevin Kelly was my first crush. (I’ve used alliteration because my real first crush had an alliterative as well as an Irish name, too.) It was in tenth grade, and it was the first time I’d really noticed any guy “romantically”. We went out, we parked, we necked (that’s what it was called then), we had boundaries (because nice girls did) and it was special. He was tall, cute, sparkly-eyed, and had the sweetest dimples. I think his teeth were good, too. (After years of braces, you notice those things and envy them.)

After tenth grade, the year my Dad died by committing suicide, Kevin’s mom and dad decided that we were “too serious” (give me a break), and sent him to a boarding school in another state. In truth, I think they were afraid that mental illness might run in the family and didn’t want him involved with a potentially crazy person.

He went, I pined. My first love, gone. We wrote, but I was always a better writer than he, and besides that, I hadn’t found a replacement, and never did in high school. He obviously wasn’t as unlucky as I, and did find a new girl friend. One day a tattered envelope came in the mail barely enclosing my class ring, together with a letter saying that he was now dating Claudia (I think that was her name), and thought he should return my token of affection.

We actually did go out again the summer after junior year, but it wasn’t the same. I knew he’d go back, I’d go my own way, and that was that. But I never got over Kevin Kelly.

I suspect his once lanky frame and dark hair have turn to a heavy midsection and small bottom, and his hair is balding and gray. I, of course, am still quite recognizable, and bear a striking resemblance to my senior photo, except for the 60’s hairstyle. At least in my eyes.

Funny, I can still remember the sense of loss and hoping so much that he would return to me. Fate and life intervene. I think I’ve done better for myself.