By Melinda Canny
I remember my first love.
The way his cologne smelled,
how his strawberry-blond hair glittered in the sunlight, when it was just slightly damp.
The way his green eyes sparkled whenever he saw me. That spring we were always together, not old enough to drive so we walked everywhere holding hands, whispering, sharing smiles that only we knew what they meant. But summer brought change we moved. I gave him a gift, envelopes with our address already stamped. He gave me a kiss and a promise to write, to always love me. The first letter came fulfilling the promise. Who knew love would only last until the six envelops ran out. But even before that they slowed down. I cried when the last letter came saying don’t write again.
I don’t love you anymore. I cried for the loss of love, of a friend. Inconsolable even my brothers didn’t tease. To this day when I smell that cologne I am back with the boy with the green eyes walking in the warm rain of May. Sharing secrets so important that the world would wonder why it didn’t know them. Smiling I put the memory away along with the heartache.
I received my first dozen red roses not from a boy but from the man who loved me from the day I was born until the day he died. He assured me that someday a man would come who would love me like I deserved. Until then I should know that no matter what life brought he would always love me.
Melinda Canny is a US Army Veteran who has recently finished her MFA at Mount Saint Mary's University.