WIth A Tip of His Hat

I was 16 years old when I met John LeBret. It took over a year for us to actually become a couple, but it was totally worth it. He was the first boy to tell me he loved me, and the first boy I said that to. He was the first person I ever had a knock-down drag out fight with. He totalled my first car. He was there the first time I got drunk. He was the first person I ever lived with who didn’t share my DNA. He was the first boy I ever talked about forever with. If not for him, I might not have met either of my husbands. When we broke up, I thought I wouldn’t survive. When he cheated on me, I thought my heart was broken beyond repair. He hurt me more than anyone ever had (and it would be years before someone else hurt me that much again) because I loved him more than I ever thought possible.  He was talented and fun and everybody loved him. He was one of those people that just took over a room when he walked in. He was Jim Carrey’s Riddler meets Armand Goldman from The Birdcage. Even when things were really terrible, he could still make a joke. Because, why would you ever let tragedy get in the way of a good joke?

It is so weird to think about how much a person can change your life in just four short years, how important that person can become. At the time, it seemed like an eternity and now it feels like the blink of an eye. He was here and then he was gone and now he’s really gone. I guess at the right time and the right place, things just fall together some times. Or maybe there’s just nothing like first love. I would not be the person I am today if I had not known John. If I were memorializing him for myself, I would probably use Garth Brooks lyrics, “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance” or “Yes, I do think about you, every now and then”. But, since I’d like this to be less about me than him, I will leave you with words that remind me of the John I knew back in the day.

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! –tear up the planks! here, here! –It is the beating of his hideous heart!”     – Edgar Allan Poe

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