The Time I Said "I Love You" For The First Time

They say, you never forget the first time you tell someone you love them, and my first time is no exception. This is that story…

More specifically, this is a snippet of the whirlwind romance that led me to the moment I told a girl that I loved her for the first time.

But before we get into that night, let me tell you about the day we met…

It was my senior year of high school and her name was Raeanna.

A beautiful brunette junior standing 5’4, with one of the most captivating presences in all of Colorado.

Even before I knew her, I knew of her.

I remember casually seeing this firecracker of a girl always running late to class or at lit at every party on the weekends. She was the definition of attention-grabbing.

 What’s crazy about how I officially met Rae was that I had dreamed about it before it actually happened. And the only thing that was different from my dream and the first time we met was the color of her underwear.

 (In my dream she had on black, in real life she had on nude.)

  The first time we met it was a Friday afternoon. I distinctively remember it because I had a football game later that day.

My homie Tahj knew her friend Katie and convinced them to come hangout at my house after school before our game.

My dad was either not home or out of town on business, so we decided to break out the bottle of Limon Bacardi I had hidden under my bed.

After about an hour and somewhere between shots 8 and 10, I looked up and noticed we were all way too drunk for it to only be 3:30. 

The next time I looked up, Tahj and Katie had disappeared. Leaving Rae and I all alone in my bed. 

 We drunkenly conversed about seeing each other on campus and at parties but oddly enough never speaking to each other. 

 It was strange. I had never before experienced connecting with someone so fast. I was fascinated with her and her with me. I don’t want to sound cliché but it was really like we were destined to meet. 

 I can’t remember exactly why or how we ended up in the bathroom (Thanks Bacardi), but the next thing I do remember is undressing each other and having sex on the bathroom rug. 

Exactly what happened in my dream two weeks earlier!

From that moment, I knew I liked her and wanted to spend all my time with her.

After we were done, we hastily got dressed as Tahj and I were running late to pregame warmups. 

Yes, I went to my football game and yes, I was still drunk.

So drunk in fact that the first pass thrown to me went right through my hands and hit me in the face. Did I mention this game was being broadcasted live? The broadcasters made a few slick comments about my father’s abilities not translating while I went to light Grandview up for over 100 yards on 7 catches. 

But even the embarrassment of messing up on live TV, couldn’t knock me off the high I felt from my afternoon with Rae. 

After the game, Rae came back over to my house and that day started a year and a half on & off relationship that was just has healing as it was destructive.

The truth of the matter is we were young and both had a love hate relationship with partying way too much and way too often. 

We would fight and make love, argue and cuddle, party and yell, show how much we loved one another and five minutes later complain about how much we couldn’t stand the other. 

When it got really bad, she would go back to her ex-boyfriend and I would find someone else to go home with, in an attempt to take my mind off of her. 

Everything you see in an HBO drama, we pretty much did.

But nothing could stop us from being together. It was as if we were stuck in a Chinese finger trap. The more we pulled away, the closer we became.

I fondly remember sneaking in through her window just to sleep next to her or just to stay up and talk till her mom woke up at 5:30am for work, making me either have to leave or hide in the closet. 

I had never experienced these types of emotions for someone.

Then one night after we had gotten into a big fight, one that I for sure thought was going to be the end of our relationship, I called her and asked if we could talk in person.

I snuck out of my house and went to her house.

We went to her community pool and I sat on the edge of the hot tub with just my feet in, as I watched this person I felt so deeply for float around. Present yet in her own world.

We talked for what seemed like 2 minutes but was definitely closer to an hour.

Somewhere in the middle of the conversation I blurted it out…

“I love you.”

She looked at me for a little, smiled, chuckled, and told me, “You don’t know anything about love.”

In hindsight, she was right. I didn’t know much about love (neither of us really did). All I knew was that deep down I felt for this person in a different way than I had ever felt for anybody.

And although she never said it back, it felt good to say it. To get off my chest what I had thought every time I was with her.

The entire experience with Rae taught me a lot. It taught me how to deal with certain situations in a relationship, how to party and have a good time, and it gave me a lot of self-confidence. Even with all the downs, Rae never once questioned that I was going to go on and become whatever I desired. She used to say, “One day I’m going to see you on TV, and be able to say “I fucked him.”” (If that doesn’t make you feel like a king, nothing will!)

But more important than anything else, it taught me how to be vulnerable with another person. How to openly express my feelings for a person of the opposite sex without feeling alienated, alone, or judged. That I have the capacity for love with another human. 

I think everyone questions that until they have that connection with another soul. Until someone see’s your triumphs and your faults and still thinks the world of you.

Rae was the first love I ever had.  She was what my life needed exactly when I needed it.

For that, thank you Rae. Thank you for being the first.

Thank you for everything you taught me, consciously & unconsciously.