I was in the studio today and this song popped up in my playlist. I have heard the song a few times over the recent weeks, and never gave it a second thought. Today though it made me think of Bill. Bill was my first boyfriend. This is not going to be a post where I wax poetic about what a profound influence Bill had on my life. This is merely an example of what one little song can do to take you to a certain place and time and momentarily bring back long-forgotten memories.
Bill was my first boyfriend. He was my first kiss. He was not the first boy that I liked or even held hands with. But he was the first one (that wasn’t a family member) to really make me say “I love you,” and mean it. People say that teenagers can’t fall in love, that they aren’t mature enough to know what real love is. I heartily disagree with that. Teenagers know what love is. It may not be the mature level of love that adults experience, but the emotion of love has to start somewhere and evolve, mature with experience. Each boyfriend or girlfriend, each broken heart, each first date takes that young man or woman one step further to knowing what mature love is between and man and woman, and I do not mean in a sexual sense. After all, you don’t jump off the high dive without first learning how to swim. Teenage love is still love, just as swimming lessons are still swimming. I was in love with Bill as much as I was capable at the time of being in love with Bill.
Needless to say we broke up, but we remained friends throughout the rest of our high school years. After graduation he went off to college. I did not. We saw each other for a couple of hours when he came home for Christmas break during his Freshman year. That was the last time we spoke to or saw each other. There was no falling out. Nothing to drive a wedge in the friendship. We just became different people in the 6 months between high school graduation and his Christmas break. I heard through the grapevine that he married his high school girlfriend, a young lady by the name of Heather.
I have many times over the years since then thought about looking him up, but have not done it. I don’t know Bill anymore. I don’t know who the man is that he has become. I only know the boy I loved at 14 years old. I don’t know the man that may be a father now. I only know the boy that for a short time went against his parents to go out with me. I don’t know the man that has bills, a mortgage, and a 9 to 5 job. I only know the boy that had shaggy blonde hair, liked loud music, and spent weekends with his parents on the beach at the river.
I got the boy. Heather got the man. To look him up, to try to see if friendship really does know no time, would be to look up a Bill that I have never known.