ROMANCE CLASSICS: THE STRENGTH OF FIRST LOVE by Cristelle Grenade | GBAMLOG.COM

There is no way of explaining it except to say that it was an instant attraction. Almost electrifying. You know, like the ones you only read in romance novels. You are probably telling yourself; «she’s exaggerating» right now. And you might be right! It’s been seventeen years after all. I’ve read countless romance novels since then. But I have to say though, this man made a damn good impression on me. So good I feel this overwhelming need to share it with you. So bear with me please!

He had this air of superiority about him. Like, he was someone important. Now, looking back, I have to say he appeared more like a leader. One ready to make a change in the world and I was ready to follow. You get what I’m trying to say, he made an impact on my life. A big one! So big in fact, it changed my perception of men and love for life, which set a standard or a pattern if you will, to what future men have been up against ever since.

I was sixteen going on seventeen when we met. It was 1998 and people who knew me then use to say that I was blessed with a rare beauty. I had long curly hair, that I wore straight most times. Curls weren’t a trend back then. Not like today where everywhere you turn, whether its on youtube, facebook or on the streets, girls are rocking their curls. Besides, having long hair in itself was seen as an out of the ordinary beauty for people of color. Back then, people in the black community saw that as having good hair. To add to all of that beauty, I was kissed by the sun and had this golden cafe-au-lait complexion, big dark brown eyes that I’ve been teased for when I was younger, but by the time I was a teenager those eyes did nothing but complemented my heart-shaped face. The fact that my womanly shape developed at an early age didn’t hurt at all either. My aunt, my dad’s only sister, was a seamstress and created dress molds to the shape of me and my cousins bodies. We were always dressed in our best whenever we were in public. And that particular day in 1998, I was in a new orange lycra and black lace backless dress that screamed attention when I walked into a room. And attention I got. His attention in particular.

We couldn’t take our eyes off each other. It was the engagement party of my dad’s cousin, Gerard, whom we all refer to as Co. I know what you are thinking. Why Co right? Well don’t ask. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for that one. Anyway, it was Co’s engagement party and there were guests from both his and his fiancés side of the family. Everyone was busy socializing and dancing to the music. I was sitting in a corner of the room and this sexy, charming boy with the most disarming smile was helping with refilling drinks. We didn’t say a word to each other. Our eyes were doing the talking for most of the party. When the party was nearing the end, he approached me, extended his hand for a dance. I put my hand in his and I felt a warmth radiate through my body and tingle my palm, binding my hand with his. At that moment, I knew. He was mine and I was his.

We didn’t talk during the dance. We didn’t even look into each others’ eyes. We just merged our bodies together into a slow dance. I could feel his breath tickling the skin around my ears, swaying to the rhythm of his heart beating against my chest. My palms were sweaty in his hand and his other hand burning the spot where it laid on my lower back.
«Meet me in the corridor» he said and released me, which left me confused until I noticed the song had ended.
I made my way to the corridor. He was standing against the wall. One of his legs bended to the knee and the sole of his foot rested flat against the wall. He looked cool and my sixteen years-old brain was making plans for a future with him even before our first kiss.

When I approached him, he held my hands in his and we talked. I can’t remember everything that was said, but I remember him telling me his name and that he was the soon to be brother-in-law of Co. And the last thing I remember was him pulling me close and our lips met and merged into the most perfect toe-curling kiss. A kiss, I would remember on and off during these years. A kiss I’ll compare to every kiss thereafter.

In the room near the end of corridor, I heard my dad calling my name. I jumped and my hands slipped from his just as my dad rounded the corner and appeared in the Corridor. He looked at me confused, not understanding why I let go of his hand, but I ignored him and concentrated on my dad’s angry face.
«We are leaving. Go say goodbye to the family.» Dad said and went back in the dance hall.
«I have to go!» I said hurriedly.
«Ok» he said and gave me his number which I committed to memory since I didn’t have a cellphone. «Call me» and little did I know at the time that this day had marked the beginning of a seventeen year-long struggle. Love will be felt, lost and regained. Distance will mend relationships and force choices that will destroy other bonds and yet only one will matter in the end. The impact of this first encounter. This bond and love that formed between these two teenagers that many tried to fight against and lost.

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