It was spring break, back when spring break still always fell on the week before Easter. We were staying with family friends at a little beachside bungalow.
Since I was younger than my sister and her friends, I was somewhat excluded from their group. So rather than sit under the umbrella with my mother and the other adults (like a baby!), I struck off each morning on my own beachcombing walks - hunting sand dollars and mussel shells; driftwood and beach glass. When I'd gathered more than I could continue to carry, I'd drop to the ground with them and use them as props and accessories in my sand castle series.
By the morning of our second day, when he first approached me, I was more than happy to have someone to talk to. At first that's all I thought of him as, someone to talk to...it wasn't till we met again the next day, that I noticed how the sun kissed his blonde hair and gilded his skin; how his eyes were almost exactly the same grey-blue-green of the ocean. That when I talked, he appeared to really listen...that even though I thought he was more skilled at the shaping of the sand castle series that he joined me in, he complimented my sculpting. How I thrilled when he held my hand whle we jumped into the surf!
By the time we'd spent that day together, I was hopelessly in love with Peter. He sealed it when he gave me a starfish, and said he'd see me tomorrow. I think I remember a quick, light kiss on the cheek - but I'm no longer certain if that really occurred or if my intense yearning for that moment, makes it seem real to me now.
That was the last time I saw him; even though he'd said he would see me the next day...I waited at our spot, the rock midway between the pier and the seawall, all day. Didn't even beachcomb - afraid I wouldn't look up in time to see him. But he never came.
I was heartbroken. My mother and sister tried to console me. His family probably wasn't staying the whole week; his mother might have kept him in because he was sick or maybe he'd been bad...
That got me back on his side! Even if he'd stood me up - Peter would never be bad! He was the sweetest boy I'd ever met.
He was happy to work side by side; he was willing to listen; hold your hand in scary situations. He appreciated art; was generous with praise and gifts from the heart - what a treasure! I still wonder what happened to him. How his life turned out. If he ended up marrying. I think if he did, they're probably blessed to have him. It wouldn't be until I found my present husband that I'd find all of these qualities in another.
My first love. At the age of seven, though, the course of true love is seldom smooth.
See Sunday Scribblings for other first love stories.