It was the best crush of my life. At least I can now reminisce about it because I have hindsight knowledge of what relationships are. In fact when I look back, I am surprised at myself that I managed to survive the whirlwind of that emotional tsunami as I love to call it. Thankfully, the years have made me wiser and I am able to make better and informed choices, not just about relationships but almost on all spheres of life.
I attended a mixed school and I can attest how confusing the teenage years are. It was in my form two East classroom that I finally had the opportunity to confront my romantic life. There was a special girl in my class. That is the only way I can describe her now but at that moment when I saw her in my class my world suddenly came to a stop. No movement. She was angular in her own way; donning curves at the right places. In fact, she was curvaceously hippy, what can only be figured out as a size 8.
As I struggled to steal glances at her in between the lessons, I also begun scheming how best to approach her. My testimony is that I spend more time, energy and worrying thinking of how to broach a conversation with her than I spend on my books. Luckily, she dropped a passport size photo of hers one day which I took, possessed and guarded with all might. To be certain, I carried it over to my dormitory and hid it in my metal box for a quick sneak preview of her beauty every night before going to bed.
Unknown to me, this idea of hoarding her picture worsened my confusion. I started experiencing mixed emotions of heat and cold every moment I would entertain a thought about her. Indeed, her image hovered over me throughout and I could not sleep well, follow lessons in the classroom or even hold meaningful conversations with my friends. My appetite for food dipped and I almost became depressed. Sadly, I did not even bring myself to ever confront her with a greeting!
All I remember is that one day I was so ashamed of my shyness and inability to talk to the girl I thought represented my world that I could not even eat. My confusion was so much that I was more than ninety percent of the time absent minded. I had no one to talk to and I feared being judged or laughed at – a teenager’s biggest fear is being made fun of. All I know is that I was in love with my classmate but I could not tell her. My feeling was that she would laugh at me and call me silly for having weird imaginations. What was I to do?
It was all a crush. It can tumbling down one day and I am grateful that it happened sooner than later. As fast and with the same intensity, the feelings that had enveloped me for some time seemed to have vanished one day as mysteriously as they had come. I am not sure whether I returned the passport size photo or I threw it away; I can’t seem to recall that bit. But the love of my life as I had imagined ceased to excite me anymore.
I went back to my normal self and started seeing her like any other of my classmates. Whatever happened to me is indescribable. One minute I thought I was deeply in love and started imagining my future family with her and the next minute she was nowhere in my future. And for sure she isn’t because I don’t even know what happened to her and whether she is married or not. This is why now I can look back and confidently say it was a crush. I had been infatuated and smitten by her looks.
Our mixed school helped provide us with a balanced perception about relationships. At that time no one bothered to talk to us about romance, relationships or sex. We ploughed through the murky waters of teenage relationships by ourselves. It destroyed some of us but it also made others better. At least the school curricular is now friendly and young school going teenagers can access information and help about healthy relationships and how to cope with emotional changes in this stage of life. The most important factor is for the teenagers to find a confidant in a trusted mentor: a club patron, a matron, a favourite teacher, a pastor, a favourite uncle or auntie etc. and seek to be guided through this most trying period of life.
I wish I knew then what infatuation is, what it means to fall in love, why we get attracted to people of the opposite sex or why bodily changes suddenly make us so conscious of ourselves as teenagers. Besides, if only we had informed persons to talk to us about sex and sexuality I think I would be much better than I am today. No one is wiser as a teenager and all the heroic talk from our peers only serves to make us feel inadequate, unknowledgeable and worthless. This is why the best thing a teenager can do is to have that trusted mentor to walk with so that the wisdom accrued can be shared with other teenagers and later in life used to mentor others.