In my digression, I found this photo, which I’d been looking for now and then for the past few months. This is boyfriend #4 and myself, shortly before I went back for my second year of college.
We both loved our hair, that boyfriend and I, and I think it was hard to tell if we loved the other’s hair any more than we loved our own. I’d had a fantastic summer with him, the kind of romance that everyone should have at least once in their lives. I really didn’t want to leave to go back to college, but I didn’t really want to stay either. So I had my friend Cindy take our picture, us sitting on the back deck at my house, squinting into the sun while she framed the photo. This is the first photo of me as part of a couple that I have in my possession. I wasn’t the type of high school girl who handed off her camera to her friends saying, “Take a picture of us!” while I snuggled into an embrace.
I’m very tan, because I was a lifeguard three days a week, working as a cook at Pizza Hut the other four days. I had 24 hours off between the end of work on Saturday (6pm) and the start of work on Sunday (6pm). I’m wearing Tevas (my first pair) which I wore while lifeguarding and gave me a wicked Teva tan. My baggy t-shirt says something witty and I’m betting I have on the plaid shorts I stole from boyfriend #3.
Boyfriend #4 is 17–there was almost a two-year age difference between us–has just graduated from high school and spent the summer doing this and that. He didn’t have a job, which bugged me, but in hindsight it was convenient, because we only had to plan around one person’s work schedule. He is not tan, because he didn’t do much outside stuff, and is wearing socks and sneakers, despite the heat. He wasn’t a sandals type of guy.
Like most of the relationships from that time period, I managed to mess up the breaking up part and spent a good year incredibly angry at him, for which I’m very sorry now, as I realize he was doing what he needed to do. But at the moment when this picture was taken, I was happy, and some part of me realized this summer was one to be remembered.