Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Have You Ever... a story of first love..

I once wrote here that my life is set to a soundtrack, music plays a very big role in my life. I hear a song and can tell you exactly what was going on in my life during that time and the significance that the song held for me. I was sitting at my computer battling a mini case of writer's block when the people next door blasted a song on their stereo I hadn’t heard in years. I was about to type something and my fingers froze in mid- air. My heart skipped a beat and I got a warm fuzzy feeling in my chest, despite myself I couldn’t help but smile.

The song “Have You Ever” by Brandy took me back to the summer when I met him. Montero,the first boy to ever wrote me a love letter, the first boy who ever told me I was beautiful, the first boy to ever tell me I was talented and smart, the first boy to ever tell me he loved me, the first boy I ever loved.

I was in my third year of high school when I met Joaquin Montero. He was a couple of years older than me and loved to tease me about my playing tennis in my timberland boots. He was a handsome soft spoken Chicano boy with a love for oldies and the heart of a romantic. In those days I was torn between being a lawyer and my childhood dream of being a veterinarian. Unable to get into our school's law program I was taking zoology classes in school instead and was planning on attending college in California. Slowly our friendship grew. He schooled me in all the stuff I was going to need before I moved out there and offered to take me under his wing when I started school in Cali. For months we were the best of friends sharing secrets, our culture and our love of music. I introduced him to System of a Down and Papa Roach he introduced me to Etta James and Martha and The Vandellas. Then summer ended and he had to go back home to Cali. I thought that that would be the end of our friendship but it wasn’t. We promised to stay in touch via letters, phone calls and the internet. Everyday after school Joaquin would wait for me online and we’d talk about my latest tennis match or whatever until it was time for him to leave to work. We’d even played a nightly game of e-mail Name That Tune. We’d e-mail each other partial lyrics from obscure songs, daring each other to figure out the song, year and artist. Sometimes he’d call me from Cali and we’d watch TV together, other times he’d sing to me. This went on for months.

Then one day while on the phone he asked me if I had heard Brandy’s new album “Never Say Never” I hadn’t but that a friend had it. He told me to listen to one song in particular. “Have you Ever”… he dedicated that song to me. That day I happened to go shopping and picked up the CD. When I got home I listened to the track he specified….
“Have you ever loved somebody so much
It makes you cry
Have you ever needed something so bad
You can't sleep at night
Have you ever tried the words
But they don't come out right
Have you ever, have you ever"

I remember standing in my room looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, Me? He’s dedicating this to me?” This guy who had countless females throwing themselves at him was actually dedicating this song to me?! I stared at my reflection not being able to see what it was that he saw in me. I wasn’t sure if he was playing a sadistic game with me or not like they did with "Carrie" in the movie. I kept expecting a bucket of blood to magically appear out of thin air and cover me in pigs blood.

I was the girl that no one noticed. I was the one wearing jeans several sizes too big, baggy shirts… with my hair always in a ponytail and baseball cap pulled down low. I had seen the type of girls he was attracted to,I was the exact opposite. A couple of days went by before I heard from him.I figured okay now is when he’s going to tell me he was only playing, that he was drunk or he’d done it on a dare. He said none of that, instead he told me he had been too nervous to call, afraid of what I would tell him. He told me that he loved me and had for awhile and couldn’t keep it to himself anymore.

At the time I didn’t feel the same way about him. I think part of that had to do with how I saw myself at that time in my life. He accepted my offer of friendship and never changed his way of being with me. He still called me “sunshine” and we talked everyday. He was even making plans on coming back to NYC on during winter break so we could hang out,and his family wanted me to fly out during the spring. However I was changing. Maybe it was the way that Joaquin saw me. He was the first boy to ever look beyond the tomboy façade. Maybe it was because I was a late bloomer, I had been one all my life but for what ever the reason that was the year I started changing…. I lost 85 lbs and as my body changed so did my style of dressing. I had a new confidence about myself.

One day while on the phone with him it suddenly hit me… I loved him…I had actually fallen in love with him. Thinking that he'd gotten over his feelings I kept it to myself. Then one day we were talking about an up coming football game and he just blurted it out “ Sunshine, I love you”, "I uh love you too." I don’t know which one of us was more shocked. Life changed after that,he'd write me long letters planning out our future adventures…. My name was painted on the door of his low rider and his monster truck.Trust me to a cholo that's a sign of love! His mom was ecstatic over the change in him. Never having had an interest in college before, he enrolled himself in college night classes because he wanted me to be proud of him. Every night before I went to bed I’d find an email from him in my box like this one (yeah I saved it)…

“Hey Sunshine!
I want to remind you I love you. I just got back but these guys still have a lot of activity planned lol well I’ll see you tomorrow you have my heart with you to keep you company and I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I think I won you ! lol Well mami I’m going to go. I think we’re going bowling and guess what I didn’t catch any damn fish! These guys definitely go fishing just to have an excuse to drink lol but I’m not drinking or nothing or wait a minute these letters sorta do look funny..........no lol I’m not drinking lol and I’m not flirting with any girls or nothing as a matter of fact I’m so on the other side of that, that girls probably be thinking I’m gay lol but well if they only knew I found the best girl in the world huh well I love you and I wish you a good night since my heart is with you I’ll be with you too, I love you sweet dreams”

I wish I could tell you we lived happily ever after but come on this is real life, not a Disney flick. Eventually the distance took its toll and I broke up with him. Not because I didn’t love him but because he didn’t trust me and without trust what is the point? We didn’t talk to each other for months after the breakup. It was an ugly one. Then one day out of the blue he came to mind and the very next day I heard from him. He had been thinking about me for awhile and needed to hear my voice is what he said. Slowly we rebuilt our friendship. By that time I was in college. My dreams of being a vet had changed and I had abandoned my dream of moving to Cali. I was studying psychology and attending a great school in New York. Eventually our conversations became less frequent. We had both moved on. He was dating someone and so was I. But the funny thing was that every so often he would pop into my head and I'd get this fuzzy feeling around my heart and like clock work I’d hear from him a few days later. “Sunshine I was thinking about you the other night wondering how everything was going…” his phone calls always began.Eventually they stopped.

A year went by and one day he called to tell me he was engaged. I was genuinely happy for him even though my heart was a little tight when I congratulated him. After he got married his wife wasn’t too thrilled about him keeping in touch with me. I can’t say I blamed her, and I admired him for putting her feelings first. As we talked we both pretty much knew this was it, the end of our friendship. I remember him giving me this big speech, about how proud he was of me and joking around that it was as if we were breaking up all over again. It was a bitter sweet conversation. There were no regrets, no hurt feelings; we both agreed that we were the best thing that had ever happened to each other as kids and we would always be a part of each others lives even if it was only in memories. “I gave you my heart years ago for safe keeping, and when you gave it back you kept a piece for yourself just like I kept a piece of yours. There’s no way we’re ever going to forget each other. I’m always going to love you sunshine." Just like that our friendship was over. I cried for days afterwards.

Another year went by and one night in March I dreamt of him. It was a disturbing dream. He was calling out to me but it was really dark and there was water every where and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find him. I remember a feeling of dread and intense cold. For days I couldn’t get him out of my mind. Everytime I thought of him I'd feel anxious. I had the nagging feeling that something was wrong with him. Days turned into weeks yet the feeling still lingered. I looked for his number but couldn’t find it; his email was no longer working. I thought about mailing him a letter but out of respect for his wife decided against it. Several months later I got an email from him saying he needed to talk to me; a mutual friend had given him my new email address after he had tried to call me but found my number had been changed. When we spoke it was if no time had passed.

It turned out that he had been in a really bad car wreck back in March, his car had gone over a bridge into the water and he had almost died. He went on to say that when the car hit the water he called out my name and that his last concious thoughts had been of me. His wife told him he'd been mumbling my name the first few days he was in the hospital and after finding an old photo of me in his wallet she was less than happy. I was at a loss for words; my chest became so tight it was hard to breathe. He apologized to me for not trusting me and for giving me a hard time about the break up. I told him that I chose to define our relationship by the good times which far our weighed that one bad moment. As our conversation ended he told me, "Sunshine every time you have thought of me it’s because I am thinking of you, you know this right?” I told him that history seemed to be proving that theory to be true… and he told me “We have a bond so strong no one can ever touch it…but I made a commitment here." "I know Montero and that makes me respect you all the more." “Have You Ever…” remember that always sunshine, promise me.”, He said. I promise Montero I'll never forget."

It’s been a couple of years since that last conversation and the past few weeks he’s been popping in and out of my mind as if he were playing peek a boo in my subconscious. When I heard the song the other day I decided okay it’s a sign and thought to myself, I get it Montero, I get it. I’m fine, I’m happy. I hope you’re doing good and are hella happy too. "Hella" was a Cali slang term he introduced me to and I’d throw it around when we were joking because he loved to hear me talk Cali slang in my NY accent. It made him crack up everytime I did it.

In the moments when he pushes his way from my past into my present thoughts I remember our last conversation and my promise to him to never forget “Have You Ever….”

“Have you ever found the one
You've dreamed of all your life
You'd do anything to look in their eyes
Have you finally found the one you've given your heart to
Only to find that one won't give their heart to you
Have you ever closed your eyes and
Dreamed that they were there
And all you can do is wait for that day when they will care”


Posted by @ 11:34 PM
4 comment from: Blogger cinnimon_girl, Blogger Steph, Blogger Obese Girl, Blogger Fouad,