In my answer to the question about my coming out I referenced my first crush. This is an essay that I wrote about that experience in my first year of college right after high school.
THE HEART SHATTERS
"Dustin, over here!" A sweet, angelic voice calls me over as I step off the sun-bleached yellow school bus. The sound of her voice is deafening. I struggle to catch my breath as I spot her in the crowd of elementary school children. A slight breeze ruffles my hair, holds me back, preventing me from reaching her. I stand, attempting to find a clear path to this radiant angel, my light in the world. The sky is overcast with foreboding gray clouds, threatening to abandon their stockpile of rain on the world. We have only minutes until class starts, I need to hasten to her. I push past the throng of students, hurrying to meet up with the only thing that matters in school; friends. I reach my salvation. Only with her do I feel complete. This feeling in my stomach now only too common.
As we walk over to the playground, I reflect on how we met. I recall walking into the kindergarten classroom at just five years old. I was very nervous. My mother there, beside me, telling me I would make lots of friends. Not the most comforting phrase. In fact it only invoked the question of ‘what are friends,’ but I had no time to ask. Throughout that year, I came to know one person in particular. Wendy Rosattie. The meeting was nothing special; she was just another student in class. That is, until we had to do a project together - making a link chain out of strips of paper. There was a time I had no interest in being her friend but then our links got pasted together by “accident.” From that time on, we were inseparable, seldom apart. We would play together during recess and, after school; I would find myself at her house more than my own. Fortunately it was just down the street.
The time flew by and, by some good fortune, we found ourselves sitting together throughout first grade, second grade and then into third. By this time, I had turned eight, and it did seem the feelings came early. I soon discovered I liked being around Wendy for reasons I couldn’t explain. The feelings didn’t go away, and I suddenly realized what it was. I had a crush on my best friend! It was new to me, so needless to say, I didn’t know what to do. I kept it to myself; after all, girls had cooties. Though, that didn’t stop me from playing with her all the time before that.
Well, today is Valentines Day, and I had decided a few nights ago that I would tell her how I felt. What harm could it do? As we walk the playground, I try to summon the nerve to do it; after all, it is the day of love. Even if this is just puppy love. The bell rings. She takes off quickly for class as I follow a bit disgruntled. We take our respective seats, and are soon given paper on which to write a Valentines card for the other students. Mine is a blue heart shaped piece that folds in half at the seam. Wendy loves blue. I seize my pencil with my trembling hand and write. I write my heart out, as best as I can. That note would turn out to be the first and last love letter I would ever write.
When I finally finish, I sign ‘Your secret admirer.’ I look up at Wendy. Her head still down, hand moving across her paper, wiping away the stray paper scraps, my mouth opens in a vain attempt to get her attention. To tell her I have a gift. The bell rings.
The class is dismissed, and Wendy grabs her money, and takes off for the lunch line. I hold onto the letter, grabbing my usual peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and leave to eat. I sit at one end of the long row of tables. My friend Dylan sits to my left. Wendy, for some reason, isn’t sitting with me today. She is on the other end of the tables with her friend Ann. The butterflies in my stomach start to go into a frenzied flutter. I look over at Dylan, and quietly ask him to give the letter to Wendy. He agrees to. I watch as he strolls over as if what he held was nothing important; he is so confident. I’m so envious. He leans over, hands her the letter, and comes back. Simple.
Eternity passes by slowly. Suddenly Ann pops up in front of me. She asks if I had written the letter. My stomach does a ten eighty back flip. My cheeks become rosy red as I acknowledge that it was me. Ann just grunts, and walks away, back to Wendy. I look over at them as Ann is leaning over to tell Wendy it was me.
Our eyes meet with anticipation, nausea. There is no sound, I’m deaf. Not the sound of kids playing tetherball, or the noise of mindless chatter amongst those who sit eating at the tables. It is just me and those bright, empty, hazel eyes. I’m certain that my face is showing my anxiety at this moment. Her eyes show nothing; absolutely nothing. I don’t know what to make of it, but I would find out too soon. As suddenly as the fly sees the frog’s tongue before it is devoured, her hands tear the words of my heart in half, devouring the fly, my heart. As an ice berg melts one drip at a time, my heart was beholding its own melting into nothing. A glacier cutting through a hillside as my heart breaks with the words on that page.
Then, her hands took the two pieces, and rip them again, and a third time. God, my eyes want to move away, to stare into nothing, to examine my heart, the damage that I could only feel, but I can’t move. I am stuck in her grasp as the note that bore my all is destroyed. She looks away, severing the contact. It is a trance lifting. She tosses the note in the trash can, and I sit petrified, immobilized with my mouth open in shock. How long have I sat here, trying to pull myself together, gathering my thoughts? The next thing I remember, I’m chasing her down. I am frantic. I walk right over to Wendy and ask why she did what she did. I don’t understand what just happened. She is the only one that can explain it to me. There is just one problem. She’s not saying anything. She turns and walks away onto the playground, leaving me standing, dazed and confused. The bell rings.
Ten years later, I reflect on what happened that day. I have never been given any kind of explanation. And after ten years, and many classes with her, I have yet to hear her voice. She has not said a single word to me since. I don’t know what happened. But since then, I have never looked at a woman the same way.
Love is an emotional tornado. You are sucked in by it, and eaten up if you don’t guard yourself. The only way to escape it is to lie low, and pray to God that you are not taken for the ride of your life, because it’s just a runaway train to the heart, shattering it.
sandeepachetan asked: Hello Dustin, Thank you for liking our photo (Taj Mahal in the rains) on Lensblr. Let me introduce ourselves. We are Sandeepa and Chetan, travelers from Mumbai, India. We would like to take you on a journey by sharing more photos and travel experiences through our blog. You can also find us on Flickr (SandeepaChetan) and Facebook (SandeepaChetan's Travels). All the best to you in your film making journey. Thank you! Sandeepa & Chetan.
Wow! Thank YOU! I love your blog and all of the photos that you post. I am never disappointed by the quality of photography that is shared. I wish that I had a fraction of 1% of that talent. I appreciate the comment as well. I am working hard. Hopefully I can start getting paid film work soon. :) Have a great day. I will definitely take a look at your facebook page soon.