Happy #EpicFirsts! This week we’re featuring guest posts from Emily Hainsworth, author of THROUGH TO YOU. Today, Emily is giving us an inside look into her first love. Want to share your own Epic First? Explore all of our titles and submit your own Epic First with our nifty Facebook app here!
MY FIRST LOVE
By Emily Hainsworth
When I was sixteen, I met my first love (spoiler: I’m still in love with him!). I had recently signed up for America Online, and because I was lonely, started hanging out in “Teen Chat” rooms at night. I met a guy from Colorado who seemed cool. He was a senior in high school; I was a sophomore. We both loved Diet Coke and were bored by our classes. But there was something more drawing us together—a deep connection I’d never felt before. We started meeting up for chats and exchanged lengthy emails about music, friends, college, and things we hoped and dreamed about.
Back then, there were no online profiles to upload pictures of yourself, so all we knew of each others appearance were descriptions we shared: he was Italian with black hair and green eyes; I was a redhead with blue eyes and pale skin. Yes, we could have sent pictures through “snail mail,” but we just never did. As our relationship progressed, we had this romantic, exciting idea: what if we didn’t share what we looked like until we met in person? Needless to say, our friends and family all thought we were crazy and harassed us about this constantly (this was before online predators were a well-known threat, but in retrospect it does seem kind of insane). But eight months after we first met in “Teen Chat,” my online boyfriend flew from Colorado to visit me in Syracuse, New York.
I didn’t have my driver’s license yet, so my mom had to drive me to the airport that afternoon. I insisted she wait for us down the hall around a corner. I was so nervous I hadn’t eaten all day, and feared I might pass out watching passengers step off the plane. Would we recognize one another? Would we both feel the same way about each other in real life? The moment our eyes met, all my fears subsided. He walked out of the gate, gave me the first of many hugs (first kiss came later), and as they say, the rest is history—we’re still together to this day!