The first time I fell in love I didn’t even know it. It lasted about two weeks. I was in the fifth grade, and his name was Tom.
I met him at a weekend summer camp, and for two days, we were together constantly. He saw something in me, I knew, and even then, even before I knew what it meant, I saw something in him, too, and it was real.
One afternoon, while we were sitting in one of the cabins with some other people, just talking, a boy that was there saw him looking at me and said, “You are looking at her as if you love her.”
Tom didn’t say anything. He just nodded in a sort of thoughtful, pondering way. I didn’t say anything, either, but I looked at the look that was on his face right then and thought, “That boy is right. He is looking at me in a way that no one ever has before.”
At the time, of course, I didn’t think of either myself or of Tom as a person in love. We were too young for that, I thought. But I did make one decision that day that I never forgot.
I will never marry anyone who doesn’t look at me that same way, the way that he is looking at me right now, I told myself.
And that was the first thing I learned about love.