*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.
He was my high school sweetheart.
He was my first love.
He was my prom date.
He said he wanted to marry me.
And I threw it all away when I found out I wasn't his first girlfriend.
I can't imagine anything more exhilarating than young love. I remember my first serious relationship like it was yesterday. He was tall and handsome with blond hair and blue eyes.
He was generous and considerate, and I appreciated him right up until the day he admitted I wasn't his first girlfriend. That's when I let jealousy ruin everything.
Late one night, as we talked on the phone, he mentioned that he used to sneak out of his parents' house at night to see his previous girlfriend. His bedroom was on the second floor, and he had devised some way of climbing out the bedroom window while his parents and older siblings slept across the hall.
Without waking up his family, he'd use window ledges, a gutter, and the branches of a nearby tree to ease himself gently to the ground and then run several blocks to his girlfriend's house. He didn't tell me how she snuck out of her parents' home or if he snuck inside, but that's okay. I didn't want to know.
I became unreasonably furious at the revelation that he'd dated someone before he met me.
It didn't matter that he hadn't lied or implied otherwise. I'd never asked him whether I was his first girlfriend, and he had never told me I was his first girlfriend. I don't even think it was a lie of omission. The topic simply hadn't come up until that night on the phone when his disclosure changed everything.
I went from a happy girlfriend to a jealous shrew instantly. I questioned him about his previous relationship as if it was any of my business, which it wasn't.
I was consumed with jealousy, and I let it ruin our relationship all because he snuck out of his bedroom at night a few times to visit a girl before I met him.
There was nothing he could say or do to make me feel better about the situation. It didn't matter that I was being irrational. My feelings were my own. I couldn't even bear to keep dating him because of my jealousy.
No, I didn't ditch him immediately. I allowed my jealousy to fester and expand until it filled me first. Then when it became impossible to bear that volume of sheer seething jealousy, I left him for another young man. It was a mistake.
We found ourselves back together briefly before my jealousy tore us apart again. This time, it would be permanent. I still wonder what our relationship could have been if I had given it a chance.
Now that I'm older, although not much wiser, I realize having been in a previous relationship isn't grounds for destroying your current relationship. It's too back I can't take it all back now. I would if I could.