He Was So Young
by Christine Garcia
Ray asked me out on the eighth of October in 2010. We'd known each other for more than two years, and I'd always had a little crush on him. He eventually revealed to me that he'd always felt the same way, but that the risk of rejection had always held him back, although that had never happened with anyone else. He was funny, kind, good looking, and one of those guys who can build or fix anything.
After a couple of months, I realized I was in love with him. This scared me shitless. I was only 16, and we'd only been dating for two months. I'd never been in love before. I was terrified of getting hurt. Despite of my rational fear that he wouldn't feel the same way, and my irrational fear that he would hate me for these feelings, eventually I screwed up the courage to tell him. He responded that he loved me, too. I don't remember ever having felt so happy or complete.
He was the only one of my boyfriends who had ever treated me with true respect. He had never made any kind of move past running his hand up the back of my shirt when we kissed. But, a few days after I told him I loved him, he took my virginity. It hurt like hell. But I got addicted to it, and to him. Whenever we had sex it felt like he was as close as he could get to me, and I couldn't be closer to him. We talked and joked and laughed and told each other how much the other meant. I can't think of a better feeling.
About 6 months into the relationship, I decided to tell him a secret I'd been keeping for more than four years. I cut myself. It was even scarier than when I told him I loved him. But, contrary to my fears, he told me he loved me and he would do anything to help me. I can't think of a time when I was happier. I was in love with someone who I could trust with anything. Unfortunately, I later came to realize that telling him such a terrible secret was a mistake.
I was starting to slow down on the cutting. He made me happy, and being with him was a good substitute for the rush of a cut. But, I couldn't just stop on a dime, and I didn't feel the need to hide the cuts from him anymore. He hated seeing them. He couldn't stand the thought of me hurting myself. He tried to talk to me about it, but I didn't even like thinking about it, let alone talking about it.
Two months later, he gave me an ultimatum. Stop cutting, get help, or lose him. I wasn't to a point where I could stop, and telling parents with whom I had no relationship seemed impossible. So I lost him on the twenty -third of June in 2011.
I didn't think I could live through the pain. The thing I had always feared had happened. I was heartbroken, shattered, reduced to a small child by the crushing loneliness of losing the only person I had ever been in love with.
Slowly, I recovered enough to smile through the pain. My cutting skyrocketed, but to all appearances, I was fine. I didn't talk to Ray for a month, but I couldn't stay away from him. However, he had decided to move away. He had moved to my hometown his freshman year in high school, and he had always preferred his own hometown. Without high school or me to hold him there, he was going back. We continued to talk on the phone almost every day after he left, and we both acknowledged that we still loved each other. After a few months, I decided that after graduating high school I would move out with him. I was excited to be back with the person I loved.
I graduated, but instead of moving out there right away, I went to stay with my dad for a few weeks before I moved two states away.
A week before I planned on moving out there, I got a phone call. Ray needed to know what day I was coming out so he could take some time off of work. After telling him, we stayed on the phone for another hour, talking and laughing. At the end of the conversation, I neglected to tell him I loved him. It is my biggest regret.
That night, Ray was driving with a friend when the truck hit a ditch. The truck flipped forntwards, ejecting both boys, who weren't wearing their seatbelts. He was killed on impact, but the paramedics resuscitated him five times. He died a couple hours later on the operating table. I got the call not long after.
So there it is. I'm eighteen years old, and I've lost the person I love more than anyone outside my family. His family has taken me into their fold, supporting and leaning on me. As terrible as my pain is, their's is a million times worse. Four siblings lost a brother, a mother and a father lost a son. The world lost a wonderful soul, who could brighten anyone's day with one joke or laugh.