Playing With Fire

Below are two companion essays I wrote (and submitted!) in high school about my relationship with V ( These were both written in the fall of 2007, so I do hope ya’ll will forgive any immaturity in the writing. The assignment for the initial essay was to write a “descriptive essay”; the assignment for the second was to write a “narrative essay”.


Lost Love


I’ve never felt anything in the world like this before. When I am with this amazing man, I can’t see anything around me; the entire world fades away and all I see is him. I don’t know how I survived without him for so long or how I could ever do so again. The mere thought of him gets my heart racing and a nervous excitement nearly overwhelms me. Standing here with me, suddenly he is no longer an obsessive thought but a tangible presence for me to embrace and adore. But as I look into his soft, loving eyes, I know that this is truly the last time – it is time to say goodbye. My enchantment in finally seeing him is overshadowed by a sense of impending doom. Although this man whom I long for and dream about is here beside me, I am already beginning to feel the pain of our separation looming over us.

When I look into his deep brown eyes, I see the world before me. Everything I am, all that I could ever want or need is here, in him. He gently takes hold of my hand. Looking down, I see our fingers intertwined and feel that he is reaching out and embracing not just my hand, but my very being, my soul even. He has become such a part of me, and I of him, that I could no sooner separate from him than I would detach an arm or a leg. I cannot imagine me without him ever again; experiencing the absence of his touch, his smell, his presence; it would be no less than torture! This horrible, wretched day must be no more than a nightmare, a reflection of the deepest fears of my unconscious mind. We are a part of each other, for I have given my heart to him freely and knowingly, aware of the consequences and gladly accepting them in return for his love. I have never experienced a love of this magnitude before; I had hardly even imagined it possible! Surely we must be meant to be together for all of time. This perfect man of mine, this perfect love, how can we just end it, just say goodbye?

While my attention is still focused on our hands, I feel him take a step closer to me. I want to look up at him again, to take comfort in the way he looks at me, but find that I can’t. I’m plagued by despair, lacking the strength to look again into his bright, familiar eyes which I must soon leave behind and try to forget. Our bodies are so close now, almost touching. My breath catches in my chest. His presence has such a grip on me I feel I can hardly think or move, as though I no longer have control over myself. While I still firmly grasp his left hand – almost as though it was a lifeline, an unwavering connection to him – he lifts his right to my face, brushing it lightly against my cheek. This intimate gesture nearly makes my heart burst as I feel his soft touch against my skin. As though I have gained strength simply from this slight contact, I look once again into his beautiful face. He smiles down at me and I want nothing more than to freeze us in this perfect moment for the rest of time, to be with him forever. He moves his hand up and brushes the hair out of my face, gently placing it behind my ear. The tenderness in his eyes is breathtaking, and I can see that he cares every bit as much as I do. He lifts his hands and puts them lightly in my hair. While still gazing at me as though he can see into my very soul, he moves closer, finally kissing me. My eyes close as I feel his soft lips on mine. I snake my arms around him, holding him tight. Time begins to slip away and I could spend eternity in this single perfect moment.

We separate, and as I look at him I realize that he is more beautiful to me in this moment than ever before. He is looking at me as though I am everything he has ever sought in his life, as though he has found the world in my eyes as I have in his. Looking at him, I can see that he loves me, and I realize that no other man will ever look at me the way he is at this very moment. He breaks this placid silence and I hear his low, confident voice quietly tell me, “You are beautiful.” My heart melts at his gentle words. My knees lose the last of their strength, and I feel such an incredible need for him. Just when I feel that surely I am about to fall, he wraps his arms around me, pulling me in tight and holding me in his strong arms.

He begins to gently stroke my back while still holding me close. I feel him breathing, slowly and softly, his chest rising and falling against me. As he continues to hold me tight, I gradually become aware of his heartbeat. Quiet but strong, I am lulled by its gentle rhythm. I could almost fall asleep in his arms, all the tension and anxiety have faded completely. At last I feel at peace, comfortable and relaxed, and above all, happy. The pain of losing him is momentarily pushed from my mind, and I am at ease in his gentle embrace.

Holding hands, we turn our backs on the beauty that has surrounded us and depart. I momentarily allow him to fall into the back of my mind while I admire this perfect day. As the sun shines warmly on us and a soft breeze whispers in our ears, we walk across a carpet of green. The birds serenade us from their perches and the squirrels play in the trees. This place is flawless, surreal almost. It personifies our feelings and perfectly expresses the splendor and intensity of our affection.

This beautiful scenery is not enough to distract me from him for long, and my mind begins to stumble down the winding road that holds the memories of our relationship. Perfectly imperfect, together against all odds; star-crossed lovers, as Shakespeare would say. Every moment we had together was cherished. We reveled in the sheer wonder of each other and our love. Perhaps we weren’t meant to be together; unquestionably the world was against us. But we stole away together every chance we got, and are now closer than anyone could ever know. We shared a secret world, and wouldn’t have wished it any other way.

He promises me that one day we will be together again, even if we have to run away from the world. But for now, it’s goodbye. We walk silently away, hand in hand. I had so hoped not to cry, but the hot tears well up and, one by one, begin to trickle down my cheeks. The cruel world has finally won, and our time together is over. What the future holds, neither of us can know. But we can hope, and think of each other with all the love and tenderness that has marked our time together. Just because we are separated does not mean that we will ever stop caring. I take some comfort in this thought as we depart.

While watching him drive away, my heart finally breaks. I cry harder than I can ever remember crying, standing rooted to the spot for what feels like an eternity. I can no longer hold myself up, finally collapsing on the ground, crying alone. My love, the man of my dreams, is to be mine no more.


Playing With Fire


Everyone knows that if you play with fire, eventually you get burned. No matter how hard you may try to evade it, it is inevitable. And the longer you hazard the chance, the more severe the burn. I have spent the majority of this year playing with fire, all because I fell in love with the wrong guy. When all of your instincts tell you that something is wrong, and everyone around you knows that you are in way over your head, how can you just say, “Well, shit, I guess this is over”? Love sucks you in and once it has you in its clutches, there is no escape. When I look into his eyes there is nothing else in the world that matters, and all my doubts and guilt dissolve. I can never seem to walk away, no matter how hard I try. So I keep dancing his delicate dance with the fire that can so easily destroy my life.

It all started innocently enough, just one person adding another to her friend’s list on the notorious MySpace. Now I understand why it has such a bad reputation. What began as an innocent flirtation, a small flame teasing its way into existence, quickly swelled into a consuming wildfire spreading out of control and dominating every aspect of both our lives. Seventeen-year-old girls don’t get to fall in love with twenty-four-year-old men who are husbands and fathers. And even more importantly, adult men who are married and have a child don’t fall in love with seventeen-year-old girls.

There is a reason passion is described as a flame. It burns and grows inside people haphazardly and swiftly becomes beyond control. It is unpredictable like the flame, and once it begins it develops a life of its own. Unfortunately we cannot choose whom we fall in love with or how hard we fall; I never had any chance of turning away from my feelings for him. I knew that I was doomed when I got the e-mail saying simply, “I like you too.”

I made him tell me three more times before I believe that he was saying what I was hearing. I was terrified that he would say it was a mistake and he only meant that he liked me as a friend, but at the same time part of me was praying that he would do so, quickly, so that I could forget about what this meant lie ahead.

People often assume that teenagers are sneaky and can get away with a lot, but that certainly isn’t the case in my life. My parents know exactly where I am and what I’m doing at all times. No doubt you can imagine the difficulties I encountered in trying to have a relationship my parents know nothing about. Not to mention one that was illegal.

We were intoxicated by each other. And what you learn in health class about your judgment being the first thing to go, well it’s true. We were both fully aware of how wrong it was, we just didn’t care. All that mattered was that we got to see each other, got to feel that high one more time. When we were together we lost our minds, went completely crazy. When I looked into his eyes, I could see the fire. I never saw that look except for during our secret rendezvous.

The problem with this type of relationship is how to end it. We were not only lovers, we were close friends who depended on each other for support. I believe we have ended our relationship three times to date, and at the moment are still close friends. But that keeps leading us back to that burning desire to be together, and our will wears thin over time. We fall so easily back into our old habits, weak and fallible as we are. Are we in love, or are we just intoxicated? I try to answer that question every day. And if we are in love, does it matter? I don’t know.

But for now, we are friends. He is one of the most important people in the world to me, and his friendship is my anchor during the worst of times. We depend on each other for so much that drawing the line is nearly impossible. It is only made more difficult by the fact that neither of us wants to draw the line. So we continue to talk and be the most intimate of friends as our relationship lurches from one extreme to the other – or, at least, it feels extreme to us.

2 thoughts on “Playing With Fire

  1. I am speechless. High School WOW. I read nothing that suggested immaturity. But it breaks my heart that a young girls was abused by an adult like that (story number 2). I pray you have long since severed your relationship with him because he is a predator. I hope that I have not overstepped the line but as an older women, mother and grandmother I know what he is and I am sorry that he ever entered your life.


    • April, thank you for reading. You have not overstepped at all. Luckily this is long ago in my past (as is he), but talking about my past is part of how I’m still learning to deal with it and let it go. I know now that he was at fault and to be honest it makes me feel sick to think about it. But I’m working on forgiving myself and quieting the skeletons in my closet. Thank you for your support!


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