I was 6 when I met my first boyfriend. A tow haired neighbor boy, with such a cute smile, complete with dimples and perfect white teeth. We were in the same first grade class, and most days our blonde heads could be seen walking the few blocks home from school together.
We were best friends. For three years we adventured around the neighborhood together. We’d ride our bikes a few blocks to the convenience store and buy icees, gum, and garbage pail kids. He was a collector.
There was a big farm with acreage on the edge of our neighborhood and we’d go running in the tall grass and catch frogs and crawdads in the creek until the owner chased us off.
He had a pool, so we spent many long hours swimming, or sitting poolside, our blonde hair green from the chlorine.
We played baseball. We watched MTV. I saw my first horror movie at his house - Friday the 13th - and thought it comical.
A girl our age lived between us, and I’d often ride past her, playing dolls in her driveway, on my way to his house. She’d glare at me. I never knew why. One time she called me “generic” which hurt my feelings despite not understanding what she meant. He comforted me when I arrived.
He was my best friend. Once when we were riding around the block he said, “I’m your boyfriend.”
"Pssh! No you’re not!"
"Yes I am. I’m a boy and I’m your friend. That makes me your boyfriend."
His grin was triumphant and I was secretly pleased.
When I was 9 we moved away, and I never saw him again. I cried for weeks. Wrote him letters that never got mailed. And throughout the years I wondered whatever became of him.
After my marriage dissolved, I found him on Facebook. Waiting for him to accept my friend request, I entertained romantic fantasies - childhood best friends, reunited, fall in love…
Then he accepted my friend request and I discovered that he’s grown into a gorgeous, professional, intelligent, clever, gay man.