“Teenage crush is like flu. If you find a remedy for it, it lasts for a couple of days. If you don’t, it still lasts for a couple of days.”

                                     Raheel Farooq

 Come on. Don’t lie! Everyone has had a crush before, even as a teenager.  This is quite normal, having a crush is like the fact that everyone wears underwear. I remember the day I  had my first crush.  It was new year’s eve and I was fifteen years old. As customary,  my family would ring in the new year at church. While in the church service , I glanced across the room and my eyes made connection with that of a dark-skinned teenage boy who was visiting my hometown. I dont remember his age but I guess he was 18 at the time. Then, as luck would have it, at  the  stroke  of  midnight,  we stared at each other. Was this a sign from God? At the time my young mind told me that it was. This proved that he was the guy for me. YIPEEEE

After church, the guy and I introduced ourselves and I fell even more deeply in love. At the time,  I did not  have  a  cell phone  and  neither  did he. As a result, we communicated through letters. I can recall being  very creative with my letters as I often  drew flowers and hearts. The contents of  my letters were something to talk about. They were filled with so much love, more love than a river overflowing its banks with  water. If expression of love were for sale, I would be filthy  rich now. No wonder love songs were my favourite at the time. My  past  actions  often  cause  me  to  reflect. I would  also ponder what I would do if I ever have a daughter and she expresses her love to a guy saying  “if the world were mine, I would give it to you,” like I did in  one of my letters.

There is some truth in the saying that when  you are young, you are young and foolish. Looking back, I could barely understand anything in those letters. The youngster could not spell nor structure grammatically  correct sentences even if his life depended on it. I’m literally rolling in fits of laughter  now as I remember how bad his grammar  was.However, the words he wrote, were like music to my ears and of course I would eagerly anticipate  my next letter and would often  stalk the post office  – literally.

Being young and in love, I vowed to  help my crush with  his  writing. So upon receipt of every letter, I sat down and literally re-wrote them by correcting  the grammatical errors and  reconstruct  his  sentences. I’m not sure if I actually got the courage to send him the corrected versions. Another reason I’m laughing is the fact that I couldn’t show my girlfriends any of my crush’s letters. I would always read the letters  they received from their crush, but they never got the chance to read mine. We would always go to the post office to send  our letters but I never went  with them to receive mine. Of course I would always  hide and collect them then read them in secrecy.  Ladies, I know you are reading this, please forgive me. I really didn’t mean to hide my letters, I was just embarrassed.

As time progressed,  I use to envision myself and my crush getting married. I was totally into him and couldn’t wait for him to visit my  home town again. I decided that I wanted everyone to know about my young  love including my mother.  My mother at the time  had a house phone and I remember  how I used a pay phone, in the small town  where I grew up with my grandparents, to call her. I was like, “Mommy, I have something to tell you and I really don’t want to hide it anymore.”

She then asked, “What is it? “

“There is this guy that I like and……”  Before I could even finish the statement my mother became very angry. She started  asking me questions like, what does this guy do,  how  old  is  he and  the  list  goes  on. Of course he didn’t work nor was he attending school. I didn’t even bother to voice my answer based on my mom’s tone. Frankly put, my mom knew that I wasn’t ready for a boyfriend. So even if it was the queen’s or president’s son, she just wouldn’t have it. Soon after, I didn’t write that many letters  as what my momma said and asked me during that conversation   rested heavily on my conscience and made me start to ponder my future with my crush. However, that didn’t mean that I had stopped crushing on him. I continued  to cherish his letters and eagerly anticipated each.

As luck would have it, I got to see my crush again after many months. Surprisingly though, he didn’t look as cute as the first time I laid eyes on him. I could not help but wonder if the lighting in the church  had made me seen doubles the first time I laid eyes on him. I quickly lost interest based on the fact that he did not live in my home town and would only come to visit twice per year. Additionally,  I knew I could never introduce him to any of my friends and what use was a boyfriend if you can’t show him off to your girlfriends.  Apart from that, the guy was short and I prefer tall, dark and handsome. Pretty soon, my friends became overly concerned that I was not reporting any “juicy details” from my letters. I told them that they must have gotten lost at the post office  or something.

Now that I am an adult, I see the young man occasionally  when I visit my home town as he now lives there. I am quite happy that my mom gave me that pep talk . Thanks mom. This is as a result that I escaped what this guy has to offer as the only difference between the young man then and now is that he’s an adult and has kids. You see, I like a guy who is ambitious, well-groomed and highly motivated,  none of which this guy seems to posses.  Even to this day he tells me that it should  have been us. Are you kidding me!  For  real?

I’m gonna make sure I talk to my daughter when I do have one. But for now, I will talk to my nieces,  nephews  and  my  son,  when they  are  old  enough,  about being young and in love. Yes, I know that this is normal as everyone has to experience it. However, we are often young and naïve and occasionally we need someone with experience to save us from ourselves.  Mothers……please talk to your daughters and fathers likewise, please talk to your sons. On second thought, It really doesn’t matter who does the talking as long as one parent is talking. Please, let’s talk to our children.



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