When I Duped a Man into Telling Me He Loved Me — in my defense, I knew he loved me :)

Oh Gawd — I was 19 here

Before I start, I want to tell you that I ‘write’ as I walk — to the subway, to work, etc. If I’m lucky, I remember most of it and can actually write it down as soon as I get to my destination. Other times, I don’t recall what I thought sounded so good as I was walking. Today is that day — but I shall try my best to recall or write afresh.

I am 19 years old, I have been dating a man for a few months. My first boyfriend, my first love. Everything is magical. We are having the best time and it is making the scary freshman year of college bearable.

One day we are alone and I say, “you know there is a ladder, and when you first meet someone you are on the first rung of like and as you know them more, and as time passes, you keep going up the rungs on the ladder.”

He looks at me confused. But since he is such a sweet man, he says nothing.

“Do you agree?”

“I guess so.”

“So where are you on this ladder with us?” (manipulative much? but oh so brilliant if I may so say myself — ha)

“Well I am on the top of the ladder.”

“Yah? And so where does one go after the like ladder ends?”

“To love, I think.”

I looked at him expectantly. I couldn’t stop smiling.

“I love you,” he said.

My first I love you.

Even though I had manipulated him into telling me that he loved me, these were the most special words I had ever heard. I buried my face into his chest. I remember each detail of that moment — where we were, what we were wearing or not wearing, what we were doing.

“Don’t get so emotional?” he said trying to pry my face out of his chest. “You know I love you,” he repeated, looking into my eyes and holding my face in his hands.

“I love you too,” I said.

That memory makes me smile even after all these years.

Today is his birthday and we are still friends. The few lovers I have been able to maintain a friendship with. I cannot show you pictures of us, which are so damn cute but just believe me when I tell you that those were happy years that I look back upon fondly.

Happy Birthday to the sweetest man I ever loved.

Until I date again!