A year for learning...

I started dating a boy my senior year, one that my parents didn't approve of, because he wasn't a part of our church. I'd never really "dated" anyone before, let alone a non-believer. I had had my share of crushes and first loves and first kisses, but William E. Draper was out of my usual realm. He worked for a company near my house, employed by church goers, he had a car, a job, had graduated already. He was shy, quiet, unassuming, sweet, gentle, and a little messed up.
We had a lot of fun really. He showed my stuff I hadn't thought of before, like taking short cuts instead of the highway, driving all around, through the woods, across streams, stopping to look at pretty sights, listening to music, and many other things I had been sheltered from. We watched movies together, Apocolypse Now, Midnight Express, The Godfather (to name a few). We went to concerts, like Kansas. We listened to music in his car, like Supertramp. Basically I was lifted out of my Bruce Springsteen-padded environment, I became more aware of the outside world and enlightened. I think that's when I really became more interested in everything, reading, poetry, writing, everything.
Truth be told I didn't treat him as well as I should have. He loved me a lot, and that didn't make a difference to me. Maybe I was still looking for the bad boy to excite me and take me away from my little corner of the world. He did hold on to me pretty tightly, I felt stifled, I cheated* on him.
I have wanted to thank him for over twenty years, for his kindness, for a love that only youth knows, for teaching me new things and how to experience life, for making out with me and daring to get in trouble to be with me, for being scared silly of my dad, but showing up to take me out anyway, and for making me microwave popcorn for the first time (really! I think of him every time I make it.). William, you are a special person, and I am glad that you have a great life now, that you're happy, and I hope you'll forgive my for everything I put you through. I still think of you fondly and with great regard. You'll probably never read this, but I hope you do one day. Thanks also for taking me to the senior prom. All my love. Sarah

*By cheated I mean I looked at other guys and maybe kissed a few, nothing else! I'm serious!

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