My First Love In Photographs

My First Love In Photographs

My first boyfriend was a photographer, with all of the suave, charismatic and elusively free spirit that passionate professional photographers usually exhibit. He also came with warning bells, but hell if I cared. He wasn’t only charming; he was an eye candy.

He sent me a message on Facebook. A quick scan of his photos showed me what a beautiful man he was. I hesitated, just the faintest bit, before I replied. And that was the beginning of my first.

I remember the first time I saw him in person and he smiled at me. I thought, ‘Whoa, this cannot be real.’ He was stunning and interested in me. I literally thought I was having a really good dream.

My eye candy-photographer was also a little older than me. Okay, maybe the right way to put it is I was way younger than I should have been. I was also the very definition of Oblivious Innocence. I was a child when I met him, which explains why my eye candy was also my knight in shining armor. The liberation from all of the bonds and wars that my mind was embattled with when girls weren’t as pretty to me as every other boy exalted them to be, or when my heart would skip a beat when guys looked at me funny.

I didn’t grow up with a lot of masculine authority around me, and so I was a completely awkward child. It turned considerably worse when I grew older and couldn’t help puberty. I knew something was wrong, and so, at my incredibly young age, I investigated. I found my way online and scattered the internet for what it was worth at the time. It wasn’t a very thoughtful action because I found references to hateful opinions about the evil of sodomy, possible demonic possession, the wrath of God and other terms I do not wish to remember.

And so I began to try to change; that got me the poker face I have now and some of what society would define as ‘masculinity’ (Yes! There were sites that told you how to stand up straight / sit / walk / talk / interact, and it’d somehow lead to you not being so gay). Too bad they didn’t have the emotional part worked out. Dating girls was awkward because I just didn’t care. I liked guys even more now that no one in the room could guess at what I was thinking and I could gawk at the inappropriate parts of a man’s body and not blink a single lash.

The self persecution didn’t stop though. I hated myself and pretending like I was fine everyday felt suffocating. It got worse when I joined social networks and I’d get guys sending me messages about how they thought I was cute, which seemed strange to me, considering how I thought this was about being discreet and careful. My paranoia fetched me a long list of blocked Facebook profiles.

And then, the eye candy photographer caught my eye. I couldn’t run away even if I tried.

My first kiss with him wasn’t awkward. It wasn’t magical either, certainly not like Hollywood would have you believe. It was revealing though; I knew I definitely liked the feel of a man’s lips against mine, and this older man helped me explore this journey.

He was perfection for a first boyfriend. The passionate kisses with my fingers lost in his soft, curly hair… The breathlessness I felt when I watched him move about in his artsy apartment, wearing nothing, the way he usually preferred while he worked on his photos. He had a passion for his job, and he was good at it. Most of his pictures took my breath away. He would always light up whenever he tried to explain a picture to me or teach me how the edits got done. And I would act like I understood because I could tell he loved making me know new things. He was sweet with every step of my sexual awakening; because he thought the main course shouldn’t come so early, he spent a lot of time guiding me through the appetizer until the perfect time to dig in.

He made me alive. He liberated me. I could not help being a puppy in love with this beautiful man.

It didn’t take too long for the other shoe to drop. I had no navigation, so I died everyday while my knight in shining armor became the perfect synonym of imperfection.

He had quite the temper and it took more than my naiveté could comprehend to figure out ways to get him to calm down whenever he flared up. My heart would race in the face of his fits. I wasn’t used to people reacting so emotionally around me. My family probably did their best to shield me from such unguarded emotions, that my mind reeled from the absurdity of his maturity. I began to dread when he’d lose it completely and lash out at me; I was sure that would happen sometime. But he’d calm down and assure me that he was working his problems out. His ex apparently wasn’t as lucky as I was. I knew I was in a danger zone, and yet, I loved him more for his flaws.

I love you.

I blurted those words to him. The declaration was more an absent-minded remark, than an actual profession. But I said them. And found myself holding my breath, wondering what he’d say to me. I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe an okay would have been better, anything other than the complete silence and eventual change of topic that followed. That stung a little and is probably a psychological reason for my current phobia for the use of the ‘L’ word.

And then came the calls – the bewildering ‘no, Tee, don’t pick that up’ calls, that he answered with whispered replies. Those text messages he stopped replying to while snuggled in bed with me. I’ve never being one to be invasive of people’s privacies, so I didn’t even want to validate my suspicion with actual proof. I’ve always being a big fan of the “Don’t go through their phones because you will find what you’re looking for” logic.

And then, there were the strangers, the visitors that never got past the front gate whenever I was around, the ones that left right when I got there. The quick glances and nervous ‘Hellos’ from the slightly-older-then-me-yet-equally-young next door neighbors.

My beautiful man was fading before my very eyes. I was strained. And with the exhaustion came the realization that I should not be dealing with all of the drama. I was young. My friends gushed when they talked about their girlfriends or boyfriends, and there I was, growing up too fast, hopelessly hoping my photographer would get his act together.

After a while, all of my intuitions screamed for a departure from my eye candy photographer. I believe it’s called “Fight or Flight”, when you know you’re about to get badly hurt and your body begs for a response to the dire situation, and you stall, wanting to fight, until you realize that there is no use. The magic was gone. We ended with pleasant enough goodbyes and a “we can still be friends” speech. But we both knew we were lying. We were done.

I am lucky to have had that bit of happiness for a first. Even with the heartaches that dogged it to the end, this beautiful man helped me conquer a number of fears I didn’t know I had. He showed me I was perfect enough to love myself, and most importantly, he made me realize that no female would make me happy the way a man would, and that it was okay.

And so, when I think back on those firsts – first love, first kiss, first lovemaking, first heartbreak – I cannot say I regret replying that first Facebook message from the eye candy photographer.

Written by Abrams T.

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  1. sinnex
    November 30, 07:49 Reply

    I came here expecting to see pictures. I was wrong.

    At least you have fallen in love, that counts for something.

  2. Max
    November 30, 07:54 Reply

    *sigh*, the scar of first love… Always the worst.

  3. Chizzie
    November 30, 08:28 Reply

    This is why you shouldn’t date eye candies except you are an eye candy. One asked me out the other day ( Yes believe it or not people ask witches out too) and I said no, cause he is exactly the type of guy that brings out the insecure, jealous, homicidal green eyed monster in me. Some people are better off as friends with benefits.

    I’m presently with someone who is borderline eye candy material, although I worry he is too slim and can be really razz sometimes but I’m fine w that.

    Moral of the story : Do not date eye candies.

    • Pink Panther
      November 30, 08:32 Reply

      Hehehehehehee!!! Some of your opinions are sheer delightful.
      And strangely, I agree with you. my first bf was delicious looking too. And managed to turn me into…what was it you called it? ehen – an insecure, jealous, homicidal green-eyed monster.
      Dear God. When we broke up and later started having casual sex, it felt so much better.

      • Max
        November 30, 08:50 Reply

        Oh yeah, I forgot, you sleep with your exes.

        • Pink Panther
          November 30, 08:53 Reply

          Yes, Max, I often sleep with my exes. I also occasionally sleep with random hot guys. I’m a hoe like that. It’s so liberating being a hoe. You should try it sometime. 😀

      • bruno
        November 30, 09:57 Reply

        lucky you. i’m too bitter to sleep with an ex.

  4. Eddie
    November 30, 08:30 Reply

    I’ve never really been a relationship kinda person because of the heartache that it leads to at the end…i’ve been hurt too many times to wanna go thru it again ejo

    • Pink Panther
      November 30, 08:33 Reply

      Too many times, huh? Which means you have the optimism and faith to be getting back on the saddle after a previous heartbreak. Well, dear, don’t let that light of faith burn out. Dont be a not-relationship-kinda person. Hold on. The one who won’t break your heart will come along. 🙂

    • Max
      November 30, 08:58 Reply

      @Eddie, you’re just a harlot looking for an excuse for his sluttiness.

  5. #Chestnut
    November 30, 08:32 Reply

    But what really happened? What was really wrong with him? Why were the neighbours giving u nervous glances towards the end? Was he cheating, or was he just crazy?

    • Pink Panther
      November 30, 08:34 Reply

      A mixture of the two perhaps? He’s an artist, what do you expect? lol

      • #Chestnut
        November 30, 08:55 Reply

        All these troubled/tormented artists sef,lol. But pinky,u’re a writer nau,but u don’t pull ogbanje stunts…

        • Pink Panther
          November 30, 08:56 Reply

          Hahahahahahahahahahahaaa. Ogbanje stunts. Ok that killed me.

  6. #TeamKizito
    November 30, 09:02 Reply

    So I ask, did he ever love you? As in love you like you loved him.

    First. Hmm.

  7. Khaleesi
    November 30, 09:37 Reply

    A lovely well written piece, thoroughly loved every line of it … Oh the beauty of young naïve love … Its amazing how you look back on some relationships and marvel at how much you learned from all the pain and heartache …

  8. ken
    November 30, 09:54 Reply

    Lovely write up, I love the pace.

    But bia nwannem, eyecandies are a total NO-NO. Any guy who is cute and knows he is cute is just a disaster waiting to happen.

    So my advise is: Know your number and dont date above your class. Sounds harsh I know, but my dear its best to save yourself the drama and heartache

    • Max
      November 30, 12:44 Reply

      Gbam!!. Thats what I always tell people, know your lane and stick to it. Fly too close to the sun and you get burnt.

  9. bruno
    November 30, 09:54 Reply

    “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr Seuss

    sometimes the best gift an ex gives you are the memories. those always remain even when the love is gone. nice piece.

    • Max
      November 30, 13:13 Reply

      I have the perfect sing for you- A million years ago by our fairy god mother Adele ??

  10. ikhines
    November 30, 11:13 Reply

    Kudos to the writer! I loved every bit of this!

  11. Dennis Macaulay
    November 30, 11:56 Reply

    I look back to when we had lots of stories like this where people dressed down themselves without being afraid of bullies

    • Chizzie
      November 30, 12:28 Reply

      Yeah true I miss those days too. ?
      Btw where is Keredim?

  12. Delle
    November 30, 14:17 Reply

    Look at me crying in class like a broken-hearted 15yr old girl!
    This story touched me in places I never thought existed.

    Most overly cute guys know they are just that, overly cute and tend to be very silly because of that. So maybe we should start going for the ones with average looks that would cherish you more than what they see in the mirrors.

    But God, why should the douchebags be the Eye-candies, ehn?

    • Stranger
      November 30, 14:31 Reply

      I don’t understand why y’all be stereotyping and antagonising eye candies because of this. So if the photographer was ugly; he wouldn’t have acted this same way?

      • Delle
        November 30, 15:31 Reply

        Lol Stranger…something about the way you said, ‘I don’t know why y’all be stereotyping eye candies’, got me in stitches.

        • Stranger
          November 30, 15:51 Reply

          Hehe. You’re welcome, I guess. Cheers pal. 🙂

  13. Dickson Clement
    November 30, 14:46 Reply

    I feel sad reading this beautiful piece because it reminds me that my adolescent years weren’t really fun! Like there were no first loves, no first kisses, no relationships! Just crushes that normally ends when you remember you have to get good grades to impress ur parents! Now I have a different idea of homosexuality and relationship does not work!!!

  14. michael
    November 30, 17:52 Reply

    Biko I had an eye candy first boy friend who really loved and cared for me till distance thwarted us.

    he is still part of the reason I look forward to Christmas each year.

  15. Duke
    November 30, 18:48 Reply

    I guess eye candies are just good enough for one night stands. I know myself, if the one night stand was good, I will always want that for myself…Just me! I am jealous like that. I loved this story very much, it is something I have experienced a couple of times.

  16. Nefretiti
    December 03, 02:45 Reply

    I don’t agree with knowing ur no and sticking with it , I don’t even think that makes any sense……. That means we saying one person isn’t gud enof 4 d other and when u aren’t as goodlooking as d other guy settle 4 the latest screp u can control. Not all goodlooking guys r terrible , we get attention but some of us are loyal. What even makes a person terrible or a cheat, its most times the character b4 the looks.

    Moral of the story …..don’t settle , go 4 what u want . BTW lovely piece

  17. Nefretiti
    December 03, 02:54 Reply

    And also speaking 4 we eye candies , we aren’t all obsessed with our looks , we r just confident and I believe that’s what everyone needs , confidence and self worth would get u far in life even in ur relationships……

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