I was 16. I met a boy at a local shopping mall. We began talking and there was an instant spark. I only remember his name as Dane. I thought that was extremely unusual at the time. We went on a date on a Friday night. He took me to dinner..an expensive one for a sixteen-year old. We laughed, held hands and kissed. We drove around in his beat up old car along the river and saw the lights of the Holiday Inn. We decided to sneak up to the tower to look out over the city. After briefly dodging security guards, we made our way to the top. Wichita is a beautiful small city. The intoxicating warm night air swirled around us. He put his arms around me and pulled him gently into his bosom. I was in heaven. He was a gentleman. The night sky was bright. The stars were twinkling. Young love.
He drove me home and we began kissing passionately. During the heat of the moment he blurted out, “I love you”. I suppose I was shocked because he took it back immediately…saying, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that”. I said it was OK, but he was flustered. He said he had to go…and I said OK. I saw him a few times after that…but we never went out again. I’ll never forget that beautiful heated “I love you”, whether he meant it or not.