"Twenty years from now, you will be more dissapointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things that you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover,"—H. Jackson Brown Jr., 'P.S. I Love You'.
Love is one of life's most precious gifts. One of many, actually. Love has the strength to accomplish some very powerful tasks. It can change a person's (or perspective of) life in the simplest terms of the word. Especially first loves. First loves are the greatest. They're the kind that sting like a bee and grip you to the end, but are as sweet as a flower and hold onto your heart for forever. Even if they can be the most heartbreaking, everyone share's a story of their first love. Although they might not hold the same memories or experiences, it's still a good story. Like all good stories, each has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Some of those loves end for a reson, however. Whatever that reason is, you soon learn that the relationship was meant to come to an end. And this first love story is unlike any other—because this one is my story. The story of the pure and innocent girl, and her bad-ass and charming biker boyfriend. The story of their life, their love, and their heartbreak all rolled into one.
Charming, California; June (1985)
Charming, California was a small town that sat in the county of the San Joaquin Valley in the Northern part of the state. It was home to more than 10,000 people—with some folks coming and going simply as they pleased. Charming's name said it all, quite frankly. It was one of the smallest towns in all of California, and one where everyone knew everyone's name—and, business. Gossip made it's way through this town, much like the sound of roaring Harley's on this glorious Saturday afternoon. I was seven the first time I stepped foot in the town that would change the rest of my life. Moving was something that I was used to. And, quite frankly, I didn't mind it much anymore. My father worked as a news anchor and was always being re-located to new cities to help bring their stations back to life.
We'd moved eight times in the past three years. My mom never bothered to look for a job because she knew as soon as she was with a career that she enjoyed, we would have to pack up our current life and move onto a new one. And, personally, I didn't bother making too many friends because, well it was the 80s and I was never going to keep in contact with them once I moved anyway.
We arrived in Charming on June 19th—a date that stood out amoungst others in my head and in my heart. My family and I had just moved from Phoenix, Arizona—one of the most beautiful places that I have ever had the opportunity to live in. We knew it was "home" as soon as soon as my dad's Chevy pulled into our new elongated driveway. My seventeen year old brother, Colton, soon followed in pursuit with his Nisaan and the UHaul truck was being driven by my twenty year old sister-in-law, Alyssa with my brother—twenty-one year old Braison as her passanger.
My dad stepped out of the car first. He stretched, and following that was a loud and obnoxious yawn. "Alright, guys! Let's get to work!"
Amoungst my brothers you could hear deep sighs. We hated unpacking. It was the utmost, worst part about moving.
"Arabella, sweetie, wake up," my mom came into the backseat to retrieve me. I was faking being asleep, thinking this would get me out of unloading things off of the U-Haul truck. I was the smallest out of everyone and never a big help anyway. She confiscated the teddy bear that I was holding out of hands, as I rubbed my green eyes. "We have to unpack, baby girl,"
"No," I told her, as I let out a small yawn.
My mom laughed. "We'll be done in no time, I promise,"
"Awe! There's my angel," Colton exclaimed, as he stuck his head into the backseat. I unbuckled my seat belt as he picked me up and set me on his broad shoulders.
"Colton, she's 7, not 4," my mom reminded him. Colton shrugged as we made our way up to the top step of our sandstone porch. The 'SOLD' sign was still placed in the front yard. My dad dug for the new set of house keys in the pocket of his sweat pants, and opened up the door. The inside of the house was absolutely gorgeous. 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a huge kitchen with a dining room in tow, a living room, attic, sunroom and basement. Connected to the kitchen were a pair of sliding glass doors, which led outside to the deck, pool, and patio. This was much nicer than our house in Arizona. Being seven though, however, all I could think about was getting lost in here.
As my brothers and sister took a tour around the house, I plopped myself right on the hardwood floor of the living room.
"So, it needs some work but we can do this, right?"
"It's only the eighth time, right?" my mom said displeasingly.
My dad chuckled, then wrapped my mom in his arms. "We're staying here, for a long time honey. I promise you. Charming is our new home,"
"Are you sure?"
My dad kissed her softly on the lips. "I'm sure. Welcome home, honey,"