Love story: teenage love at first sight in Spain
“I was 14 years old. With my class we were going on a cultural and linguistic trip for a week in Spain. With the city of Salamanca as an anchor point and plenty of visits planned in the surrounding towns. Including that of Avila. Your city. We were staying with several families. We discovered a new country, a new language and a new freedom with these “free neighborhoods” of autonomy every day.
When you’re a teenager, it’s synonymous with adventure. It is magic. The field of possibilities opens. Our horizon is widening. Mine has widened to reach you. A few days after our arrival, we took the bus to discover Avila. Guided tour then free time.
We fly in small groups through the historic streets of the city like sparrows. Impatient. Perks. Joyful. Carefree. The weather is nice, the city is full of charm, the people are welcoming. We settle down near a stone bridge. Only girls. We will only realize once we are seated that we are not alone. A few meters from us, a group of boys. Teenagers like us. From here. Finally from there …
And in the midst of them. You. So brown. Beautiful. Dark. So bewitching.
Me so blonde. Left. Timid. So bewitched. Already.
All it took was a look. With a smile. So that I understand the meaning of this expression as old as the world. Having the thunderbolt .
I am unable to explain it to myself otherwise. You looked at me, you smiled at me and nothing existed around me. The discussion with my friends had become an incoherent hubbub to my ears. I was with them but my bubble had carried me towards you. Hypnotized by your gaze, it was impossible for me to take my eyes off yours.
Your friends and mine have noticed our little merry-go-round. You got carried away in Spanish, I blushed in French… I didn’t understand what was going on inside me.
And then what good? We would have to leave in just a few hours… But I didn’t want to think about it. You came to me with your group. All embarrassed at first we ended up understanding each other in approximate Spanish tinged with French and relief words in English. You offered to show us around. With you it was the holidays. We accepted. We spent the next few hours walking a little behind the others, talking to each other more with eyes than words. To touch our hands and smile at us.
It was electric. It was magical. A real thunderbolt. Reciprocal.
The hours went by and I didn’t want to leave. I even believe that in my head I was making plans and improbable scenarios to stay. A bus breakdown, a runaway, what do I know… I was elsewhere…
And then it was time to leave. It was impossible to leave each other. So you walked us back to the bus. We were late. I remember the Spanish teacher who was starting to panic. Everyone was waiting for us inside. And our arrival was not discreet so we invented a lie worthy of our age. We got lost and we came across this group of Spanish high school students who had been kind enough to bring us back safely.
This happened. Or almost. I still remember my teacher’s smile when she saw you take me by the hand to isolate us for the last minute.
What to say? We didn’t know each other, we struggled to understand each other, I wasn’t going to come back to Avila by the time I left and you weren’t going to come to Salamanca. And even less in France.
We lived more than 1,000 kilometers away. We weren’t of legal age. Too young, we were certainly carefree but not free to experience this love at first sight. To let it hatch.
But we couldn’t leave each other. Until the horn blows. Me who hated to be noticed. So very quickly you took my pen and a piece of paper, you scribbled a few words on it and put it in my hand.
And very slowly, barely in a touch, your lips rested on mine. It was already over. I had to get on that bus. You waited until the end of not seeing him anymore to turn on your heels and join your friends.
On the bus there was a song that I was listening to on repeat at that time. La Solitudine by Laura Pausini. But in the Spanish version, La Soledad. Enough to put the blues on me.
This song has been in the memory drawer of my memory ever since. For all these years for me, Laura Pausini has been on this school trip to Spain, it is this city to which I have unfortunately never returned. It’s my first love at first sight, it’s you.
You that I didn’t know but with whom I fell in love in a minute like one falls in love at 14 years old. You of whom I dreamed whole nights. Which made me discover the awakening of the senses and emotions, and melancholy. You were the first to look at me like I was really beautiful. Really apart. You thanks to whom I have never stopped dreaming and daring romanticism.
I opened the paper you slipped in my hand. You had drawn a heart there at the end of a sentence in Spanish.
“Este momento juntos fue un momento fuera del tiempo. This means: this moment together was a moment out of time.
Your name was Fernando. “