The first time I told a man that I loved him I did it with pen and paper. I was an 18 year-old freshman at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and I was shamelessly ‘in love’ with the biggest slut on campus. So I did what any 18-year-old virgin would do. I wrote him a love letter, asking him to break my hymen. I signed the letter off with, I love you.
The letter didn’t go over well. The campus slut never called. He never reciprocated or expressed any love for me, or my pepa. I was devastated. Saying, ‘I love you’, even in writing, was the hardest thing I had done in all my life. At 18, and with serious abandonment issues (thanks Papi), I had grown into a tough girl who never expressed vulnerability. I was uncomfortable with the L word, even when friends told me how much they cared. I didn’t know how else to be because I was never shown anything else.
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