The following is the prelude to my novel. I began writing this when I was 19 years old. Please feel free to comment and like. With enough feedback, I’ll continue sharing excerpts.

(June, 2006)

I have a history of bad relationships. I’m nineteen. Nineteen days, twenty-three hours and forty minutes, nineteen. I grew up watching Disney® movies, dieting, trying to fit in and – most of all – looking for true love. Why? I wish I knew.

I have friends in happy relationships – ‘true love’ type relationships. I have an older brother who, I’m pretty sure, is dating the girl he’s going to marry directly after college. I know family members and members of the community who are also involved in ‘true love’ marriages and relationships. Why is this of any importance? Because not one of them looked for true love – in fact I’m sure they didn’t even wish for it. They didn’t hope for it, didn’t wait for it – I wonder if they even thought about it. Yet here I am – nineteen days, twenty-three hours and forty minutes – nineteen, and I’ve based my life on one thing; finding (as in looking for) true love. Not just any love – not puppy love, lust, love at first sight, lost love or love that’s there for a portion of your life and just wasn’t meant to be. I‘m talking about one-of-a-kind love, the real thing – TRUE love.

Actually, I might be lying about my friends, my brother and the people in my family and community; I don’t really know whether or not it just came to them. I do know one thing – true love has not come to me. In fact, I think it’s avoiding me. It might be because I look, hope, dream, wish and wait so hard for it. Either way, it’s not here. Like I’ve already said, repeatedly, I’m – nineteen days and now about twenty three hours and fifty one minutes – nineteen. True love shouldn’t be the most important, only-focused-on aspect of a 19-year-old college girl’s life. But it is – always has been, always will be – and I wish it weren’t anymore.

You’re obviously wondering about my past because what sort of life have I lived to have cultivated such an obsession with the idea of true love – ‘TRUE love’? Well to give you a quick summary of the last nineteen years, twenty days and four minutes – my life hasn’t exactly been typical, normal, hard or extravagant. I’m actually really unsure of what one word I would use to describe my life besides, well, mine. I don’t have many childhood memories. I’m not sure why. It might be because I was molested as a child. I tell myself it’s because God doesn’t want me to remember all the bad times, but I wish he would let me remember the good.

My biological father and my mother divorced when I was three. I guess they just weren’t in ‘true love’. He wasn’t a part of my life much longer after the divorce. Now that I think about things, I’ve seen a lot of failed marriages and relationships. Seeing those failures should have kept me from believing in love, not obsessing over it. Yet here I am.

Anyways, back to the quick summary that’s not so quick. My mom and the biological father divorced when I was three. My mom became a struggling single mother who worked her ass off to give her kids the basics all while going to college for her Associates Degree. I remember when she used to date. One day, when I was around five years old, a bald man knocked on the door (I say I ‘remember’ this because it’s become a bit of a family joke that I’ve heard numerous times). At the ripe age of five-ish, after answering the door, I asked my mom what this man was doing at our house. She said they were going on a date, to which I dramatically exclaimed, “My moms going out with a bald guy?!” – and it’s been apparent ever since: I’d never have a filter.

My mother and the bald man proceeded to date. He became my dad, and I love him. He is better than any father I could have ever hoped for. He is my real dad – regardless of what any documents, medical records or last names claim. My mom and my dad love each other. It’s ‘true love’. It’s what I’m looking for.