It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents' house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn't be broken...no matter how hard we tried.
I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, his struggle to keep me innocent, and infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I'd learn that nothing else matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, my older sister saw him next.