Do you remember your first love? Do you remember how it made you feel, how it changed everything for you?
In this bitingly personal essay, Shawn Michel de Montaigne, author of the beloved epic fantasy Melody and the Pier to Forever, takes us back to 1972 and his fourth-grade year at Tavelli Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the beautiful girl who would change his life forever.
Her name was Connie. And the love she and Shawn shared would bring into sharp, contrasting relief the serious, crippling dysfunction of his family, as well as the harsh realization, learned many years later, that what so many call love, what so many worship as love, what so many rape and murder and foul and destroy as love is anything but love. The Kingdom of God is a spacious land, wholly unpopulated. It's from that land and by the side of the angel that graced Shawn's life for nine short months that he looks out and forward upon the broader canvas of life. It is a unique viewpoint, made tragically more so by the fact that the angel—Connie—would not remember Shawn or their relationship after that year out of the need to protect the innocence that is the birthright of all children, and which was violated repeatedly by one of her own family.