His name is Royal, but he’s no prince charming. He’s not even a prince-though you could say I loved him once upon a time.

He was my older brother’s best friend. Growing up, he sat at our dinner table every Sunday, teased me mercilessly, and pretended I annoyed him. When I was old enough, he took me on my first date.

Royal taught me how to drive. Escorted me to my junior prom. Gave me my first kiss . . . amongst other things. He was my first taste of toe-curling, all-consuming, can’t-sleep love.

We had our whole lives ahead of us. There was never anyone else for me but him. And then he disappeared. No letter. No explanation. Not even a good-bye.

I’ve spent the last seven years trying in vain to forget my first love, but just when I think I’ve finally moved on, guess who’s back in town?

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