Jenna is six and in love with Peter. Peter and Jenna are best friends. They do everything together. When they play house, Jenna is Mom and Peter is Dad. Carlie and Joanie are usually the babies. Mom Jenna and Dad Peter tuck them into the pretend bed in their pretend house, pulling the pretend covers snug around them. Then, they go to their room, just a few steps away. Jenna kisses Peter, a chaste peck on the lips, the kind her mommy and daddy give each other in the mornings. She calls it gross when they do it, but when it's Peter, it's not gross at all. They lie down next to each other and Peter puts one arm around Jenna. This is what love is.
Christian is eleven and head over heels for Sammy. Sammy is his next door neighbor and the prettiest girl he's ever seen. She's small and cute and fragile. They push each other on the swings. She helps him with his homework, the math parts that he claims to not understand. In truth, he loves math. Really, he's very good at it. But he likes Sammy more. When she bends over his (wrong) answers her long blonde hair sometimes falls across his arm. This happens and he thinks his heart will stop. But things aren't always good. Sammy's mom and daddy fight lots, and it tears her apart. Sammy runs to Christian, tearful and spitting mad, he holds her in his arms. His mother sees them through the kitchen window, raises a hand to her mouth. She watches the glimmers of man shining through her son's boyish exterior. This is what love is.
Lauren is eighteen and falling for Joey. They're going to college, splitting up sooner rather than later, but Lauren can't help but kiss him in the rain, in the parking lot, under the moon. He puts his hands on her waist and his nose in her hair. He's so scared to lose her, this fairy girl with everything but the wings. She goes to school before him, waves to him from the car. He writes her letters faithfully, every day. But. He finds another girl. Just as pretty, just as smart, just as much. She kisses him but he doesn't kiss her back. This is what love is.