I’m trying to think of how to abridge this story so that it doesn’t take 85 years to read. Perhaps a list…
I’m sixteen, he’s seventeen. We’re in choir together and he asks me out, which I accept. We date very casually for a short while, and then it sort of ends on its own with no real reason – not a big deal and we stay friends.
He begins dating someone else, referred to hereafter as “the troll.” Seriously, she was like three feet tall and VERY troll-like in appearance. And she also was NOT very nice at all. I’m mystified as to what he saw in her. Anyway…
It’s the end of that school year and by this time, it’s pretty obvious that we have a great attraction to each other. We love the same music and he always called me at 8:02 on Thursday nights, because “90210” ended at eight and I wasn’t going to miss THAT. We accumulated quite a collection of mix tapes. Yes, mix tapes – and they were the best. He would sometimes talk to me on them, which I think is pretty sweet. And of course, as a lovesick teenager, I was all atwitter about it.
Now we’re seventeen and eighteen. It’s the beginning of his senior year. We are still in choir together, and now we’re both in the top “show choir,” which means we spend A LOT of time together. We’ve become better friends and just keep getting closer, much to the chagrin of the troll. She’s in the marching band and so she has one of her choir friends SPY on him and I. This girl would follow us around as much as possible and try to eavesdrop on our conversations. We had a great time thinking of ways to dodge her.
So it’s fall, and he’s in the “Fall Play” with my friend Michelle, who I was very close to and so she knew how much I adored him. She comes to me one day and says “I kissed him.” WHAT??? I was pretty pissed, but she was (allegedly) really sorry and promised that it would never happen again, so I forgave her.
The year continues with us still hanging out and still making tapes and me wondering why the hell he’s still with the troll.
It’s now spring, and we both get leads in the “Spring Musical,” which means, you guessed it, like 24/7 together for a couple of months. We would go to the “secret” band/choir make-out places in the back halls and kiss and it was all so exciting because I was so into him and it was just cool. Oh, and yes, he’s still with the troll, and I still can’t figure out why. But I stopped caring. Because I’m mean and heartless.
The last night of the “Spring Musical” means all-night cast party at someone’s house. He and I stayed for maybe an hour and then did some amazing James Bond-esque maneuvers to escape The Spy and leave the party. We narrowly escaped. We went to his house, because his parents were out of town and I stayed the night. As a disclaimer, I would like to say here that because I was pretty naïve and also well-behaved (for the most part) back then, we never slept together. End of disclaimer.
At this point, it’s almost the end of the year, and lo and behold! He breaks up with the troll! There is rejoicing across the land (Amberland, in case that was unclear) and so finally we’d be together and everything would be great.
And then, my little high school world crashed down around my ears. He immediately started dating my “friend” Michelle. If by “dating” you mean “making out in the music room at every possible opportunity.” Devastation – utter devastation. Betrayal by someone I loved and not only that, with someone who was supposed to be my friend.
Because I am not one who likes to show weakness, I turned the sadness into ice. At least at school – at home I was a blubbering mess. I refused to look at or talk to them and if by some chance I saw either of them and accidentally made eye contact, I gave them the expressionless face with slightly narrowed eyes and looked away.
One day, I walked into the music room while he was talking to another guy about me – something to the effect of how I should “get over it” – I can’t really remember because I think my head exploded about then. He saw me come in (too late) and I said something to the other guy like “if you’re going to talk shit about someone, you should be a little more careful,” and then I turned to the Reason for my Devastation and said “And you? You can F*** OFF!” It was the last thing I said to him for two years. I also never spoke to That Bitch who used to be my “Friend” ever again.
So my freshman year in college, I get an email from him. It was pretty long – and it was all about how sorry he was and what an ass he’d been and he apologized over and over for ripping my heart out and drop kicking it. Those are my words, not his. So I agreed that yes, he was an ass, and then I forgave him, and since we went to the same college, we would talk every once in a while. Eventually, I got a boyfriend and transferred schools, and so the communication decreased, though we still talked now and then. Until he called to tell me he was getting married, at which point we didn’t really talk again. I didn’t care, though, because I was happy doing what I was doing, and so whatever.
I can’t say that I never stopped thinking about him, because that’s not true – I thought about him every now and then, and while I will never forget the pain he caused me back then, I realize that we were young and boys are mean and things change. Every once in a while I would Google him, but didn’t really find out much, except that he was still here and was going to law school.
Earlier this month, I was on the dating website, and got an email that had my full name in the title – which I figured must be someone I knew because of the anonymity factor of the website. It was from him. He’s now divorced, and shocked and amazed that he found me, so he leaves me his number to call him. I closed the email and called him. Because I’m so suave. But we talked and then we went out to dinner that night. And we spent the next evening together (it was the 4th of July) at the annual Blues Traveler concert at Red Rocks, which was fun for the people-watching alone.
So it’s now, well, NOW. We didn’t see each other for like three weeks because I was gone and then he was gone and also my social calendar is just CHOCK FULL, you know. We had dinner last night, and it was really good. The dinner part and the “date” part. It’s weird to be with someone that you knew so long ago – I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of deja-vu sometimes. But at the same time, it’s remarkably comfortable. There’s a basis there already, and so we can skip over some of the stupid preliminaries, and also, we can read each other pretty well, even though a lot of time has passed.
So now that this turned out to be 85 years long after all, I leave you with this – things might work out. I know, not a ringing endorsement, but he seems to want things with us to continue. Because something about me screams “please ask me what the status of our relationship is by the third date” (TM Beth), he sent me an email when he was gone last week about how I seemed “tentative” around him. So I sent him a long email back, (I know, who would have thought) that explained why – such as how I’m still waiting for the day he doesn’t call, since recent past experience has led me to expect that. It was a good thing on both of our parts, and it made last night SO MUCH less awkward than the first couple of times we hung out. It was cool. And I will cautiously hope that things continue to be cool…