When I was fourteen years old, I met a boy. We shared a morning gym glass and, somehow, forged a friendship talking about HTML and Web pages, while I tried to ignore how utterly untalented I am at the physical feats that I was expected to do in said gym class. At the time, I was probably in some on-again, off-again online relationship with an ex, but I thought that this boy was nice and sort of cute. I remember IMing with one of my good friends, having one of those typical teenaged girl conversations. Did she know who he was? Did she think he was cute? I was sort of, kind of thinking of seeing where things went, you know, romantically. Oh em gee.
This was really the first time when I considered that I might be someone who someone else could like. That I wasn’t as defective as I’d previously thought. That I could have real life romance, just like in the movies where teenagers in high school had romance!
So, I talked to this boy. He would meet me after every class. We’d hang out during study halls, and he would walk me home from school, as I lived close enough to walk. It was flattering, and then it wasn’t. Then it became too much. I needed space. I wasn’t just being turned off. I was feeling almost frightened, because I was out of my element. Then, one day, he wrote me a note. Now, this isn’t a big deal because he wrote me a note. This is a big deal because, in this note, he pretty much confessed all his love for me.
I was barely ready to say maybe I liked him. I couldn’t handle this love. So I did what any teenaged girl would do. I freaked the fuck out and talked to another guy friend. I asked him could he talk to my newfound stalker and tell him that I needed space? Of course, he said. And he did. I don’t know what was said, but I do know that my new friend didn’t talk to me for several months. In fact, it would take the tragedy of 9/11 to reunite us. He would apologize for coming on too strong, and I would apologize for freaking out and not talking to him like an adult.
For years, I joked about my friend-turned-stalker-turned-friend, and we’re great friends now. He’s one of the few offline friends who know about this blog, the sex toys, the reviewing. But I had no idea that this boy from gym class would become anything that he has been to me over the years. We’re at a point where we could never go back. Because we weren’t able to become romantically involved then, we’ll never be able to now.
I suppose there is a lesson in all of this, but I’m just not sure what it is. Mostly, I’m just glad that I have an interesting story to tell, something to remember and make me think “I was alive.”