I had just been broken up with.
I was watching a movie with some girls. I started crying. One girl put her arm around me.
Later she and I talked about my heartbreak. Then we talked about hers.
She was engaged. Her fiancé’s mom had died. He hadn’t talked to her since.
He lived kind of far away. She didn’t get to see him much.
We started spending a lot of time together. I started to have feelings for her. I didn’t do anything about them. I kept telling myself we were just friends. We were going through hard times together.
We went to a school dance together. Just as friends.
Later I found out she had broken up with her fiancé.
I saw her in the computer lab the next day. She started walking to the cafeteria. I followed her for a little bit. I was going to see if she wanted to talk. Then I thought maybe she just wanted to be alone. I went somewhere else.
Later I emailed her. I asked her if she wanted to go to the dance. She had already been asked.
She had wanted to talk to someone that day. Another guy was there for her. They started dating. That could have been me.
The next term she didn’t go to school. She went to Texas to help her twin sister with her wedding. While she was gone her boyfriend cheated on her. By then I had a girlfriend.
My girlfriend insisted that I get a haircut. I had long hair at the time. My friend who was cheated on was there. She said if I had gotten a haircut earlier she might have broken up with her fiancé earlier.
I should have gotten a haircut sooner.
I’ve noticed a pattern in my romantic relationships.
Several women I’ve loved have been the victims of abuse.
I wanted to save them.
I wanted to show them they were worthy of love. That they had value.
I thought if I told them how wonderful they were they would see that I was right. They would see how beautiful they were, inside and out. They would see themselves the way I saw them.
I was wrong.
It wasn’t enough.
I failed them.
I wanted to be the knight in shining armor. To ride in on my white horse. To slay the dragon and save the damsel in distress.
I’m really just a scared little boy.
My armor is made of cardboard and paper. My horse is a broomstick. My sword is made of wood.
I can’t save you.
I’m not even sure I can save me.
It was Sunday night. I’d just moved into my dorm. Classes hadn’t started yet.
I graduated from high school a few months before that.
I didn’t have any friends there. I was alone.
I went for a walk that evening. As I was walking I noticed a girl wandering around. I kept my distance.
Then she came up to me. She had a feeling she should come talk to me.
We walked and talked for a while, getting to know each other.
We went back to her dorm. She introduced me to her roommates, who I became friends with.
I started spending more time with her. I started having feelings for her.
We went to school dances together. I’d never danced with a girl who wanted to dance with me before.
Later we were alone in her living room. I was sitting in a chair. She was sitting on my lap. We were talking and our lips brushed against each other.
Most guys would have kissed her. I’m not most guys. I’d never kissed a girl. Well, not since first grade, anyway…
I burst out laughing.
Things slowly went downhill after that.
I didn’t see her at all during Christmas break.
I wrote her a long, rambling letter. In the letter I said I loved her. I slipped it in her bag before she went home for a long weekend in January.
She wrote me a short note. She said she was sorry, but she didn’t feel the same way.
I was devastated.
Actually, she had the guy sitting next to her ask.
I was in junior high school. I was sitting in Spanish class one day, minding my own business. The girl sitting in front of me, and the guy sitting next to her, turned around. He asked me if I would go out with her.
It was the first time in years a girl had shown interest in me. I didn’t know what to to. I think I panicked.
I don’t really remember what happened next. I think I may have mumbled something about not being sixteen yet.
After that I pretended nothing had happened. I think she did, too.
After that day, though, I developed a big crush on her. I never acted on it, because I was scared. I had a crush on her on and off until the end of high school.
When I was in the first grade I had the biggest crush on a little girl in my class. I think she had a crush on me, too.
The next summer we both took swimming lessons from the same lady. Then I didn’t see her at swimming lessons any more.
She was supposed to be in my class again the next year. Her best friend was in the class, too. On the first day of school the teacher called roll. When she got to my crush’s name, her friend announced that she had moved to California. My little heart broke.
Later that year my crush came back. Just to visit. I was too nervous to talk to her.
I became convinced that my crush would move back, and I decided to wait for her. I was sure I would marry her.
Just before Christmas when I was in the fifth grade she visited again. The next May another girl gave me a note from my crush. The note said that she was in love with me. It said to meet her behind the school after school. I thought the girl had waited five months to give me the note, and I was so mad at her. I hung on to that note for a long time. I wish I still had it.
My crush came to visit again in seventh grade. I never talked to her on any of her visits, I was too scared. I had put her up on a giant pedestal.
In ninth grade a girl in my Spanish class asked me if I wanted to go out with her. I don’t remember what happened after that. But I do know that after seven long years I stopped waiting for my crush.
When I was in eleventh grade a girl in my math class announced (to the whole class in general) that my old crush had moved back. I had been right after all. But I was afraid of girls in general, and I had lost interest in my old crush.
Later I realized that she probably visited other times I wasn’t aware of, and that maybe that girl who gave me the note hadn’t waited five months. Maybe my crush waited behind the school for me that May day, and I never showed up.