My very first memory of him is of those big beautiful brown eyes looking at me from across the lunch room table. I think he was asking for something off my tray, mashed potatoes or a slice of pizza or something. I don't know. I only remember those eyes. I fell in love with those eyes.
I was 11 years old and just starting in a new school in a new town. A shy girl with braces and a terrible haircut, the new girl in a small town. That meant for a few weeks I was the most popular girl in the 6th grade. Which is terrifying for a shy kid. So, when this adorable boy asked me to "go with" him, I panicked. And I lied. It was so silly and so stupid. I said I couldn't because I had made a bet with my (step) dad that I wouldn't have a boyfriend until I was 12. The bet was for a quarter. Yes, for $0.25 I was going to remain boyfriend free. See, stupid. I really had no imagination. At least not one that worked well under pressure!
**I feel like I should explain "going together" for those not familiar with the term. Do they even still say that? Gosh, I feel old. Basically, "going together" was pointing at a boy across a crowded room and proclaiming "that's my boyfriend". Maybe you might sit together at lunch or hold hands in the hallway sometimes, but that's pretty much it. Hey, we were in Junior High!**
He believed me (silly boy). But that didn't stop him from asking me to kiss him in the hallway outside homeroom. In front of about 100 people. Okay, maybe more like 4, but it might as well have been 100 in my mind. He was standing by the lockers at the end of the hall outside homeroom (Mrs. Closs's class for anyone who knew us then). He was actually standing on a little ledge, putting him on a level with me (did I mention he was shorter than me??) I refused. And ran away, embarrassed beyond words. This remains one of my greatest regrets...
Fast forward to the 7th grade. I am 12 and the cute boy with the beautiful brown eyes asked me to go with him again, pointing out that my bet had been won so I had no reason to say no. So I said yes. Unfortunately for me, there was another new girl in our class and he asked her too. And she said yes too, so he dumped me! I will never forget it, her name was Michelle and we had gym class together. Another girl clued us both into the fact that we had the same boyfriend . When I walked out of the girls locker room he was waiting in the weight room, Just standing there; and I knew by the look on his face who he had picked. This was my very first heart break.
Then, as usually happens when you're 12, she dumped him after a few weeks (his first heart break). But I had moved on, at least for a little while. I can't remember the specifics, but eventually we circled back and ended up "going together" again. And breaking up, and getting back together (this was pretty much our pattern for the next 7 years). I do remember him giving me a velvet rose one year (7th grade maybe) for Valentine's Day. I remember this because I was embarrassed by the attention and inadvertently hurt his feelings by barely reacting at all. His cousin gave me serious grief for this. She was my friend and really more of a sister than cousin to him. Over the years she mediated a lot of misunderstandings between us.
That's all I am going to share for now. Maybe next weekend I will tell you about our high school years and how I became a crazy stalker long before we knew what a stalker was. Or maybe not, It's not a story that reflects well on me. We'll see.
In the meantime here are a couple of pictures of us from those formative years. :)
|See, a terrible haircut!|
|Ok, his haircut isn't so great either, but look at those eyes!|