To keep up with the theme of the week I have one more story to tell… Ugh to this one.
I was fourteen. I remember seeing this girl before around school. I thought she was cute but the opportunity to actually converse never came up. We met outside of school like maybe the first week of February. I was having a conversation with some mutual friends and she just happened to be around. You know how groups of people are. You could be talking and eventually people disperse into other small pockets of people talking. That left just her and I and she said “So, what’s up?” I said “Wha’s up?” She asked what my name was and I showed her my chain that had my name on and when I asked her back she did the same thing showing off her name plate. We kinda hit it off instantly.
We started talking on the phone quite a bit. Word on the street was a couple of people were jealous. All and all, many people didn’t know we were “talking” like that; but that all changed when one of us came up with the idea to switch chains for a few days. Looking back that’s such a high school thing to do, but it is what it is. I’d see her around school in my peripheral walking around with a peice of it in her mouth kind of chewing on it. My ego was a little bit on swole after that.
It was kinda quick, but Valentine’s Day was around the corner. So I had to kinda do something. As I said the other day I thought I was Romeo in my head so I went with the old secret admirer thing. I even convinced one of her teachers to get in on it. We both lived around the corner from school, so I walked to her house and told her it was me. She was a little relieved because she didn’t want it to be someone else. I pulled out this bear for her. I had this friend who hated her boyfriend and was so embarrassed by him because he was corny. She gave me this bear that he’d given her. It was the kind where you can record a message on it and when you squeeze the hand it plays. So I had to think for a while what would be the best thing to put on there. I went with the chorus of Blackstreet’s ‘Think About You’ where the chorus runs through the different times of day they “think about you” throughout the day. It went over pretty well.
Eventually things went south. We were really good friends but it was one of those you hit it off too well and too quickly so things don’t work out. I needed a break from being friends because I was a lil heartbroken. But being the guy that I am…I started talking to her best friend. For a while her best friend hated her behind her back. My sister told me that it was so real that when I walked girl A home on my fifteenth birthday, her best friend was heated. I laughed.
Eventually we were friends again. We hung out all the time. We had Spanish together in which we’d pass notes and get into trouble for talking in class. We shared a locker and had running jokes as nicknames. The custom for the football team was to let the girlfriends wear our jersey the day before the game. She asked to wear mine and I’d let her once or twice (I’d let one or two other people as well around that time…just for a reaction). We were never really together, but that was my girl and everyone around us knew that. Some days were really good and some other days hurt. There were tears a time or two. Man, writing about this is so embarrassing but we all have these stories. When I released my first or second CD in high school I think or of the songs was about her.
By the end of the summer going to eleventh grade I was over it. Over it and her and the romantic part of our story ended. At one point I didn’t even have much to say to her. I decided not to say anything for her for about two weeks over the summer and by the fall I was over it–she was out of my system.I was onto the next thing. I was heavy into my music by then. I spent a good part of high school holed up in my room recording music and being the guy who rapped around those Long Island hallways.
We were still friends and had Spanish class together and things were cordial. We were still pretty good friends but we’d never be as close as we were before. Right before senior year started she came by my house once and I was playing some music for her. I think I walked her halfway home for old time’s sake and she called me when she got home. It was one of those times where you just kind of want to relive the old times with someone and you don’t want it to end so we kept talking. Somehow the bear from ninth grade had come up. She said “I still have it.” I said “Bullshit. You’re lying.” There was silence for about thirty seconds and on the phone I heard Blackstreet’s ‘Think About You’ play. I smiled. That was closure.
When it was time to sign yearbooks she wrote something about how there was a lot to say and something else. But it was a good closing and humorous in a way that was very much our dynamic. I wrote something back and I think I even told her that she was my first love. I’ve seen her once or twice around the neighborhood in passing. I saw her at a 7eleven a couple of years after high school and she said “I still have your first CD” with a smile on her face. I’d been in Atlanta for like two years at that point so everything was killing my past, but it was nice to know.
So, that’s the really really abridged version. I learned a lot about myself during my experiences with her. I learned how to read people very well. I learned how to manipulate and move indirectly to get a natural reaction out of people. I learned how to completely disrespect the friend zone which at some point or another served me well and a place I haven’t really visited since unless it was on my own terms. Me fourteen years ago had minimal confidence and while fairly shameless on the outside was pretty shy. Deep down I’m still that shy fourteen year old with the teddy bear playing Blackstreet; I’m just more seasoned and I’m quite cocky (My friend answer to why I think most things work in my favor is “Because I’m me!” It’s worked out well). I wasn’t going to post this story at all because I didn’t want to put myself out there. I told my friend Kia about this in the context of my crushing it this year for someone’s Valentine’s Day and she said I should tell the story.
Maybe I should shoot her the link. Eff it why not? Because I’m me.