My whole life I dreamed of the glamour of high school. I recall flipping through my older sister’s yearbook, pointing to the homecoming queen, and saying, “I am going to be just like her.” I can assure you that prophesy never came to pass. For the first few years of high school, I kept to myself, intimidated by others’ friendships that had existed before they could say each other’s names. I was a new girl in ninth grade, and even going on into my junior year, I still hadn’t found my niche. My dreams of being crowned homecoming royalty were completely shot down when I realized I would never get asked to a dance or go on any sort of date that I, myself, wasn’t paying for.
Here’s the kicker: I never thought I was unattractive or weird. Of course, I had my quirks like everyone else, but for the most part, I believed my ugliness remained in the past and, as the entirety of junior high seemed to be, just a bad dream.
I had just gone over the hump of my senior year in high school when I met him. He was in my clothing class, and his face wasn’t a new one to me. I had seen him since I moved there in ninth grade. He hung around the people I was never friends with, and he went to parties I was never invited to. Still, he never caught my eye, and he continued to never catch my eye as we gabbed while he made ridiculously hideous pajama pants. Although he was of an average height, he seemed lurpy. His blonde hair fell like a short curtain over his forehead, and he flipped it out of his eyes about every two minutes. Beady, blue eyes peeked from underneath his blonde drapery, and even though they were small, they were somewhat pretty.
We became friends.
Somehow we got entangled in a dare. Driving down the frontage road in our friend’s car, we stood up so we were out of the sunroof from the chest up, and we kissed. It was just a joke, and I never thought it was anything more. The next time, the encouragement for a kiss came from a stranger. Beady Blue Eyes and I sat on the top of a picnic pavilion in the middle of the night. Someone drove by and chanted for us to lock lips. I never thought Beady Blue Eyes had the guts, but before I knew it, his hand was on the back of my neck, and we kissed a kiss that lasted no more than two seconds. This was a joke too, I thought. We were no more than awkward friends that had been tricked into kissing two times now, and that’s that.
I took him to the Morp dance a few weeks later, and at the end of the night I had fallen asleep in his arms but just as friends, of course. I walked him to his door, and we hugged like normal. Then, he lingered… and he went on inside.
Two weeks later, it was spring break. Beady Blue Eyes had plans to go to California with some of his buddies. The night before they all left I was with him. After I went to the store with him to get some snacks for the trip, we went to his house where his parents and sister were out of town. In his living room, watching some show on MTV, we sat in silence. Then, he said, “Come sit with me.” I migrated from the couch to the loveseat (how ironic), and we just lied there for at least an hour or two. I dozed in and out of consciousness until he turned the TV off. The silence was thick; the only things I could hear were his breathing and the beating of his heart. In the darkness, I looked up at him and said, “Are you going to kiss me or what?”
We became… lovers?
We never had the official conversation, but we both knew. I spent every moment of my free time at his house, in his room, watching Netflix. He saw me cry and laugh, and he said he would always be there for me. I brought him ice cream when he got his wisdom teeth taken out, and I even softly kissed his swollen face, though he was not the most attractive chipmunk.
When he asked me to Prom he had officially completed my high school experience. I was friends with his friends, and for once in my life I felt as if I was a part of the “cool” crowd. For some reason, we were the butt of many jokes. I started to notice that most of his “friends” were not really his friends at all. They made fun of him subtly, so subtly that I don’t even know if he ever realized they were doing it, and he didn’t even notice that I was one of the few people that ever stuck up for him.
Our unofficially official relationship crashed and burned before the school year ended, and I took the blame. We went from being friends, lovers, to friends with benefits, to strangers. I wasn’t even invited to his birthday party the day after graduation. We never really talked again, and that made me angry. He was below me. He had no right to ignore ME, but I am the one who looked foolish.
To this day it hasn’t been resolved, but I would never take it back. We weren’t in love. Hell, I don’t even know if we really liked each other that much, but what I do know is that Beady Blue Eyes made my high school experience complete, and for that, I cannot thank him enough.