i’m going to skip past quite a lot of depressing, unrequited crushes, social anxiety, and general angst and hand-wringing and just head on into my very first boyfriend– jason. this was my junior year in high school. i guess i was 16 and my little brothers were still infants, less than a year old.
he was highly intelligent, strangely virile for a computer geek, tall, played basketball a lot, incredibly nerdy with that typical nerdy corny sense of humor (he introduced me– with endless repetition– to “well…” “that’s a deep subject!” sigh.) and surprisingly sweet. i could never decide if he was quite ugly or quite handsome. (i can’t find my high school yearbooks, so i can’t post a picture.)
i remember giving him a cookie on valentines day on the bus. i remember sitting with him in the burger king after school; he held my hand in order to inspect my class ring, which made me flush with desire, though he seemed to be unmoved by touching me.
i remember sitting on the bridge in the park next to him one afternoon. i think he told me that i was gorgeous and then he kissed me, my first kiss. it was terrible and dry. i was terrified.
we kissed a lot, and never had any privacy so it was always in public. we did other stuff too. i’m a little shocked now at how far we went, especially given that it was all happening outside in public. i did sneak out one night to meet him in the park. i thought i would be more comfortable doing more with him under cover of night, but still didn’t. i guess i was impatient to be ready for more than i was. one day he wanted to do something particularly, um, advanced to me in my bedroom while my grandmother was looking after my brothers in the other room. i couldn’t hack it. i remember feeling bad that i couldn’t be more uninhibited.
the reason i remember breaking up with him was because he was “too weird”. i think i might have tried to get him back a while later, but he was angry at me and wouldn’t have anything to do with me.
now the really interesting thing is that he found me online and contacted me about a year ago– to apologize. he said he remembered being “a cad” and pressuring me, and said he’d always felt bad about his behavior. i didn’t remember it that way, although i guess maybe he did come on kind of strong now that i think about it. anyway, he’s doing well after many hard years, he’s chief engineer at a games company in the area, married and has a kid.
sneaking out to meet jason, btw, started a huge career in sneaking out which continued for the rest of my time at home. i was never caught, and my mother apparently never knew until a few years ago when i told her. sneaking out, in turn, started my love affair with nighttime.