Once upon a time, there was a naïve teen girl who mourned the fact that she’d never had a boyfriend. In fact, she began to wonder what was wrong with her that in all her seventeen years she hadn’t been in love. Sadly, when she did find love, the experience was so painful that it left her afraid to give her heart ever again…
My first relationship lasted for all of four months. Rob was a tennis player, tall, athletic and painfully shy. Honestly, I can’t remember how we started dating considering I was quite the introvert in those days. It may have had something to do with me being one of ten spectators at several of his tennis matches, but I can’t be sure. ;-)
In any case, he asked me out and we fell into couple-mode almost immediately. He’d walk me to my classes, write me love notes (no texting or emailing in those days, my dears), go to movies, and make out in his parents’ basement. For those few glorious weeks, I reveled in walking through the halls of the school, holding hands with my guy, my heart blooming with the knowledge that I was no longer alone.
But just when I was becoming comfortable in my newfound romance, tragedy struck.
Unbeknownst to me, my loving boyfriend—along with every other male in the school—had a crush on the head cheerleader, Alisha. What Rob didn’t know was that Alisha and I had a history.
Sophomore year our lockers were side by side. This was unfortunate due to Alisha’s locker being the designated hang-out for the entire cheerleading squad. I received more than one tardy slip, because despite my polite requests to get to my locker, the cheer-squad refused to acknowledge my existence. Finding Alisha alone one morning, I confronted her about my lack of access to said locker. After she consented to speak to me, she explained that she was not at fault because I was “nothing at our school”. Lovely, aye?
For the next three years, she made snarky comments about my fashion choices, my hair, my friends, and would giggle and point when I walked by. I ignored her. Until she went a step too far.
One afternoon, my geometry teacher (who was also the Tennis coach) pulled me aside and told me he and Alisha were playing a “joke” on Rob. He asked me to keep it to myself, so I wouldn’t spoil the fun. The joke consisted of Alisha writing my boyfriend a love note and slipping it into his locker. Mr. Math Teacher thought it would be a hilarious prank to make Rob think the head cheerleader wanted to go out with him. But we all know why Alisha played along with this little deception—to mess with me.
|That's me with the wide, naive smile.|
And it worked. After I gave Mr. Math Teacher a piece of my mind, Rob and I had a huge fight. I accused him of wanting to be with Alisha instead of me. He reassured me his crush on Alisha was old news and I was the only girl he wanted…yada, yada, yada. We stayed together a few more weeks and then he dumped me on prom night.
After that stellar experience, I dated a lot of guys, but never got serious with anyone. Not even in college. But then I met the love of my life, my Prince Charming. I smile as I’m typing this, because he didn’t put up with any of my commitment-phobic BS, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.
|Yep, I got my fairytale ending after all.|