I’m about to tell you a true story of teenage love. Well, not love, really, more like massive crushes all around, but since this week’s topic is what we learned from teenage love, we’re going to with it. And we are not, under any circumstances, going to let my kids read this or I will never live it down. Everyone on board? Okay, here we go.
When I was a freshman in high school, I fell head over heels for a guy I met at a make out party. No, I didn’t know going in that it was going to turn into that kind of party, but yes, I made out with a guy I just met. Now hush.
I thought I was in love. He was cute, he was mysterious (okay, so he was simply from another school, but that right there made him way more mysterious than any of the guys I saw every day) and I quite enjoyed the way he kissed. So when he never called me after that night, I was crushed.
I asked around about him, only to find that he had a reputation for being a “player”. I felt completely stupid for having fallen for his lines. And angry. Very, very angry. I cried to my friend about it one night, and we decided he needed to learn a lesson. He needed to see what it felt like to be used.
Impulsively, she called his house, and when he answered, she pretended to be a breathy young thing named Lisa who had dialed the wrong number. Based on what we’d heard about him, we figured he’d try to flirt with her. Sure enough, he did. “Lisa” flirted back. The idea was for her to toy with him just long enough to get him interested, and then hang up and never talk to him again.
But what’s the fun in that?
One call became many. We created an entire backstory for Lisa, including a detailed reason why he could never call her; she could only call him. He bought it. He played into the scenario better than we could have imagined… so well, in fact, that “Lisa” decided to meet him in person.
They made plans to rendezvous at a movie theater. We debated whether she should simply stand him up, or go through with the date. Leaving him hanging in the theater would have achieved our ends, but I think down inside, my friend really wanted to meet him. She went, and they had a fantastic date. He was completely hooked. Triumph! Now she could disappear and never call him again and he’d know what it felt like.
Only she didn’t want to disappear. She wanted to see him again. I reminded her of all the bad things we’d heard about him. I reminded her about how he had blown me off. I reminded her that technically, she didn’t exist. But I think she secretly believed it could work out.
And that right there is the biggest lesson I learned from teenage love. Teens are hopeful. It doesn’t matter how improbable the scenario, young hearts are willing to overlook the obvious and believe in the potential if they want it bad enough. When you’re young and looking for love, anything is possible.
I think that’s why I love reading (and writing) YA so much. I love the possibilities. I love the crazy things characters do. I love the hope.
Now here’s a question for you: how do you think the story ended? Why?
Linda Gerber is the author of two S.A.S.S. books, the fabulous Death By mystery series, and the intriguing Trance. Her new series, Lights, Camera, Cassidy, releases next week. Keep up with Linda at www.lindagerber.com