Confessions of a Lovesick Teenager with Social Anxiety, Part 3
Ok. I lied.
Phone calls with boys wasn’t completely new territory for me. Before there was Mark, there was Dan.*
Dan was my boyfriend. For about 15 hours.
I met Dan in my English Lit class freshman year of high school. I can’t really pinpoint why I liked him. Maybe it was his scrawny, childlike frame. His unkempt hair and cargo pants. All the times he’d disrupt class by talking back to the teacher or goofing off with his sidekick Tim, a tall, lanky boy my sister once saw perched on a desk, slowly flapping his arms, and squawking like a bird while walking by an open classroom. Or maybe it was the way he talked so fondly about all those girls he supposedly slept with by the time he was a scrawny, immature high school freshman.
I don’t know. The only nice thing about him that I can recall now were his big Bambi brown eyes. Makes sense. I’m a sucker for eyes. Most of my love interests have two things in common: they’re assholes and they have beautiful eyes.
I can’t remember how we started flirting or why we started flirting or what we even talked about while we were flirting. I guess that’s why the way our 15-hour relationship started and ended makes sense now.
It was a week night. I was talking on the phone to my best friend Lisa, who was also in my English Lit class and who happened to have Dan on the other line. She knew how nervous I was about talking to boys, so she was trying to help a girl out. I know, I know. I’m looking so cool right about now. And I’m about to look even cooler.
This is pretty much how Dan and I became “official.”
Me: Ask him if he likes me!
Lisa: Ok! [seconds pass] He said yes and wants to know if you like him.
Lisa: I’ll tell him![seconds pass] He said, “Cool. Want to be my girlfriend?”
Lisa: Hold on. [seconds pass] Ok, he’s going to call you!
My SA: *Oh shit. WHAT HAVE I DONE!*
I completely blacked out during my phone conversation with him, but I’m pretty sure that from his perspective, I’d completely blacked out during our phone conversation.
The next day, I had butterflies as I walking down the hall toward my English Lit class. Scratch that. Moths. Big fluttery nauseating moths.
We said our hellos, then took our seats and stared straight at the front of the classroom. This relationship was going well so far.
The 50 minutes until the lunch, when we would finally have to [swallows hard] talk to each other face to face went by agonizingly slow. But ring it did.
And out the door he went. I chalked it up to him being really hungry and meekly made my way out of the classroom. He was standing near the stairwell talking to a couple of girls from another class.
I walked right up to him, trying to be bold, my eyes probably popping out of my head like little pink hearts.
“Hi,” I said with enthusiasm. Something I’m not well known for, by the way.
He looked at me, one corner of his lip curling up about a centimeter. The girls looked at me and headed down the stairs. He turned away from me and followed them down the stairwell.
I hesitated before head down the stairs myself, a little confused but still hopeful about my new relationship.
Is it painfully obvious how naive I was?
I stood on the landing, hesitating again. He was already one flight down. From two flights down, he looked up at me for one last time, then kept on going.
I don’t think I ever talked to him again.
Lisa later told me that he changed his mind. Apparently when I came up to him that day on the way to lunch, this scrawny, baby-faced boy who looked about as much of a pre-teen as I did, looked at me and realized that it was like standing next to a 12-year-old.
In his defense, I did look like a 12-year-old. I’m very tiny for my age, and my wardrobe wouldn’t graduate from middle school to high school until sophomore year.
In my defense, that would make us a perfect match. Physically speaking.
So you can understand my lifelong awkward hesitance with boys.
*All names have been changed.