Please be reminded; any names of people portrayed in this series are altered to protect their identities.
The first day of high school arrived. In such a short time, I found myself changing for the worse. I was no longer a pillar of positivity and resilience as I once was. All I wanted now was to be accepted by someone; anyone. It showed in everything I did.
As a child, I always stuck to my values when no one else would. I believed in true love above all things. I believed in taking people at their word and always believing in others. I believed that true friends never strayed. However, just as my hope was shattered in the fortitude of my faith in love, I found many other values were challenged. In my desire for acceptance, I found my once cherished friendships deteriorating, and the new friends I was making were not as they seemed.
Then, I met Seth. I remember he was two grades above me, and he was the class metalhead. If there was one thing he loved, it was to make his opinions known, regardless of who it offended. He also happened to be the school’s radio-station host for the lunch-hour, and I often noticed his absence in class. In hopes that I would run into him, I started cutting classes myself. Eventually, we began talking. Conversation started to grow into much more when finally, I decided to set up an opportunity. I invited he and a handful of friends to see a movie one night.
The friends I had invited knew all about my feelings towards Seth and as the credits rolled and we started heading back towards the lobby, they each went their separate ways to give us a little time alone. He and I made small-talk about the film, and shared a few awkward chuckles before we realized we’d wandered to the staircase overlooking the mural of the pyramids of Egypt at night. There was a long pause, but both of us knew what the other was thinking. Finally, he spoke up and told me I’d been on his mind a great deal lately, and that he wanted to spend more time with me. He invited me to join him during his next broadcast; to which I agreed. We bid farewell with a long hug; with a hold that was just a little too tight for two innocent friends.
That following Monday, I met him at the broadcasting station. We were the only ones there, and as he put on a song from one of his favourite bands, he took a seat beside me. As the chorus played, he leaned in and I surrendered my first kiss to him there. It sounds sweet, but frankly, I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t so much kiss him; I more or less just sat there blushing with my eyes closed until he pulled away.
Now, my parents were not too happy with my choice in a boyfriend, but that held little meaning to me. As far as I was concerned, I’d found someone who seemed to genuinely care about me. We spent the majority of our time watching movies, listening to music, and making out. One day, he even gave me a necklace he claimed once belonged to his grandmother; that became the only necklace I wore from then on. I was, at the time, head over heels.
However, not too long later, a time came where he wanted to do more than simply make out. I, not being of a very confident state of mind, asked to wait. We dated for about seven months before he seemed to get sick of waiting and he broke up with me early that winter. Even though a part of me suspected it was coming, I remember crying myself to sleep for days. While he requested that we remain friends, it was all but a week before we stopped talking altogether.
I felt myself drawing away from people more than ever before. I continued to skip classes. After all, “how could I possibly be expected to sit through a lecture on communism when all I can do is cry?”
For months, I kept his grandmother’s necklace around my neck before finally, I decided it was doing me nothing but harm to keep it. I tried to return it to him, but he insisted I keep it and that he didn’t want it back. A few days later, I found myself looking over the edge of a bridge by the river. As the sun set, I remember the moment I made the choice to numb my heart; love wasn’t a responsibility I was ready for. The first step was to get rid of anything that reminded me of him. So with a deep breath and a final goodbye, I tossed the necklace into the river and returned home to see a much colder reflection of myself staring back in the mirror.
To be continued…
(Image by PaniFilth: http://orig03.deviantart.net/e3cf/f/2008/019/a/e/letting_go_by_panifilth.jpg)