In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”
Her name was Jennifer. Her name has not been changed to protect her inoccence. For one, she WAS innocent, maybe fourteen years old (and maybe not so innocent but I gotta keep a few illusions). I was a twerp and probably about eleven.
Puberty had been kicking my ass and I had started to graduate from girls are strange and icky creatures to girls are kinda sorta alota WOW! Jennifer was kinda sorta alota WOW! Blonde, brown-eyed and easy on the eyes. She was my sister’s best friend and a rocker chick.
Since she was my sister’s bestie she could usually be found in my sister’s room. My sister was a miserable bitch— like all older sisters— and was determined to deny the course of true love. Usually when I’d try to drift in to stare at Jenn in a creepy stalker way, my sister would slam the door in my face and shout, “get out, shithead!” (Sometimes she substituted asshole for shithead).
I had it bad, oh yes. I use to sit on the stairs while my sister and Jenn would watch late night MTV and try to cook up ways to get Jenn to love me. As I pointed out in a previous post on my blog, I was also stupid, so all these ways seemed to pan out to torturing her as I tortured my sister (she was an innocent bystander). I pulled all manner of pranks, both small and large, some quiet horrifying. It wasn’t long until Jenn was referring to me as asshole and shithead. Yet she would give me a pat or a wink when she would say it. This was my idea of fornication (five years prior I’d thought sex was some kind of word having something to do with driving a car—give me a break, scooter).
I schemed, plotted and failed on and off for a year or two. Jenn was never mine. Instead, predictably and depressingly, she became somebody else’s. Poor guy. Like Frankenstein’s monster if I could not inspire love then I would inspire hate!
Myself and my stupid hooligan friends waged a war of terror on this bozo. During homecoming we soaped his truck. During Halloween we egged his house, painted his cat (at least I think it was his cat), and toilet papered every tree within a ten mile radius. It didn’t work. They ended up getting married later.
But hey, that was cool. By that time I’d discovered that there were actually girls around who didn’t say no, and that I was actually kind of fickle. It all worked out for the best, I suppose *knock on wood*.
Christ, dude. Stop that!
Anyhoo, life went on. About ten years ago I was herdng my *then* five year old through a local festival. And that’s when I finally ran into Jennifer again. Oh, she and my sister had kept in touch and I knew that, still, I hadn’t really seen her since my sister’s wedding. I’d attended that event both drunk and married so we didn’t socialize much (Jenn had divorced Not-The-William. Maybe painting the cat worked!)
Oddly enough, she didn’t seem that much older. We talked for awhile, discussed how impossibly cute our children were, and the ins and outs of life. Before parting, she pressed her phone number in my hand, gave me a gentle kiss and declared, “you’re still a shithead, Will.”
I never called. The moment had passed. Lakes of water under THAT bridge. A part of me was sad because I realized that I’d outgrown Jennifer, that she was regulated to being a part of my childhood — like my gocart or my beagle Spot. Such is cool. That’s how the world works. Somewhere along the way, you start figuring out what you really want.
Jenn is still totally WOW though.