It was in high school during my Junior year that one of my best friends Angela started going out with this guy, and we all sort of hung out together in a big group of friends. In October (I think) of our Senior year Angela and her boyfriend broke up, and if I remember correctly, she was pretty devastated. A month or two after the breakup was about the time that I started to become Crazy Stupid Alicia, because it was then that I decided it would be a great idea to develop a little bit of a crush on my best friend’s ex-boyfriend. I hardly remember how the events took place, but somehow I think it started with us having secret conversations through email and note-passing, which led to me finding out that he also had quite a crush on me. So being the naïve and self-absorbed girl that I was, I agreed to go on a date with him. Now mind you, I did not go out on dates with boys. I was scared of boys - - terrified actually. I had no idea what to say to them when we were alone, and I even wrote down notes of things that I could talk to them about if for some reason one decided to call me. I was great in big groups, and would laugh and giggle with my friends, flirt like there’s no tomorrow. But get me alone with a boy, and I became mute girl. So I think I surprised myself the most when I agreed to go out with Angela’s ex-boyfriend. Not only was I breaking girl code, but I was going completely against character.
I didn’t tell anyone about it except my mom, who has no concept of girl-code so of course didn’t see a problem with it at all. I felt so guilty, and when the day came, I REALLY didn’t want to go. I don’t know what I told Angela, but I’m pretty sure it was some sort of lame lie about doing something with my family that night. As you can tell, Crazy Stupid Alicia was a very bad friend. So I had a bit of an outfit crisis, and I believe what I ended up wearing was jeans and an inside-out grey sweatshirt. Classy. I like to think that I purposely tried to dress as “un-attractive” as possible, so as to make him not like me anymore. That way I could get that horrible guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach to go away. He picked me up and of course was dressed wonderfully and looked gorgeous, wearing some cords or Khakis or something, and a button-up shirt. At that point I felt terrible, and wanted to change so badly, but it was too late. So I got in his truck, and we went to the mall.
Why in God’s name would a clandestine couple go to the mall? The mall, by definition, is the epitome of high-school hang-out spots; you are almost guaranteed to run into someone there that you know. Our conversation was awkward, but nice, and I found myself getting more comfortable with him. We even started holding hands at some point. Then we saw them: Emily Anderson and Jenny Wall, two girls from our high school. We had to, of course, stop and talk to them, and the whole experience was my absolute worst nightmare. Emily looked at me like, “Bitch, what do you think you’re doing? You are so caught!” They made one insinuating remark after another, and gave me some very all-knowing smirks and winks. As soon as we got out of there, I knew it was a secret no more. That night we went to his house and watched a movie in his room. He kissed me for the first time, which I could not fully enjoy, because in the back of my head through it all was the fact that I had surely ruined my relationship with one of my very best friends.
I can’t remember if Angela found out before we went on our second date or after, but yes, she of course found out, and unfortunately it wasn’t from me. And yes, I did agree to a second date. However, Crazy Stupid Alicia did not show up on this date, instead the poor young boy had to go see Patch Adams with Evil Guilt-Ridden Alicia. I was so mean. I wouldn’t hold his hand during the movie. I told him immediately after that I was tired and he had to take me home, and hardly said a word the entire drive back. As soon as his truck pulled up into my drive way I jumped out and left, before he could get a chance to kiss me. I avoided him at school, wouldn’t answer his calls, and refused to reply to the notes he passed to me in class. At some point I finally gave him a note that told him that I just couldn’t do it. I might have even said that I didn’t like him that way, even though I did. I broke his heart. Wow, I was a really good person at the age of 17.
Anyways, my relationship with Angela survived, miraculously, on account of her truly forgiving and kind heart. We graduated from high school, best friends, and went on to college together. She stood up for me at my wedding one year ago on Sunday.
What ever happened to that poor boy whose sensitive heart I so easily stomped on back in high school? He forgave me too, and a year ago we were married in the most beautiful ceremony I could have asked for.
I don’t deserve you Dan, but I love you so much, and I cannot imagine my life without you. Happy Anniversary.