By Bryan Buckius –
It all started in eighth grade. Up until this point in my life, my only worries were playing soccer with my friends after school and making sure I didn’t wear the same underwear two days in a row.
On a cold winter afternoon I decided to stay after school with my friends to watch the girls basketball game. As I walked into the gym, I couldn’t miss her long brown hair and crystal blue eyes, she stuck out like a beautiful rose in a garden full of weeds.
Every time she passed and dribbled the ball, she reminded me of Michael Jordan. She did everything with perfection. After the game I couldn’t resist the urge to talk to her, but as I approached her my legs became weak and my mind went blank. As she walked out the door all I could muster was an awkward “hello.”
From that moment on I was on a mission. I needed to meet this fine specimen. At first, girls on the basketball team evaded my questions. Then, one day her friend came up to me, told me her name and gave me her phone number. Being 13 years old made communication difficult. My parents felt that texting was unnecessary and my younger sister had a bad habit of listening in on my phone calls. After weeks of persistent bothering and nagging, my parents finally gave in and bought me a cell phone. It was fully equipped with a measly 300 minutes a month and no texting.
Suddenly, girls basketball games were becoming a lot more interesting than they ever had. Every time I saw her my heart fluttered. My hands began to sweat. All I wanted to do was talk to her, but I couldn’t. Eventually I had to man up and do it. So at the boys basketball game I sat beside her. I was terrified and awkwardly sat there in silence. After a minute or two of speechlessness she finally broke the ice. ” So are you ever gonna call me?” she said. I sat there stunned but very relieved. We talked the rest of the night and the next night she called me after school.
It was love that helped me get over my fear of the female society. A few days later, I asked her to date me and obviously she said yes. I mean, look at me. I was the happiest guy in the world. The next six days were amazing. We talked every night and made plans to hang out. The seventh day, however, was not the same. I was supposed to meet her at the high school basketball game. I took a shower, put on way too much of my dad’s cologne and even combed my hair. I was lookin’ fresh when I walked into the gym that night. As I searched for my prize in the crowd, I felt like I was on top of the world, but then I saw her. She was sitting against the wall, seven rows up, holding hands with another guy. I was crushed. I went up and tried to talk to her about the situation, but nothing I said could cover up the truth. We were done. She found somebody else. I suspected right then that this was the start of a long, painful road.
My girl problems had began.
After surviving two hot, painful weeks of soccer tryouts, I was ready to let the world know I was a man. I’m not a kid anymore. Middle school is in my past and so is the dumb drama that comes with it. The first day of high school is a day I will never forget. As I walked in the doors I felt like I was dreaming. Beautiful women were all around me and I was on cloud nine. Then I was rudely awakened from my fantasy world by being slammed into the wall by a tall, muscular upperclassman.
But sports have a way of evening things out in high school. As the soccer season began, I was quite the chick magnet. I sat on the bench like a boss.
When I did get in, good things rarely happened. Like the time I missed a completely open net, five feet out. Or the time I was valiantly chasing the ball, trying to keep it in and fell over the bench. This added to the list of reasons why I began to call the bench “home.”
The only positive side of my misery was that I could check out girls in the stands every game. My bench mates and I would always try to find the prettiest girl at every game. We would always joke about talking to her when we found her, but none of us would be up to the challenge. From time to time, girls from the field hockey team would come watch our games. There was one girl that my teammates and I all agreed upon was the most beautiful girl that ever came to our games. Every so often I would see her at school and I actually had the confidence to say hi to her. We became good friends and I thought that she liked me a lot. I told all my friends about her and they convinced me into asking her to homecoming. The next day I was walking with her in the hall and decided to pop the question. As I stood beside her in wait of her response, it was obvious things were going to take a turn for the worst.
“Ew, are you serious?” she said with a disgusted look on her face. I felt like the biggest loser in the world that day. After school, all of my friends at soccer were waiting to hear the news. The reaction of my fellow athletes almost brought tears to my eyes. Everybody was on my case about it and it made me feel horrible.
The next year when homecoming came around, I didn’t even think about asking anybody to go. I went almost my whole sophomore year without being really interested in girls at all. I found out, however, that when spring is in the air, love is there as well.
It was mid-April and volleyball season was in full swing. Most Saturdays meant practice early in the morning, and then the rest of the day I would usually go fishing with my best friend. This Saturday, however, was not like the others. Practice was canceled for that morning and my friend said he couldn’t go fishing. Going a day without my best friend was too much for me to handle, so after a lot of bribing and convincing, his mom said I could go to the family reunion with them. Like any other reunion, there was a lot of food, but at this one there were also some pretty good looking girls. One of these goddesses was obviously staring at me while I was swimming in the pool. I wanted to get to know her better but based on my past experiences with girls I didn’t feel like being hurt again. My friend told me she was different and got her number for me. I texted her for about a week and we both wanted to hang out, so I asked her if she wanted to go with me to the Spring Fling at Penn Manor.
We met after school on that Friday and from the start we hit it off. As we walked together I manned up and held her hand. All night we held hands and then the moment of truth came. Every year the fireworks show is also a time to find somebody to make out with. As the fireworks went off I became increasingly nervous. I tried not to make eye contact, but it was obvious she was giving me the look. For those of you who have gotten the look sometime in your life, it’s obvious what I’m talking about. Up until this moment, I had never kissed a girl before and I wasn’t sure what to do. I looked at her and leaned in, but as I puckered up I almost missed her face completely. It was a complete failure. I was so worried and embarrassed about what had just happened, but she still had a smile on her face. I proceeded to ask her out that night and then I went home and made it Facebook official.
We dated for nine months and for the first five it was amazing. Throughout the summer we hung out everyday and when school came around things seemed to be going very well. I felt I would at least have a date for homecoming. Once again, things didn’t go as planned. It was about two weeks before homecoming and I was so excited to go with her to the dance. My friend was having people over to her house for dinner and pictures before the dance and I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to go. She said it would be no problem so I had my friend pencil us in for dinner. The next week went on without any major dilemmas and everything seemed alright, but then my girlfriend called and said she was going to another friends house instead. I was beyond angry. When I asked her about getting our pictures taken, she said that she didn’t want her pictures taken with me and that she would meet me at the dance. We got into a huge fight and broke up two days before homecoming. My girl problems were continuing to worsen.
It was awkward at homecoming when she asked me to dance. I felt obligated to show her my moves on the dance floor. We talked and decided that we would take a break for a few weeks and start dating again. When those three weeks of freedom were finally done, my fun was gone as well. Every aspect of my life was controlled. From who I hang out with to who I sat with I lunch, I was being monitored like a convict. I put up with this for about two months until I found out a hidden secret. My “better half” was talking to quite a few other men and I was clueless. When she left her phone at my house, I didn’t intend to be nosy, but the constant vibrating made me curious. It was other guys asking her to hang out. As hard as it was for me to do, I had to end the relationship for good.
Homecoming came around again in my senior year and I got ditched by my date the week before. With all the beautiful girls taken I didn’t know what to do. My friend from work hooked me up with her friend and we had a great time. With blond hair and beautiful blue eyes, she was definitely my type. Being the gentleman that I am, I took her out to lunch a week or so after our love was first sparked. Chili’s was the restaurant of choice on this sunny Sunday afternoon and everything was going great. The food was amazing and we held a quality conversation the whole time we were together. After I paid the bill, the dark side of my beautiful date was quickly revealed. I really liked her a lot and I thought she liked me too. I thought wrong.
“Thanks for paying for lunch, but I only like you as a friend,” she said. These words hit me like a gunshot. I was crushed as she drove away in her green mini van. How do I always get played like this? I was hoping things would soon change.
Prom was the next big social event on my calender and I wanted to make sure I had a date way in advance. Being the romantic young man that I am, I felt obligated to do something creative for the girl lucky enough to join me at prom. I picked one out of the herd and spoke with the school police to set up a time to ask her. The next morning he called her down to the office and made it seem like she was in trouble. As she sat there with tears welling up in her eyes and a million thoughts going through her mind, I walked in with six beautiful, red roses and asked her to go with me to prom. She said yes and I was free of the stress of finding a date.
The way everything was happening was like reading a fairy tale, but at the end of most fairy tales there is a tragedy. This tragedy came in the form of a jealous ex boyfriend who wanted her back. They began to talk and she put me on the back burner for quite some time. The fact that a ticket to prom cost $35 dollars meant nothing to her, but to me it was a big deal. I didn’t want to waste my hard-earned money on somebody who doesn’t even talk to me. Prom was off and I was dateless. As I searched for another girl, I became very stressed. I did however realize that a good friend of mine was without a date. I asked her if she wanted to go with me and she said yes.
Is this the end of my disappointment or just another chapter in my book full of broken hearts? Hopefully things will work out as planned and my streak of bad luck will be over. If not, I have a box of tissues ready to wipe away my tears.