It was autumn 2008 and love was hanging in the air, the same way a stereotypical plumbers bum should hang out of his unbelted pants. I was eleven, nearly twelve and he was… well, he was… perfect. Frizzy haired and awkward I would stumble my way through the crowd of skinnier, blonder, daintier girls to chat with him for two minute cycles before the fear of him realizing I was so frizzy haired and awkward would take over and shut down my brain forcing me to make a joke and leave his presence.
This was a golden era in my life. The time when my Twilight phase intertwined with my Justine Beiber and pre- abusive Chris Brown loving stage. Also the time when I basically became a women, trading in my two cotton triangles that were attached by a thin string for a real bra that was purchased not at La Senza Girl, but at La Senza. This was the time in my life when boys began dating all of my friends, and I began a deeply connected relationship with Edward Cullen. Back when dating meant you were obligated to hold hands during your nutrition break for at least 30 minutes and to sit beside each other on bus rides for field trips. Nothing more and nothing less.
But back to my love story. After weeks of attempting to gain his affection by lying that I enjoyed the same things he did, calling his house and hanging up before he actually answered, and many MSN chats over dial- up connection that consisted of “LOL”, “BRB” and “My mom needs to use the phone. Bye”. My friends finally decided it was time for us to become official. Mostly because we were “totally perfect for each other” but also because they wanted me to stop talking about him, and start talking to him.
It was Mrs.Moores grade 7 art class and we were creating masterpieces as usual. We sat in our usual cliques and worked away at our plasticine re-creations of group of 7 works while girls chatted about boys and boys chatted about- well, I never did find out what seventh grade boys talked about…
As I rambled on (as usual) about how if he was in Twilight he would totally be a vampire, not a werewolf, my friends somehow were bored by my speech and took the fate of my love life into their own hands.
I remember watching them strut over to the boys clumping of desks, with blonde pony tales swinging and plasticine still under their fingernails slap their hands onto his desk and lean in closer than usual to him like two cats that had trapped a mouse. And though my ears strained, this is what I heard:
“Hey. Ashley likes you”
“You should be her boyfriend.”
My heart was fluttering like a humming bird with one wing caught in a fence. I was part infuriated by the fact they asked him without my permission, part ecstatic he liked me back.
The rest of that day I was on a cloud as I floated around in a mist of young love. I don’t recall us talking for the rest of the day except for maybe a brief “I’ll talk to you on MSN tonight” while at our adjacent lockers at the end of the school day. There was no hugging or hand holding at this point. That would be moving far too quickly for us!
That night we chatted for AT LEAST a solid ten minutes before signing off.
The next morning I took extra care while getting dressed. I even added another squirt of my flowery body spray than usual to make sure I smelled extra nice for when he finally hugged me.
As I shuffled to my locker with hearts clouding my vision I saw him crouched down gathering his books from his locker. I began a conversation in typical girlfriend style.
“That was a nice chat last night”
‘About that. I don’t want to date you.’
“It’s not over until I say it’s over!… And… I say it’s over…. NOW!”
I quickly rushed to the bathroom. After blotting away a few hot tears I rushed to class and spent the rest of the day roaming around like hell on Heelys.
Our love affair was like most in the seventh grade- intense, long lasting, and deeply scarring.
I continued to be infatuated with him for the remainder of the school year before choosing a new boy toy to stalk for the following school year. I even helped him date the girl he (and every other boy in our grade) actually liked, justifying this as “I’d rather see him happy with someone else than miserable with me.” I spent majority of this time scowling at their dreamy love affair from the sidelines moping my heavy little heart out until she broke up with him.
This was a golden period in my life. Everything was so simple, but everyone believed we had to make it dramatic to be more mature because that’s what people in movies and on TV did. Ahhhhh to be so young and so dumb again…. That is something I would never willingly do.