Friday, August 22, 2008

The One I Let Get Away

I promised some time back to tell the story about the guy in high school who was the sweetest most wonderful friend and I did not treat him like I should have and I still regret that today. I'm sure I'm not the only one so feel free to share your stories too -- it'll make me feel better. I beg you don't think too harshly of me after you read this -- I was after all a stupid teenage girl!!

I started a new school when I was a Sophomore in high school. I moved from Los Angeles to a small farming community in rural Eastern Colorado. A bit of culture shock to be sure. One of the people who accepted me (weird clothes and all) was R.J. He treated me so good right from the start. It was an extremely small school -- only 39 kids in my entire class! When you go to such a small school it's really hard. Most of these kids had been in school together since kindergarten so there were definite cliques going on. I did not meet any of the criteria for any of them. I was alone in the surfer girl clique!! I was angry that my parents moved us and I'm sure I wasn't very nice to be around.

R.J. spent a lot of time with me and when we both reached that age where you can date he began asking me out. I would always turn him down -- it was such a widely known thing that there is an unfortunate picture of us in the yearbook with the caption "trying his luck, again" -- I was having an especially bad hair day or else I'd share the pic. (Vanity is one of my most endearing qualities, right?) As time went by I started making friends and even made the cheerleading squad. I really thought I was something else. I continued to turn R.J. down and treat him like dirt.

During our senior year I finally said yes to "meeting" R.J. at a dance after a football game. I was cheering at the game so I had to go home and change and then run back over to the dance. By the time I got there the dance was well under way. I walked in and didn't see him anywhere so I went to sit with some friends. A short while later R.J. was at my side apologizing -- for what I had no idea. I guess it turns out he found someone else because I was such a witch (my word, not his) to him -- I totally deserved for that to happen. When I walked in he was kissing her on the dance floor and I didn't even see it happen. He thought I did and rather than ignore the issue he came right to me to make sure my feelings weren't too horribly hurt.

I didn't have any claims on him and he was free to date anyone he wanted. I could tell he was devasted that he might have hurt me. I should have immediately begged that he ditch her and that he never allow his lips to kiss any other girl than me. That would have saved me from the too numerous to mention mistakes that I would make through the next couple of decades of my life!! He ended up taking this girl to prom and when my own date ditched me (long sordid story there -- another blog for another day!) they gave me a ride home.

Fast forward and he ends up marrying this girl and having a bushel of kids. I guess she turned kind of nutsy and they ended up divorcing. He is now married to a wonderful woman who seems to make him very happy. I'll probably be meeting her in person soon and I'm kind of nervous. Over the years I have become very protective of those that I wronged in my life. Almost like I've decided that I need to be their guardian angel to make up for my snotty past. I've also not seen R.J. in person in probably 15 years or more so I'm a little nervous about that too. We've talked on the phone and e-mailed over the years so it's not like we've lost track completely. I hope he knows how much I regret my past actions and that if I had it all to do over again, it would have definitely gone differently. R.J. is still better to me than I deserve -- I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate his friendship over the years.

Ok...that's my confession for today -- do you all still like me?


Dawn said...

I surely still like you! We all do things as teenagers that teach us lessons later in life. Those decisions, good and bad, make us who we are today. I regret many things that I did, including hurting people, but it also made you the type of person who does care about others and "protect" them, like you are doing with RJ now. Good luck seeing him again!

Sheri said...

Oh, but there are several boys that I *should* have been nicer too! In fact, one of them caught up with me on MySpace and said that he wishes he had more courage to really ask me out, but just knew that I was out of his league. Wow . . . lessons I wish I could beat into teens heads. Right now I have a cute friend, 17, who is convinced he will never meet a nice girl, because he's too odd. The thing is, give him 10 years and he's going to be the most amazing man. Sigh.

I still like you . . .

Sheri said...
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