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My First Obsession with a Boy: Tidbit of Truth from EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN



In Chapter 5, Jack is waiting for Daisy to arrive for their first date, and he's reflecting on his high school days. He replays the time he was in love with a girl but didn't have the courage to tell her. He was young and foolish and didn't want to be tied down before heading off to college.


After almost professing his love, Jack chose his freedom over his relationship and totally blindsided the girl. The poor soul was heartbroken and didn't know how to turn off the longing she felt, so she followed him around. She was obsessed with the idea of what she envisioned their life could've been. Eventually, she fell out of love with him and found her true love, as did Jack.


In the book, Jack regrets how he treated her, but I suppose he never told her this.


Now for the truth...


The summer I turned sixteen, I spent two months in France. I was there with the family of the first boy I ever fell in love with. A few years before, he had come to the US as an exchange student. At a young age, we fell in love and carried on with a (really) long distance relationship for a few years. After several US visits, the summer I turned 16, it was my turn to visit him. Long story short, he broke my heart (but I totally understand why, and I will write that story another day).


When I returned home from France, I dripped French fashion and culture. I understood the language far more than my peers, so I was put into a senior French class. I was only a junior, so felt a touch out of place.


Right before I travelled overseas, my family had moved to a new town, so I didn't know a soul in any of my classes. I was already incredibly shy and anxious, so adding on a new school in a new town on top of my first heartbreak, I was primed for serious attachment.


In my French class, I met a boy. To protect his privacy, we'll call him Asher. He was handsome beyond belief. He drove a cool car, and everyday, he walked into the school through the backdoors, which were right next to my locker, wearing his Risky Business sunglasses. Man, he was hot! I can still hear his personalized soundtrack playing in my mind. Quite a few girls melted as he walked past. I was no different.


In French class, we started making heavy eye contact, and my butterflies fluttered as if inside a hurricane. Coincidentally, I was not doing well in my pre-calculus class, and my mom knew I had a crush on a boy who was on her rural route. In those days, she was a mail carrier. You can read her rural route short romances here.


Sometimes, Asher would be outside when she delivered his mail. She liked him because he was friendly and polite. Somehow, she procured his tutoring services, and he started coming to the house to tutor me in math.


My math grades grew stronger, and so did my feelings. After several exams and tutoring sessions, his lips drew closer to mine, until the day his instructions breathed into my mouth. As he spoke, our lips touched ever so gently, and the touch grew into the best kiss of my life (thus far). Oh, how I loved and longed to kiss Asher.


We spent hours on the phone and hours in his little Mazda. He introduced me to Melissa Etheridge and Bad Company, and I'm sure one of us threw in a mixed tape for good measure.


In Jack's story, he talks about the malachite earrings and the Valentine's Day card that read, "Love, Jack." Those pieces of the story are true.


On a snowy Thursday morning next to my locker, Asher handed me a small box and a Valentine's Day card. When I saw he signed it with the word, "Love," I thought it was only a matter of time before he told me that he loved me, and that he wanted to spend his life with me. Instead within a few weeks, he shattered my heart. Two heartbreaks within six months--it was a lot. It was more than I could handle.


I missed Asher so much, and I truly believed that he was scared of what he was feeling. I thought if he just saw me at the right time and place, he'd come back to me. So, I drove by his house in the wee hours of the morning countless times. It was a back road, so I'd stop in the middle of the street and gaze upon his bedroom window. Often, his light would be on, and I hoped so hard that he'd run out and tell me he'd made a mistake. He'd take me in his arms, right there in the middle of the street, and he'd profess his undying love.


But my life at 16 was not a romance. My arc did not end happily ever after, at least not with him. We both moved on. He started dating a freshman, who looked a lot like me (he had a type), and I imagine they had fun while I pined for him. This went on through the spring, through his graduation, and didn't end until I met someone new the following summer.


I suppose I was mourning the loss of two loves, but I do not regret our relationship because there was a lot of healthy goodness before my obsession began. He did little things all the time that showed me he loved me without ever actually saying the words. And that relationship taught me to love the smart man, the kind man, the one who paid attention.


Sometimes, I wonder how he remembers it all. And I wonder if he ever did love me. But, in the end, I'm okay not knowing.



2 Comments


Lacy Loar
Lacy Loar
Feb 04

Oh, Em, I love all that angst we felt for all those boys.

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Replying to

There certainly was a lot of angst.

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