A couple of weeks ago, I said here that dating stories are the best. I don’t think that was completely exact; sometimes, stories of non-dating can be even better. I don’t know if what I’m about to tell you about is good or not, but what I know for sure is that it was my first tale of rejection and that it shaped all the subsequent rejection moments in my life.
This was my first year of high school. I was only 13 -I skipped a couple of grades back in the day- and everyone around me was 15. So, naturally, I came in with a deep fear of being ostracized. The exact opposite happened: I made a ton of friends, almost instantly. I still had my friends from middle school, who were actually my roommates in the dorms -this was a boarding school-, but we were not in the same class, so I branched out and made brand new friends all on my own.
Among those friends was a guy. He was dreamy, had black hair and blue eyes, and bore a slight resemblance to Ross Geller from Friends, which was the epitome of cute for my 13-year-old self. This guy and I became friends, and soon enough, we were inseparable.
For once, I feel compelled to share his name, because it is so nondescript that it will certainly not give anything away. His name was the most normal French-guy name ever: Pierre.
So Pierre and I were friends, he sat next to me in every class, and we spent the whole school year hanging out with our squad -except no one was calling it a squad in 2003-2004. He was sweet to me in a way that no guy had been sweet to me before, and my little teenage self let herself fall for him. To illustrate that point, I will share an embarrassing piece of info with you: I wrote about all of our interactions in my diary every day. I literally had bulletpoints in my journal that said stuff like ‘In chemistry class, he sat by me and he smelled like Calvin Klein cologne.’ I was the poster child for teenage infatuation. Also, let it be known that I copied all of his texts to me in my journal. And, since the text echanges were not super romantic, I basically copied down a bunch of texts that resembled this: ‘R U going 2 the mall after gym class?’, except in French. Bottom line is, I documented everything, like a perfect little psycho.
That was also the moment when I found my signature move: I offered to help him with his English -10 years later, I would use the same move on my current boyfriend, but with Spanish this time. So, Pierre and I spent long hours in the study room, reviewing irregular verbs and writing small essays.
I originally only told my close friends about my crush; the ones who didn’t really know Pierre. But gossip always happens, and I don’t think I was very smooth hiding my feelings.
What I find incredible now, is that Pierre did not find out for a whole year, even though all our friends seemed to know. Maybe he knew all along but didn’t want to make it weird. I guess we’ll never find out.
Anyways, back to our timeline. After our first year of high school was over, along came summer. Although most of my friends were super thrilled about 3 whole months of doing nothing, I was simply devastated by the idea of not seeing him every day. During my first week of withdrawal from this teenage heartthrob, I refused to eat. Baby heartbreak was tying a knot in my stomach, and present-day-me can’t help but be jealous of this super convenient feature.
One day during the summer, I bumped into him at a Foot Locker. The interaction lasted a whopping 5 minutes, but my journal entry that night was about 15 pages long. I’m cringing right now, remembering this, but I believe I analyzed his smile over a good page and a half.
Our second year of high school started, and we were still in the same class. We basically picked up where we left off, and we began getting even closer. Except that one day, as we were hanging out in the student lounge, he announced us that he was transferring schools. The news hit me like a freight train, so I excused myself and went outside to, well, for lack of a better word, ugly-cry.
He followed me out and asked me what was wrong, and I candidly told him that I was going to miss him. He was very comforting and he hugged me. At that very moment, I put my -metaphorical- big girl pants on and decided I was going to declare my infatuation on that same day.
As we sat together in English class, I wrote him a long note explaining that I had feelings for him, and had had those feelings for a while. Looking back, I feel like this was a very mature way to handle things, instead of pining for him for a few more months. After being a little drama queen for a whole year, I was finally growing some
I handed him the note, he read it, smiled, and started writing something on the piece of paper. I was over the moon, I thought ‘OMG, this is so romantic, he’s writing me back, AND he hugged me earlier, this is gonna be the best journal entry EVER!’
Except that you guys probably figured out by now -probably since you read the title of this post- that this story would not have a happy ending.
He gave me the note back, and among other things, he had written something along the lines of ‘aww that’s so sweet! I also feel something for you; I like you like a little sister!’
*insert shattering glass sound here*
All of this to say, this wasn’t exactly the worst rejection story of all time. After all, the guy was sweet enough not to ignore me, we were friends for a little while, and I feel sorta proud of myself for having the guts to tell a guy about my feelings, even though I was a little 14-year-old drama queen. It was sad, but I just remember being relieved: I had finally gotten rid of my ‘secret’.
I recently saw on Facebook that Pierre is in a relationship with a girl I went to elementary school with -small world-, and that they just had a baby. It made me feel happy for them, and it also made me feel really old. This guy had to deal with my teenage infatuation about 12 years ago, and now he’s a dad.
Oh, and another useless piece of trivia. I don’t know WHY I remember this, but the day I got rejected by Pierre was also the day the world learned about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s divorce. So, it was a bad day for a lot of us. Go figure.