Friday, November 20, 2015

Star-Crossed Non-Lovers: A Mini-Tragedy in One Act

“I have something to confess,"  I admitted forlornly. “I'm in 8th grade. I lied before and said I was in 9th. I’m sorry.”

"I don't think it can work,” he--a 10th grader--replied gravely. “We can’t have a relationship built on a foundation of lies. Plus anyway . . . the age difference. It’s too much.”

I looked down at my Keds and fingered my plastic charm bracelet nervously.

We were standing outside on the back deck of my aunt and uncle’s townhouse in suburban Maryland, where I spent the better part of every school vacation. My parents routinely shipped me off there for a week or two to torment my aunt, uncle, and two much-younger cousins. This particular spring break, I’d brought my best friend, and we'd picked up two high school boys on the basketball court/playground behind my family's house. 

I don’t recall where she and her assigned dude were at that moment, but the one who’d paired off with me was a tall, lanky redhead named Sean who favored mesh lacrosse shorts and tank tops.

The 72-hour relationship that was currently deteriorating before my eyes consisted of: (1) flirting on a playground; (2) inviting Sean over to the basement of my aunt and uncle’s house where we dissolved into flirtatious giggles after wrestling on a couch; and (3) letting Sean stick his tongue in my mouth for approximately 15 seconds.

His mother was a reputable realtor in the development where my aunt and uncle resided, and her glossy head-shot beamed from every brochure and lawn sign for miles around. He couldn't risk such a dalliance. Plus, the 8th grade versus 10th grade maturity-gap--and the fact that I'd lied about it!-- was simply too scandalous.

We parted ways, and my aunt greeted the entire affair with undisguised amusement. I tried to enlist her help in reclaiming Sean's affections, but her hands were tied. The best she could do was locate his mother's address and phone number in the development directory, and offer (with a smirk) to drive me to his house. 

Well, I wasn't about to suffer the indignity of chasing him down now. Not like this.

And that, dear readers, was just the beginning of the rest of my life.

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