Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The First Boy We Liked, That Liked Us Back

When we think of the first boy whom we liked, who liked us back, you would think we would be left with happy feelings, or a mix of feelings one of which would be happiness. 

Such is the pattern of our life that this is just another thing stolen from our youth. This is a story, not only of The Other Girl, but of the Three of Us, and the first boy we wanted to give our heart to.

We were never attractive, in an obvious way, as a young girl. We were taller than the rest, big – but not yet fat - sturdy would be a good way to reference our build. We’ve mentioned in prior stories how people used to throw food at us, pants us, and call us names when we were in middle school because we were poor and dressed badly, socially awkward, and didn't fit the ideal of what they though we should look like. 

Our final year on The Farm, before moving to The City was our eighth grade year. We were a bit starry eyed over boys in those days, as normal young girls are. We never experienced reciprocated feelings of a crush in all our years, until the eighth grade.

There was a boy we liked; he was sweet and chubby, with dark hair, dark eyes and rosy cheeks. He was also a farm kid and liked us back. When we were in Home Economics we had a project where you take care of an egg; it was supposed to teach responsibility, we suppose. Looking back on it, it seems like an odd choice – using an inanimate object to teach such an important skill.

Part of the project was forming a “family unit” to take care of the egg. At that time it was simply a traditional “mother” and a “father” chosen to form this unit. Being in the same class, the “father” of our egg baby was this boy that we liked; Reciprocating Crush (RC).

We were boyfriend and girlfriend in the only way two pre-teens living over 30 miles/ 48 km apart in the country could be; talking on the phone and seeing each other in school - we didn’t even take the same school bus. What we talked about during our phone conversations we don’t recall - it was never anything deep or relevant. Being that both of us were not allowed to date until we were 16, unlike most kids in our class who lived in the city, we promised when we were old enough we would date each other, for real.

There was a day, not long after we began our “relationship”, RC and Us, when we arrived at school and we were ushered into the gym immediately upon departing the bus. Nobody knew what was going on, we all speculated and joked. We remember very clearly what our speculation was; and to this day we don’t know where that idea came from, primarily because we did not have much knowledge of the situation.

We cannot even type the words that we said out loud that day, our guess as to why we were being held in the gym; it's still painful this many years later when we think about how unconsciously perceptive we may have been ­in those days; when we think about it, and him, we pause in silence.

That day was the day that the boy who first liked us back brought a rifle, in a kite box, on the bus, to school. We can’t imagine what was going through his head that morning, as he sat on the bus among his peers holding the kit box across his lap. We do know that his parents were going through a divorce, and he must have been feeling great pain and anxiety over this.

When RC got to school that morning, he went to the music room. He  closed the door to one of the private practice rooms, and it was there that he ended his life, by shooting himself in the head with his own hunting rifle.

His funeral was surreal; a picture on his casket was the last memory we have of him. His death was very hard on us, and the community. For the rest of the year the music room held nothing but sadness, and the faint smell of bleach, and something unfamiliar. Our Grandmother came to stay with us, to watch over us, and The Brothers for awhile, after that day; our mother already gone to live her own life in The Big City.

It was after this year of school that The Father decided we were going to move away; and with that move we tried to forget the loss of the first glimmer of what could have been; love? Maybe. Something normal that we could have carried with us in our heart through the future of continued abuse we were to face? Absolutely.


  1. What a terribly tragic event to have happen to everybody involved. I cried, I felt it so deeply. And it reminded me of a young boy I taught, long ago, who was in a deep depression and was being home schooled by his mother. One night he told his mother he was feeling tremendously better and wanted to re-enroll in school and be with his friends. They made plans for spring break as a family. Then he went downstairs to his basement bedroom and did the same as your RC. I will never forget his blue eyes.

  2. so tragic... you've endured so much. i won't muck your blog up with my own tales, but i understand... in many ways.