In light of the fact that exactly a year from today Chris and I will be getting married, I decided to take this opportunity and tell you Our Story. I'll warn you ahead of time that it is not a very romantic story.
Chris and I first met in 10th grade art class (in 1999). He was the weird, slightly creepy guy who you expected would snap ant any moment and go on a shooting spree at school - he even had a black trench coat, the sure sign of evil in a world that had just experienced the Columbine Shootings. He was funny, but also kind of a jerk. He did his own thing and didn't really seem to care what anyone thought about it. I was intrigued by him, but not in any sort of romantic way. I just thought he seemed like my kind of person. So I spent the year observing him, as it is not my habit to randomly befriend someone without doing intensive research first. I only spoke to him for the first time on the second to last day of the school year.
The next year, 11th grade, he just so happened to be in my art class again. This time I sat at his table and we talked often. I was right about him, I thoroughly enjoyed his company. We became friends. I grew more and more attached, going as far as talking to him on AIM during non-school time, which was almost unheard of for me (I am very socially backwards, as you may know). Towards the end of the year, one of our table-mates made a joke about our constant companionable bickering. She said, to the fourth member of our table, "Just you watch, those two are going to end up married someday." While I initially laughed it off - he wasn't at all my type, there was no way that was going to happen - part of me could not stop thinking about it.
We IMed a little over the summer, but I didn't really think about him all that much. Then, on the first day of senior year, he came into my homeroom before class started to see if maybe we had art together for the third year in a row. As soon as he walked in the room, I knew I was in trouble. It was as though a beam of light had shone down from above, and angels sang around him. I quickly stifled these feelings. We did not have the same art class, but he had study hall during my art period and I had study hall during his art period. Perhaps we could work something out... Our art teacher, the wonderful lady that she was, allowed us to come to the art room and work independently on our art work during each others art class. So basically we didn't have just one art class together, but two back-to-back periods! Score!
I managed to stomp out my sparkly feelings for him for a month or two. Then my family moved. Don't worry, we moved from one house to another in the same school district. But I took a few days off to get everything settled. During those four or five days, I could not wait to get back to school, although that was just ridiculous. Who in their right mind wants to go back to school? So finally, when they day came to go back, I was skipping down the hall to double art class when I realized the true reason I was so excited to be back. I could see Chris again! Oh happy day! I actually literally stopped in the middle of the empty hallway to hug myself. I was screwed.
I quickly became a ridiculous, lovesick idiot. I spent as much time as possible with him during school, and IMed him when I was at home. Eventually I worked up the courage to ask him to take me Christmas shopping at the mall. I have to stop here for a minute and express to you what a big deal this was to me. I did not go places with people. And on the rare occasion that I did, I certainly didn't allow them to drive me. I did not trust people my age to drive safely. And I did not trust boys enough to spend time alone with them. But I asked Chris to drive me to the mall. Alone. So it was a huge deal. He agreed and we had a really good time and I was even more infatuated and spent much of my time trying to plan out other ways to go places alone with him without actually proposing that we go on a date. During Christmas break, he came over to my house to get me started playing FF7, since I had gotten a Playstation as a gift. He was there for hours and as far as I was concerned it was the happiest moment of my young life.
After that, I think he started to realize what was going on. He still talked to me and stuff, but he was somewhat standoffish. I became desperate and clingy, which only served to further drive him away. Prom time came around and he refused to take me. My little heart was broken, but I did not give up. I continued to cling. I was so afraid that we would graduate and I would never see him again.
We did graduate, and I continued to IM him and trick him into hanging out with me. My friend (Kim) started dating one of his friends (Dustin), which was just about the most convenient thing ever. We could hang out, all four of us, and it was almost like a double date (except I was the only one seeing it that way). Eventually I got dragged (literally) to a gathering at Chris and Dustin's friend's house (Steve) and I began integrating myself into their group. I very quickly grew to love them all and I was very happy. Not only did I suddenly have a bunch of really nice guys to hang out with, but I also got to be around Chris almost all the time. He did not enjoy this nearly as much as I did. In fact, surprisingly enough, he began to resent it and we pretty much stopped speaking.
Wow, this has gotten really long. I won't bore you any more today. What will happen next in this sordid tale of unrequited love? Does our hero ever win over the man of her dreams? Tune in tomorrow for the stirring conclusion.