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i can teach you, but i have to charge

7 Mar

In eighth grade, a well-meaning friend said to me, “Jen, when you’re in high school, guys will be lining up to be your boyfriend.” Boy, was she right! I can’t tell you how many times during those four years I had to turn away my suitors. Good-looking ones, too. There were a lot of pretty girls in my school, but I guess I was the prettiest, by far, because the trail of broken hearts in my wake was longest and most deep. If I’d known in junior high that I would be such a hot item just a few years later, I wouldn’t have bothered sitting for two hours at each of those private school dances, waitingprayinghopingwishing that the boy I liked, or any other one, would decide that this was The Night to confess his burning desire for me to be his. Because in high school, man, every night was The Night, and by graduation I was just tired of being loved so damned much.

So, that’s high school. Me, being loved. By, like, every boy and some girls. I was just Wanted. Always. And it was so constant and normal that it became boring. I could sleep easily every night, be content, and cry nearly-sad tears when I realized I’d never be lonely or unloved, lying in my underwear in a puddle of tears in my bedroom, completely heartbroken like other teenagers.

But one night during my sophomore or junior year in high school, a boy telephoned me. I’d always considered him a friend who was very much in love with me in the same way I was very much loved by everyone else, until he said, “Jen, I don’t like you.” For a few years, I treasured him the same way I’d have treasured Clay Aiken or a bite of tinfoil, because he did not like me. He was unlike the great ninety-eight percent of boys in my life, and even if he’s like them now, completely and utterly powerless against my charm, I’ll always remember the time when he wasn’t, and hope that he continues to secretly read my blog through a link I sent him in an email he never exactly responded to.

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