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i hope you dance

13 Aug

Chris asks: Why is Chris Ho so cool?

I’m not sure that he is. But because it means so much to him, I’ll tell you a little about Chris Ho. Hours and hours of phone conversations and instant messages about the shattered state of his teenage romantic life have equipped me with a great deal of stories and tidbits that should be, but for Chris are probably not, embarrassing.
We met as freshmen in high school, but staved off a friendship until our sophomore year when I was friends with a girl he thought was hot. Typical, really, of both of them. It was the truth that she wasn’t interested, and I tried to explain this nicely over AIM as he typed me line by line of depressing poetry just as quickly as he’d worked out the wording in his head. Some time during this mess and shortly after my crush on his best friend, I developed romantic feelings for Chris. Typical. I was young. I was stupid. I didn’t know what I was looking for. He was the first boy I was thought I really loved, mostly because I really hated him. Nothing made sense when I was fifteen. He poked fun at my issues with self-esteem, he made eating in public even more traumatic than it already was, he quoted the things I wrote on Xanga about the times I was actually happy during high school and made me feel silly for writing it, and he had no respect for my privacy as he rummaged through my backpack whenever he got the chance. We said we were best friends, but the truth was that I was the friend and he was just mean. He tried to tell me that this was a lesson and he was teaching me something. But his jerkiness and one-sided phone calls only helped me improve on something at which I was already skilled. Listening.
So I listened to him cry over the phone about girls, and I listened to him struggle to remember to thank me for staying on the line for four hours. I listened to him tell me about his old school friends and introduce me to people who would make me happy when he upset me. I listened to him in the backseat of Robert’s car during December of 2005 when his best friend, my boyfriend at the time, was asleep on my shoulder between us and leaving for college in a week, when I was worried about the distance, when Chris told me not to pick fights just because I’d miss him. I listened to the songs he picked out for me when I thought I’d be swallowed by the reds and grays of heartbreak and teen turmoil. I listened when he never told me more than I needed to hear.
So, Chris should be SO LUCKY to have had me as a friend for these past ten or eleven years. You’re welcome.

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