1.  The Beginning

   My story begins in my freshman year in high school. I had just moved to St. George, Utah because my dad’s company had offered him a better position in St. George. My name is Patrick, but for the sake of the girl that this blog is about, I’m not going to release her name. Let’s just call her Kate.  

   On the first day of school, I walked into school with my head held low, constantly referencing the school maps found on the wall to make my way to room 304 where my first period English class was. I knew absolutely no one in the high school of some 900 students. In the city of St. George, it was a sad truth that the closest thing to friends that I had were my mom and dad. 

   As I walked into room 304, I quickly scanned the room for any good looking girls just as any 14 year old would do. Now to give you quick idea of the kind of person I am. I am not the kind of guy who walks up to random girls and tries to wow them or amaze them with some stupid skill or trick. I prefer to get to know girls through conversations and intellectual discussions. Also, as much as looks are always nice, my greatests preference goes to girls who have an actual personality and confidence about them. The last thing I wanted was a girlfriend who is scared to go anywhere without me and sounded like the blonde cheerleaders you see in movies.  I guess you could say I just wanted a girl who was “down to earth”. As far as my family goes, my parents be infuriated by me having a girlfriend, but I was living the American lifestyle where girlfriends were the norm. I absolutely hate to disobey my parents, as they are very fair with me and let me do pretty much anything I want within reason. Family life is very important to me. Before moving to Utah, I had 14 cousins living within a 7 mile radius of me, so you can just imagine my family life.

   As I looked around room 304, I saw a few attractive girls, Kate being amongst them, but at this point she didn’t really stand out to me. I went and sat down at an empty desk and got my binder with fresh lined sheets of paper out.

   The teacher instructed as to stand up and say our name and what we did the past summer. There were the usual responses: “I went to Florida”, “I went to Europe”, “I helped my dad at his office”, and so on so forth. Then came Kate, who said “I volunteered in India helping homeless people get food and warm clothing for 6 weeks”. This immediately caught my attention. Kate was “on my radar”.

2.  The Introduction

In the next few days, I found it hard to gather the courage to go say hi to Kate. This changed on a rainy Monday morning, my English teacher put us into groups of 3 to discuss a short story we had read the class before. To my luck, Kate and one of her friends were in my group.

   I’ll spare you the step-by-step details. But overall, I started talking to Kate and her friend and we really got along well! Of course there was no flirting or anything involved – I just got along really well with Kate and her friend on a “friend level”. Keep in mind that at this time, I was starting to really like Kate, but since I had never been in any form of a relationship, I kept denying this to myself. I kept thinking, “she’s really cool, but I’m too young to have a relationship”.

   Before long I had her on MSN and was talking to her on a regular basis. As a 14 year old, I wasn’t going to go hang out with her after school or talk to her on the phone for hours, so MSN was pretty much the best it could get. I even met her older sister who was a freshman in college. She was having computer problems so Kate asked for my help, knowing that I was fairly good with computers. After this, it was quite obvious that her sister even took a liking to me.

   Things were going well between us, and it seemed like I was the only guy she was really good friends with. I still denied myself being attracted to her, and I questioned how she saw me. Did she me as a friend? Or more than a friend?

3. The Secret

   The same pattern of friendship continued for the duration of the school year. However, by the end of my freshman year, I was becoming to come to terms with the fact I’m really interested in Kate. The only thing holding me back from acting on this was the fact that I was just a 14 year old with no prior relationship experience. I wasn’t even ready for one. I figured I had lots of time to confess my feelings to Kate, so there was no rush.

   This changed in the last month of school. One day at lunch, I saw Kate in the hall with an essay in her hand. I asked who’s essay it was and she quickly replied “no one’s”. I asked again and she refused to tell me, until I quickly jokingly grabbed the essay from her hand and read the name of another guy in our grade. Let’s call him Justin. Kate told me that she was simply editting Justin’s essay, so I thought nothing of it.

   The month dragged on and eventually the summer holidays came. I didn’t see Kate too much because a couple of 15 year olds are not exactly the best plan makers. I bumped into Kate a few times during the summer at the store, but we didn’t exactly talk much because usually either my or her mom was present. However, the long MSN conversations continued, and that was good enough for me.

   The following September, I walked into math class to the pleasant surprise that Kate was also in my math class. Unfortunately, two of Kate’s good friends were also in the class, but we all sat together anyways. Before long, I began hearing Justin’s name quite often. I also found out that they hung out quite a bit during the summer. Eventually, Kate was openly telling me about the funny things that Justin did and said. 

   It was quite clear that Kate and Justin were going out now, and I had stayed too long in the “friend zone”. It was too late.

4. The Show 

   At this point, there wasn’t much else to say. Being the understanding guy that I am, I vowed to do nothing to come in the way of Kate’s relationship. I figured that if Kate and I are meant to be together,  I can wait until she and Justin break up.

   Kate continued telling me about Justin and all of the great things he did. I always simply nodded along and appeared interested when in reality, I was a flaming ball of regret on the inside. Why couldn’t I have told her that I had feelings for her earlier? Why!? Of course, there was nothing I could do now.

   Our friends even started noticing that I liked her at this point. They would ask me in private: “do you like Kate?”. Of course, I would always deny this as it would shatter my friendship with her.

   I was beginning to feel like a baby who has a toy taken away from them. When they have the toy, they never play with it. However, as soon as the toy is taken away from them, they desperately want it back. All along, I figured I could take my time with Kate, so there was no rush. But now, Justin had come along and taken this opportunity from me and I really wanted Kate back.

   One day as our sophomore year approached an end, as Kate and I were talking on MSN like usual. She began spilling her heart out to me. She began telling me that her father’s business wasn’t doing well and there were problems in her house because her family had found out about Justin. Just like me, Kate’s parents would also flip out at the thought of her having a boyfriend. However, her parents somehow found out that they were going out and she was in a lot of trouble. The conversation lasted hours and at the end, Kate told me that I was one of the few people in this world that she could trust and always count on. This made me feel like a million dollars on one hand, but on the other hand, I felt like I had gone too far into the “friend zone” and would never be able to come out. At this point, I was just putting on a show for Kate.

5. No More

   Kate’s family didn’t stop her and Justin. By our junior year, almost everyone in school knew that Kate and Justin were a couple. The image of Kate and myself ever being a couple was drifting furthur and furthur away. Our friendship went unaffected though. Kate always accepted my opinions about Justin and once she and Justin almost broke up because Justin did not like me. I tried to hide it, but I think Justin had the inkling that I liked Kate.

   The funny thing was that at this point, I was beginning to forget about Kate in the way that I liked her before. I began talking to her less and less as she was spending more and more time with Justin. But even though we rarely talked anymore, we were still great friends, but nothing more.

   By the end of the junior year my feelings for Kate had almost completely disappeared. I figured that my feelings were taking me nowhere considering she and Justin had been dating for roughly 2 years now. But regardless of any feelings I had for her, I really missed spending time with her as a friend. But on the bright side, I found out that Justin had fas-tracked a semester and was going to graduate after only one semester of his senior year. This meant that I had one entire semester of good ol’ Patrick and Kate time.

6. A Light At The End Of The Tunnel

   The next summer passed and we were heading into our senior year. I only saw Kate once this summer, on her birthday, because I got a full-time job doing landscaping. As we started school, this year Kate was in my Biology class, and I got the unlucky fortune of having Justin in my Sociology class. It was clear that Justin didn’t like me, and he made no attempt to hide it. This wasn’t really a problem for me however, because we didn’t really share any mutual friends aside from Kate, so our lives were completely separate.

   Something new started this year though, Kate started telling me about how much she and Justin were fighting. At one point they actually broke up, but within a couple of days they were back together. Either way, I was always there for Kate when she was upset about Justin.

   At the end of one day in December, I was just grabbing some books from my locker at the end of the day when Kate came to my crying. She told me that she and John had broken up for good. I walked Kate home that day, ensuring her that everything would be okay. Even though I tried not to, my mind kept gleaming at the fact that Kate was now single. But I kept on going as a friend, when Kate had no idea of what was going on inside my head. There was no way that I could act on my feelings, Kate had just broken up with a relationship of over 2 years. She would definitely need some time, but I knew that I should support her to the best of my abilities.

7. Time

   Ever since Kate and Justin’s breakup, me and Kate had been spending a lot of time together. We would spend time together after school, go out for lunch, and even talk on the phone for hours. We were together so much that people who didn’t really know us began thinking that she broke up with Justin to go out with me. However, we quickly informed anyone who thought this that it was not the case.

   By this time, a few of my good guy friends had caught on to the fact that I had feelings for Kate. I had no problem telling them at this point, as they were practically my brothers and I had known them for nearly 4 years now. I never said anything to Kate though, and tried as hard as possible to hide my emotions from her. She was still on the “I hate boys” phase that any girl would be after a long relationship.

   On the plus side, mine and Kate’s friendship was better than ever, and I’m pretty sure she spent more time with me than anyone else. All she needed was time.

8. Out In The Open

   One day in late January, I was walking to the cafeteria at lunch, and got stopped by Kate. She asked: “Is it true?”. I asked her what was going on and she repeated “Do you have feelings for me?”. I guess the secret had been let out by one of my friends and made its way to Kate. 

   “Yes.”

   The secret was out and I had no way of hiding it. Our friendship as we knew it was effectively over and things would either go uphill or downhill from here. I explained to her that I wished that I didn’t have these feelings at a time like this, but I couldn’t help it. I also failed to inform her that I liked her for a very long time. She thought that it was a recent thing, and I was content leaving it that way.

   To my surprise, this did not change the way we were around each other. We still openly hung out in school, and we even saw each other regularly outside of school. I knew that she was in no place to start another relationship, but I was positive that somewhere deep down, she also had feelings for me. People still asked me if we were dating because were together so much, and I gave them the same answer as always.

   On a few occasions, me and Kate even went out alone on a Friday or Saturday night. The subject of my feelings came up a few times, but she made it clear that she didn’t want a relationship and didn’t have the same feelings. I kept on going though because deep down I knew that she must have some buried feelings for me.

   This pattern continued for a number of weeks, but my patience was running out. Eventually I just said to my “screw it”. I was tired of waiting and had wasted too much time on this girl. At the back of my mind I knew that I still had feelings for Kate, but I also knew that this was going nowhere. What was the point of even trying?

9. A Turn Of Events 

 I began talking to Kate less and less in the coming weeks. I knew that if I kept talking to her, I would just keep torturing myself. However, at this point me and Kate shared many mutual friends, so she frequently showed up at many of our social events. I was never deliberately rude to her, but she could see that I wasn’t really interested in her any more.

   After a while, it began looking like Kate was taking an interest in me. She began finding me after school so that we could walk home together, calling me several times a day just to talk, etc. I began thinking that she might actually have feelings for me. Her body language became different, she always sat closer to me, and even began asking me out to lunch alone. I was sure that she had changed her mind about me.

   This continued for about a month until one Friday night, when I was at a family party. I was on my cousin’s laptop on Facebook, and I received one of those instant Facebook messages.

   “I think I like you.”

   I replied, “Do you want to talk about this?”

   She never sent a message back. I figured I would give her time and wait until Monday to talk to her. I slept for 20 minutes that night. Something I had been awaiting for a very long time had finally happened and I was on cloud nine.

   We went out to lunch on Monday and talked about everything. We came to the agreement that we would see how things go at first, and take it from there.

   The next two weeks were amazing. We would do everything together; I saw Kate everyday after school, at school, and even before school sometimes. At this point, we were practically a couple.

10. All Good Things Come To An End 

   I was walking 10 feet above the ground and was the happiest I’ve ever been and I never wanted the feeling to end. I was actually closely considering asking Kate out officially the following week, but like most good things, the happiness did end on one Sunday afternoon. I received a text message from Kate saying “meet me at Starbucks in one hour”. I didn’t ask questions and one hour later I met Kate at Starbucks.

   I walked in and asked “what’s up?” and Kate immediately burst out in tears telling me that she was not ready for a relationship but still had feelings for me. Bear in mind that I was still crazy about Kate and am a very understanding person. I accepted her feelings and said that we’d work everything out.

   In the coming weeks Kate still acted the same as ever, but in the back of our heads we both were very aware that we were going nowhere. Kate and I even attended the annual Spring Lockdown Ball as a couple – an event that is customarily attended with one’s boyfriend or girlfriend.

   Kate was being so flirtacious with me at times that I was sure that she would change her mind and I would be able to ask her out eventually. However, after a couple of weeks, she began going into weekly cycles. One week, she would be completely interested in me, when the next week she would want nothing to do with me. I was completely confused and had no idea of what to do.

11. The Decision

   Eventually I became tired of Kate’s inconsistency and finally came forward and asked her what was the meaning of her inconsistency. She simply gave me the same explanation as before and told me that she did not want a relationship, but she never said anything about having feelings for me. Had Kate’s feelings passed?

   At that point, I was finished with Kate. I did not want to spend as much time with her any more and quite frankly, I was really irritated by Kate. The funny thing was that Kate still wanted to hang out with me on the weekends and call me and talk on the phone with me for hours. I had to draw the line and stopped calling her and tried to reduce her involvement in my life. Of course, I was never rude to her and always respected her, but deep inside I was mad at her for playing with my emotions so much.

   The next summer passed and progressed the same as every other summer: I saw Kate a couple of times at the birthdays of mutual friends, but nothing more. At the end of the summer, I phoned Kate to say bye to her before she left for college. She was heading to the University of Southern California while I was headed to Ohio State University, and we would be miles and miles apart. And with that, Kate was as good as gone from my life. But after the summer, I was no longer mad at Kate, and simply wanted her as a friend. After all, we were best friends throughout high school.

12. The End 

   I never spoke to Kate once during our first semesters at college. During christmas break, Kate returned to St. George and I went to New York to spend the holidays with some family. I spoke to Kate once on MSN during the christmas break, and oddly enough, one of the first things she asked me was if I had a girlfriend. Kate also told me that she really wanted to meet up with me and tell me all of her college stories.

   Later on, during spring break, I found out that Kate and I would both be back in St. George. I felt like we should meet and see how life was treating each other, so I called Kate. No response. I emailed Kate. No response. I called again. No response again. Finally, I sent a second email asking Kate what was going on. No response. 

   It has been over a year since that spring break and I haven’t heard from Kate, and I really don’t want to hear from Kate. From my relationship with Kate, both as a friend and more than a friend, I have learned that in life, you will make friends, have your first crush and your first love. However, none of these come without your first fight with a friend, your first disappointment, and your first heart break. To the guys out there, girls can play with your mind like Kate played with mine, but in the end, if you’re nothing but good to a girl and she mistreats you, you are simply too good for her and you will find a better girl in the future who appreciates your kindness. To the girls out there, please be considerate of a guy’s feelings. It takes a second to make a guy fall for you, but it takes much longer than that for him to get over you.

 

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4 comments January 7, 2009

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