Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Bad Timing

If I were a believer in luck, I'd consider myself an unlucky individual. My timing, it seems, is never exactly right. One of the better examples I can think of to illustrate this took place during my sophomore year in high school.

When I was that age, I was amongst the thousands of other post-pubescent teens that wanted to be a photographer for a living. Not because I particularly enjoyed taking pictures, or even had any skill with it, but because it's one of the things my grandfather had done for a living, and I thought it would be cool to follow in his footsteps.

Aside #1: His biggest claim to fame is taking this picture.

I'd enrolled in a Journalism course to hone my nonexistent abilities, while also hoping to blow through the class without actually doing anything. That, unfortunately, was not the case, as my teacher absolutely hated me and everything I stood for, and would often send me out of class for reasons unknown.

Aside #2: It's ironic that this class is what made me realize I appreciate writing more than anything else, isn't it?

There was a silver lining, however. On the first day of class, I'd noticed a girl sitting two rows behind me that I'd never seen at school before. Her name, I would later find out, was Stephanie, and I liked her the moment I saw her. Much to my disdain, she seemed to be completely out of my league, possibly even playing a different game altogether. I knew I wasn't going to get her attention by just sitting in front of her and doing nothing, so I flirted the only way I knew how to at the time: via a passed-back note.

To my surprise, it worked. Within two weeks we were regularly passing each other longer and longer letters, meeting up after class, walking home together, liking each other more and more as time went by. She would draw me pictures, and I would bring her hand-picked tiny flowers from ouside the school to leave on her desk before she came in every morning. It was sort of disgusting, actually.

Then, out of nowhere, just as I was about to make my move and ask her to take a chance on me, she began dating someone else. His name was Brad, he had an eyebrow stud, and I hated him more than anything on the planet for unknowingly taking her from me. I thought my world had ended because of it.

Deeply apologetic, Stephanie tried talking to me the day after I'd found out. But being as stubborn as I possibly could be, I refused to talk to her, initially.

But that didn't last long. Soon we were talking just like we had been when she was sans boyfriend, hiding our "friendship" from Brad.

Romanticizing the situation, I told her one day soon after we'd started talking again that I'd be patient, and that I would wait around for their relationship to fail, after which I'd sweep her off her feet and treat her as she'd never been treated before. She didn't seem to mind hearing these sentiments, though she didn't exactly agree to the terms after I'd said them.

Aside #3: I assume this was because doing so would throw her into what some people would consider a "morally grey" area. I wouldn't know, my morals are so out of whack that this sort of thing doesn't even faze me anymore.

Despite the lack of a verbal contract, I decided to soldier on and wait for her to be freed from Brad's grip. Soon, a month had passed, and Stephanie's attitude towards me and her attitude towards she and Brad's relationship remained exactly the same. She was, as they say, caught between a rock and a hard place.

It was only a matter of time before I exacerbated the situation further by doing something stupid and rash. Naturally, I did just that. One day after a particularly flirtacious walk home from school, I surprised her completely by kissing her, out of nowhere.

Aside #4: My advice to anyone, ever: kiss everyone that gives you an opening. The worst that could happen is they turn you down, right? ...right?

Shockingly, rather than act offended and push me away, she kissed me right back. Even more shockingly, she continued to kiss me for the next 45 seconds.

Then the moment I'd been waiting for since I'd first met her ended, and we pulled apart and looked at one another. With an immeasurable amount of calm, Stephanie turned on her heel and walked up the concrete path to her front porch, not saying a single word. When she got to the door, she opened it, stepped in, then turned around to look at me. Smiling, she shut the door and I walked away, grinning like an idiot.

Unfortunately, this encounter changed nothing. The next few weeks went by in the same fashion as the previous few had, with her leading me on while dating Brad. Becoming frustrated at not having a chance with her, I began to slowly cut her out of my life as I started to date a different girl.

A month after we'd kissed, I had stopped talking to Stephanie completely, and was completely satisfied with the status of my relationship with my girlfriend. Things were pretty good.

But just as I'm sure you can infer by my use of the term "things were pretty good," naturally everything soon took a turn for the worse.

To make a long story short(er), Stephanie and Brad broke up, she began talking to me, convinced me to like her again, and I broke up with my girlfriend so that she and I could be together.

Aside #5: Don't tell me I'm terrible, I was young and dumb and will probably do this exact same thing another half-dozen times in the future. Regardless of whether or not I'm referring to women, I will never, ever turn down a free upgrade.

Over the next few days, we began hanging out often, holding hands and kissing in public like any normal couple would, and I assumed this meant we were together. I couldn't have been happier. All of the time and effort I'd put into our future relationship was finally paying off, and I felt that I was being rewarded for what I considered to be unwavering patience when it came to the situation.

Aside #6: Nothing says "jaded" like thinking you're unflappable after you've given up on something twice.

Soon, evidence that showed that Stephanie didn't feel the same way about our "relationship" began to surface. Mostly in the form of her cutting me off as I'd done her (with less justification in her case), and dating Brad again, leaving me heartbroken and regretting the day I'd began talking to her.

That was nearly four years ago, and despite breaking up and getting back together a few times between then and now (like the overdramatic couple they clearly are), Stephanie is still with Brad. They'll probably end up married someday, have children, and end up divorced because that's the way life is. At least my foot isn't caught in that bear trap.

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