Today, I thought I would write a throwback piece. No, it's not #tbt but I'm still allowed to drudge up the past, right? Okay, good!
This is a little story about a 16-year-old girl (me) who fell for a 16-year-old gay boy (Peter*) in high school. The only thing is, I didn't know he was gay, he didn't know he was gay, and we were the only ones who didn't know he was gay.
I met Peter at a church fundraiser event with my best friend. Actually, I knew of Peter before the fundraiser and shared my friend's opinion that he was an obnoxious freshman, far inferior to us juniors. The event was an overnight fast. No eating or drinking for 24 hours and to distract us from that, we spent the night in the convent partaking in all sorts of wholesome activities, including watching "Sister Act".
While "Sister Act" is one of my top twenty favorite movies, ever, I was far more interested in writing notes to Peter. Turns out he wasn't so obnoxious after all. He was sweet and sensitive and wrote poetry! (If you're thinking "Hello??? You didn't realize he was gay THEN??" hold on to your hats, because it becomes much more obvious and I become much more in denial). Attention: I am in no way stating straight or bisexual men cannot be sweet, sensitive, or write poetry. Okay, political correctness in check annnnnd let's continue.
We actually become a couple through our note writing that night and my friend woke up to me being in (yet another) relationship. Poor thing. She is a good, GOOD friend. (I already know she is reading this and shaking her head and it's ALL validated that she do!)
And so began our 2 month relationship. Our song was "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden (ahem...see?), he wrote me notes constantly proclaiming his love for me, he cut out the "Love Is..." section of the newspaper everyday. He took me to dances and actually danced with me (I know...), he proudly took me to the high school play where he worked on the stage crew. And even though he recited every single word of the play while sitting next to me, I was smitten.
He had a party at his house after the play and we concocted a plan for me to stay over without my parents knowing, since his parents were away. (Obvi they know now...I told my mom years ago. Her response: "Well, I trusted you." My response back: "I was a 16-year-old girl, you shouldn't have.") The plan was epic. I told my mom I was going to stay over Peter's friend's house, seeing as she was a girl it was no big deal. In fact, ALL of Peter's friends were girls (I KNOW...). My mother's only request was that I call when I got to the friend's house after the play. (For my younger readers, this was back before cell phones were commonplace. We still had landlines and a little thing called caller ID that was actually a box wired to the base of the phone. Very primitive.)
Since my mother knew Peter's phone number, I couldn't very well call from his house and say I was somewhere else. But, his older brother had his own phone line upstairs. Boom! I called my mom, "yep everything's great, I'm here, I'll call you in the morning for a ride home" and Peter's post-play party began! Drinking, drinking, drinking. My first girl kiss. Drinking, drinking, drinking. Make out with Peter. Drinking, drinking, drinking. Is that Peter kissing a boy? Drinking, drinking, drinking.
When everyone left, Peter and I fell asleep, holding each other, listening to Sarah McLachlan's "Surfacing" album on repeat. Sarah. Freaking. McLachlan. The next morning, I called Mom from Peter's house, saying his friend and I walked over in the morning so Peter could make us breakfast (which he did, of course only for me and the "friend" that had mysteriously not been at his house when my mom picked me up).
Peter and I stayed on this blissful ride for a few more weeks. Days spent with him and his friends ended with him asking to play with my hair (uh huh...) and his best girl friend saying "You're going to grow up to be gay!" Nights spent with him and his other friend, double dating (read: attempting to round third base while watching Disney's "Hercules"...oh who am I kidding, he totally did get to third!).
Then, one day after school he called and broke up with me. He said, "I have a lot of stuff to do" and that was it. I was furious and hurt. The same friend who had to watch this unfold at the church event, then had to hold my hand while I wept in her car a couple weeks later when another friend saw Peter and some girl making out at the movies. (Have I mentioned what a good, GOOD friend this is! Love you, BFF!)
A couple months later, Peter, called out of nowhere, asking me to meet him at an elementary school. He claimed he had to do community service there but had to talk to me. By this point, I was FAR over him but still morbidly curious as to what he wanted. My mom dropped me off and he led me behind a a string of bushes where he had prepared a picnic lunch in an attempt to get me back. Adorbs! Well, adorbs NOW, obnoxious then. Ok, kind of adorbs then, too. I can't stop writing adorbs. AHHHHH!
When I said no, he took it okay, but not awesome. We saw each other on and off during my senior year. It wasn't until we had been broken up for MONTHS that I would let myself admit that he was, in fact, gay. The last time I spoke to Peter was 6 years ago. He was proudly out as a gay man and living in NYC. And he giggled when I told him I was also a homo.
*Name changed to protect his privacy. Although, I think he would approve.