I go back-and-forth with the concept of posting personal stories on this blog. I tend to be private with things that are close to my heart. After much thought, I have decided that I want to be more open and to use this blog to document many different facets of my life. I made this decision when I noticed a common thread that ran through the blogs that I really really love... Many of these women can post a DIY photo collage one day, and the next will write about their struggle with trying to conceive a child. It is this dynamic thread that runs through all of us as women that has inspired me to push myself to open up.
Without further ado, our love story...
To start, we will have to travel back in time to the year 1999. Jake and I were both 12 years old and went to middle school together in Upstate New York. We had a lot of mutual friends and probably met in passing a couple of times the year before. The first meeting that jumps out in my mind though, was at a local park that had soccer fields and basketball courts. It was fall and there was a chill in the air. Jake had a black ski hat on and his nose was running (funny which details stick out in your mind). I was interested in one of his friends at the time.
We became friends and would occasionally talk on the phone or on AIM (please tell me that you grew up in the generation of AIM) his screen name was JkBball50 and mine was Smileylyke a match made in heaven. Back in middle school, we had this strange ritual where you would ask someone what their list was. As hilarious as this sounds, you would list off the top 5 people that you liked in order of importance. Jkbball50 instant messaged me one day asking for my list, and I put him at number 4. This gave the kid some hope. He was very persistent from that point on - asking me to be his girlfriend about 5 times over the next month. 6th time was the charm and on October 28th, 1999 I said yes.
We started off pretty awkward, communicating through notes folded in a very intricate fashion written in pink gel pen ink. We pretty much did not talk in person for the first few weeks. Slowly but surely, we started to be less shy around each other and actually, gasp, spoke to each other face-to-face. Soon we were talking on the phone every single night and hugging in the hallway at school! Big steps. In December on Jake's 13th birthday we had our first kiss.
What happened next was very unexpected. I actually liked him. Like, really liked him. Dare I say loved him. Are we capable of knowing what romantic love is at age 12? The Wonder Years says, "Yes!" and so do I.
For the next 10 months we were inseparable. But, at 13 when things start to get too heavy too fast something is bound to break.
To my extreme shock, Jake broke up with me a few weeks before we started 8th grade. How could this happen? I was the one in control of this relationship. I was the one that he had pursued.
It's not easy to learn at 13 that no matter what I did I couldn't force someone to want to be with me. I could not make him love me.
I have this vivid memory of calling him and sobbing into the phone to please change his mind. After he hung up on me I cried on the floor in my parents bathroom and prayed, asking God to please let Jake see us the way that I did. Dramatic for 13? I would argue that age is just a number, isn't it? My feelings were very real to me at the time. It is easy to dismiss someone for being young and naive, yet is there ever a time when your feelings are more pure?
I will end Chapter I with a page from my journal written in 1999.
The sad thing is that my handwriting really has not improved much.
Stay tuned for more of our love story. I hope to add a post each week leading up to Jake's birthday on December 7th.