Friday the 13th

I used to be superstitious about Friday the 13th…

This is me in the courtyard just a few moments before our conversation. Tim is behind me. Feb. 13th, 2004

This is me in the courtyard just a few moments before our conversation. Tim is behind me. Feb. 13th, 2004

On Friday the 13th in February 2004, it was Decade Day at school. You and I coordinated to go as a 50’s couple. I had a poodle skirt and black t-shirt with my hair pulled up into a high ponytail. You wore a white t-shirt, jeans and a black leather jacket. Someone snapped a photo of me as we were hanging out in the courtyard to eat lunch. At some point as I sat eating with our friends, you came over and touched my arm and said, “Hey can I talk to you for a minute?” Immediately, I got flashbacks of freshman year when you had turned down Cait, and thought, “Crap. He is going to have the talk with me about how flattered he is that I was interested, but he didn’t like me in that way.” My face felt cold as I followed you over by the fountain. You propped your leg up and leaned back against a pillar, and I felt like I was going to throw up.

The day before, I’d been at the library during lunch talking to your friend Adam about you. You had been so hot/cold. I couldn’t handle it anymore. Some days you had been super flirty, so sweet and attentive, I was getting my hopes up again. Then the next day, it seemed like you barely noticed my existence. I was getting whiplash. So like the mature grown-up person that I was, I asked Adam to talk to you for me and see what was going on. He said he would talk to you later that day after school. I spent the rest of that day trying to focus on classes and then cheer practice, and then homework. The next day was Decade Day, and we had agreed to match, but... you would have done that with anyone, right? Or did it mean something?? I wanted an answer, but I was afraid of what it would be. I prepared myself for a “no” and immediately regretted asking Adam to talk to you. I felt that no answer and just going on as we were would still be better than “no.” You felt so far out of my league, I had little hope.

“I have feelings for you, and was wondering what you would think about the possibility of us dating because I would like to explore having a relationship with you and see where it goes.” - You

I felt dizzy and in disbelief. This kid I had spent the last year and a half pining over, was standing there telling me everything I wanted to hear. I probably grinned like a lunatic. But then I panicked. “What if we dated, then he found someone better, broke up with me and then I had lost him both as a boyfriend and a friend?” Over the course of that year, I had really grown to appreciate our friendship and didn’t want to lose that. So I said, “I like you too. Um, but I want to think about this.” You were calm, cool and collected and I tried my best to mirror you. Didn’t want to scare you away. I saved the squealing and screaming until I was safely in the car with my mom on the way home from school.

When I got home, with shaking hands I sat down at the computer, I made the decision to tell you how I felt. I don’t remember everything I said in the email, but basically I told you I was tired of high school relationships and getting my heart broken. I didn’t know if I wanted to date at the moment because I wanted the next person I dated to be “The One.” I hit “send” and immediately wanted to take it back. What was I thinking?? I had just screwed this up. I knew you were going to be like, “Woah girl, I just wanted to date you- not marry you.” But I liked you so much and valued our friendship so much, that I chose to give you an out so that we could stay friends and I wouldn’t lose you. I think I checked my email every 2 minutes the rest of the afternoon. Finally, just before dinnertime, the Juno email loading bar paused at 97%, which means I had gotten an email. It was from you. I opened it, afraid to read it. I scanned it quickly looking for words like, “crazy” or “nevermind.” Instead, I found 5 words that cemented the way I would forever feel about you, “I will wait for you.”

-ASH