Lindsey and I have been hanging out a lot since Carrie and I bit the bullet.
Lindsey is so full of life. She’s fun and energetic and has the ability to make me laugh until my sides hurt. The more time I spend with her, the more I cannot help but draw parallels between her and one of my best friends in high school. And the more I think about it, the more I should have (had I not had the most religious parents in the world and been in complete denial the entire time) realized I was gay back then.
The first time I met Laura was in Grade 9 art class. As I’m sure you have all realized from my DaVinci-esque doodles, I was clearly an artist in the making and was therefore eagerly awaiting art class.
My art class was in the first semester at the very end of the day. I looked forward to it each and every day. We had a fun teacher who let us listen to music or watch TV in class so long as we got our projects finished on time.
One of the first projects he had us do was to build a sculpture in teams. At that point in Grade 9 I didn’t know many people, so I ended up being assigned a partner. The girl who wasn’t there that day.
She was less than thrilled to have me as a partner.
Anyway, we got together the next day and started planning our structure. We settled on building the Coliseum. Suddenly ideas were flying.
We went down to the library and borrowed every book we could find on the subject, but most of the books and photographs that we found were of the Coliseum today, not what it was back in the glorious days of the Romans. So, we had the genius idea to rent Gladiator. Clearly, this was all for the good of the art project.
We called her parents and arranged to have her stay over at my place that night. She had nothing with her. No change of clothes. No pyjamas. No toothbrush. Just a desire to hang out… oh, and get an A on an art project!
(Actually, the more I think over our relationship, the more I realize this was the kind of thing we did all the time. It was an on-the-fly kind of relationship. “Need a place to stay? Cool. Come on over.” “Want to go to a concert? Tonight?” “Deal.” Nothing was ever boring. )
I’d love to tell you that an infatuation with her grew from the first moment I saw her. That she walked into the room and suddenly there were butterflies in my stomach that I couldn’t place. But that wasn’t the case with Laura and me. I mean, sure she was pretty and fairly popular. She was heavy into Irish Dance and was on the swim team already. And we were only a few weeks into high school life. She wasted no time. And she was a little intimidating.
I remember thinking all of these things as I walked her through the front door of my house. Would she expect that we would get down to work right away? Would she want to hang out first? We barely knew each other and suddenly she was staying at my house. Suddenly I DID have butterflies.
We ended up grabbing some pizza for supper. We talked a bit about our art project … honest! But that was soon left behind as we filled each other in on the details of our lives.
It wasn’t until later that night, when my parents were in bed, and our sleeping bags were unfurled in front of the downstairs TV that we started Gladiator.
I don’t think I watched a second of the movie.
“So tell me,” Laura started. “Do you have a crush on anyone?”
I felt my cheeks blush. Could I even trust this girl I JUST met??
“Well, I guess there’s this one guy…” I started.
“Ooo! Tell me all the details! Leave nothing out!”
So I quickly told her about one of the boys at school. I found him attractive, and he was always so nice to me.
She looked bored.
“That’s it?? No kissing??”
“Wait… have you ever kissed a boy before???!”
I was losing cool points. I could see my reputation dwindling before my eyes.
“Yes. I have.” I said a little defensively. “It didn’t really mean anything, though.”
“How MANY boys have you kissed?”
“Just one,” I sighed. Plummeting. My cool points were plummeting now. It couldn’t be stopped. It was all out of control.
“Well, how do you know you’re any good at it?” she asked.
I didn’t know how to answer that. How DID one know if they were any good at it??
When I didn’t have an answer she leaned in a little closer to me as if to share a secret. “It’s ok. I wasn’t very good at it in the beginning either.”
I smiled appreciatively.
“Why don’t you practice on me?” she asked softly reaching for my hand…
It was like an explosion went off as she touched my hand. My heart was pounding so loudly into my ears I could barely hear. My mouth was dry. I was glad she was only touching the top of my hand because my palms were suddenly sweaty. I didn’t know what was going on with me or why I was actually thinking that it might be ok to just…
“OMG!” She said pulling back laughing. “I had you! You should have seen your face!!” She curled up into a ball and shook with fits of laughter.
“Yeah,” I said trying to sound casual. “Good one.”
That night as I rolled myself into my sleeping bag I waited until I heard the sounds of her even breathing next to me before I began my lecture.
What was WRONG with me?!! Something clearly..
I didn’t know what was up or what was going on but I decided to just steer clear of Laura from then on.
Unfortunately for me, the universe had other plans…
Want to hear the rest of the story?? Come back tomorrow!