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Capricious Youth

Forward: this is a story about youth. It exposed the immature decisions of capricious, youthful curiosity. I was driven to action by desire, self-interest and self-preservation. I have evolved to live with grace, hope and optimism.

The year it all began was 1989 -- Although my first unqualified boyfriend gave me the shivers, hot flashes and swift nervousness, the relationship only went to the holding-hands phase. Therefore I’m skipping it mostly except for this bit of context:  I am going to say that it was from then on that I knew the power of attraction, the power of desire. On a small scale, yes… but it was enough. TJ made my heart race like I had never known.  I have continued to revert back to those first feelings when you initially lose control.  That ‘relationship’ taught me just how crazy I could be.  I was capable of spending time wondering about someone else. I began to change from a girl to a woman.
 
And then came Mike, I looked up to him, he was athletic and he had floppy dirty blonde hair—he seemed secure to me. My sister brought him around initially and then lost interest in his dull intellect and the spelling issues which regularly occurred in his love notes. I was a middle school kid and he was in high school. He was older and alluring and he went places I had only heard about.  Even his horrible grasp on grammar was of no concern to me; I had a flame, I was interested.

Mike hung around for two years he was my first kiss and the first boy to touch me between my legs, so scary, so thrilling and even more confusion. I told no one. I had orgasms. Mike cheated on me. I was naïve and he exploited it. His apologies always won me over again. This – looking back – was what I took from it. I was a good girl. Renee wasn’t prettier or more interesting, she was more slutty and that was just perfect enough for Mike, I was the one he took places and introduced as his girlfriend to mom and dad -- she was the one he ate out in the closet at a high school party. 

Mike tore my heart out, because you can’t break a heart that doesn’t know it’s loving. Life went on. Also, I came to see,through actually falling for someone, that he was not my first love. He was desire and lust and burning idolizations. He was the beginning of the discovery of my sexuality. I cried over him. When I was 14-years-old, I thought my heart would never stop aching. The last time I talked to him I told him how bad I had it for him, but the only thing he had for me was hurt, he didn't get defensive. I whimpered into the phone and hoped he’d make it right again. He didn’t … I’m glad. Three days later, I stopped crying and what hadn’t killed me made me stronger or jaded or different.

So enter Steve. Steve was the new guy at our school. He was more of a game to me. After Mike I didn't feel available, I was scared to trust. All the upper-class girls adored him, cute face, awkward style. Steve came from a bad neighborhood. He had vanilla ice hair, and this thug outer core thing. I wanted to make him pretty and this was the mission. I was going to do a make-under at once. 

Done and done, in a few weeks he was coming over. We began dating. He stopped dressing so "Detroit" and stopped putting a tube of gel in his hair, and I was impressed. Just as he became the prettiest transformation ever ... he cheated on me ... with my friend?  Once again I met yet another boy, with another hard lesson for me:  what is a real friend?  I now see that she was jealous of my body, my life, and me.  Her only win was to take what she could. He was my project and I was hers. I stopped talking to Steve altogether not even eye contact -- Cold turkey, strength, reinforcement. I was rational, no heart ache. If he didn’t want me, if he had chosen her, then why would I waste anytime hurting, I flipped a switch and moved on. I can’t remember a single tear. My desperation and pain from knowing Mike helped me build a really effective wall and unknown to me I still hadn’t fallen in love for the first time.
 
Next was Jason he was a senior and I a freshmen, baseball player, Italian, a little bit beefy. He could drive and I was enamored. He went to a different school, he was an athlete.  We went to dances together and studied and kissed, his mother loved me, I was still a good girl. Five weeks into our relationship I caught him with that same friend, or ex-friend. I walked in a room at a party and all I could remember was her a blue thong underwear. They jumped out the window together and ran down the street. I almost passed out and refused to talk to him after that. He tried to win me back, my mom never told me when called. His mom even tired to fix everything for him, something I imagine she never stopped doing. But I never spoke to him again. How was I so brave? I didn't cry this time either, I felt sorry for myself, I whimpered to my older sister. But ultimately, I just started to think that men would always ask for too much.

Then it happened. After a little plotting, my sister and I had a plan. She told me that we could find a guy for me to date. She told me that Nicole couldn’t have him, she told me, she’d find the one that Nicole trampled; enter Jamison, her boring good boy. He was the one she fractured, she played with. We called him, he and I went to a café for dinner, fell in love and also lust and battled our morals to excited each other for 5-years. Then we broke each other’s hearts. It was awful.

It's been 1000 years now since we hurt each other so much, we moved on to make our separate lives and it was for the best. But I can say after your heart is truly broken, the quest to love is a little bit marred. You won't easily love with the same idealism and fearlessness you once could. But try anyway. Try to break the wall down and try to allow vulnerability, it's worth it, I PROMISE.

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Goodbye to the circus xx