maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. -arthur miller



So there's this boy. High School Guy (HSG). I first met him about nine years ago when we went to the same sleepaway camp, and we ended up at the same school for 7th-12th grade. I guess the whole saga (such as it is) really started around 8th or 9th grade. We were friends off and on for a few years, but when it was off? It was off. We were cruel to each other in the way that only fourteen-year-olds can be cruel-- HSG would block me on AIM for weeks at a time, which I would do right back at him. We each recruited our friends to openly despise the other one. I don't remember the exact details of it now, but we would alternate talking online for hours at a time and making each other laugh in our school courtyard and being just stupidly mean to each other.

On the last day of sophomore year, our English teacher had us do one of those exercises where everyone writes their name on top of a sheet of paper and passes it around, and everyone in the class has to write something positive about that person. For the most part it was dumb-- lots of "I'm glad you were in my class"-type comments, mostly unsigned by whoever wrote the comment. HSG didn't sign either, but I know what he wrote: "Besides the fact that you....Oh, to hell with it. You and I fit well together, like bacon, lettuce and tomato. Except not as tasty. " For some reason, I loved what he wrote. Lurrved. I still have the sheet of paper tucked in to a book in my old room.

So junior year of high school gets going, and finally HSG and I are friends. Good friends. Lots of long talks, study sessions for AP Bio, time spent together at parties, etc. We had a few (online) late-night confessions of how we felt, going something like this each time:
HSG: it's 3am and the only reason I'm still awake is because I don't want to stop talking to you
bex: me too. what are we doing?
HSG: I think you know this but...
bex: yeah, I do.
bex: and you too.

And then?? NOTHING. We were both huge wusses, apparently. We continued to spend buckets of time together, and then say nothing about our feelings except late at night every month or two.

HSG's parents went away for the weekend fairly often, and sometimes he would have people over to hang out when they were gone. I'd been over a bunch of times, but never alone with him at his house. As Spring approached, it became clearer and clearer where things were going with us. HSG and I spent hours and hours on the phone with friends (some mutual) talking about each other. It was time shit or get off the pot, so to speak. So one weekend we talked about hanging out on Saturday night. Late Friday night we were talking on the phone and got in a fight about something that I can't remember anymore. All day Saturday we were pissed at each other, so I called that afternoon and just blurted out "Well, am I coming over or not?"

I went over. Needless to say, we lasted about fifteen minutes watching Notting Hill before we were making out. It was the first time I had really, seriously liked a guy and then had something happen with it. We just kissed and kissed and kissed and then we watched SNL's Weekend Update with my head on his lap because HSG knew that was my favorite part of the show.

Things were great for the next month or two, until he left for the Summer. At first, we talked every night about everything. It got less frequent as the weeks passed. When he came home, we took a walk through the park. My stupid 17-year-old self had gotten bored of this boy who hadn't been home for a month and a half, and by the time we senior year started we were Just Good Friends.

We stayed friends, more or less, with just one more minor hookup during high school. He asked me to go to prom with him in a sweet, romantic way that I probably didn't deserve. At the after-prom party we both drank a little too much, which led to me running around with my friends, and HSG falling asleep on a couch for a few hours. We rode back in to the city the next morning asleep, his arms around me and my head on his shoulder. It wasn't a picture-perfect night for the two of us, but it was good.

Since graduation, I have fairly assidously avoided seeing HSG in person. We talk probably about four times a week online, and once or twice a week on the phone. He knows just about as much as anyone else from home about my college life, and me about his. He still confides in me about his family problems, among other things. We don't really talk about other people we are or are not seeing-- every so often one of us will ask if the other is seeing anyone, and the answer so far has always been no (...At least in the way that I mean it. I don't want to hear if he drunkenly hooks up with a girl, and I don't run to tell him about every guy I've made out with after a party.)

For some reason I don't understand, I am somewhat terrified to see HSG. Maybe it's because I still have feelings for him, and so far nothing between us has worked out right. We've broken each others hearts a little bit a thousand times, and to put myself in that position again with teh same person...scares me. So to avoid making plans to see HSG, I stop IMing/calling him a week or so before I know we're both gonna be back in the city. I thought I was being clever. Turns out? He totally notices. He called me on it a few weeks ago, and I didn't know what to say. We've gotten to this weird point right now where we exchange "I miss you"'s sometimes in a way that is...ambiguous. I don't know.

I hadn't told my best (girl)friends from home about the frequency of HSG and my conversations, primarily because I thought they would both disapprove. I told Crazybrains last week, and she says she has "things to say" about it to me, but we haven't found time to talk for more than five minutes since then, so she's saving it. We'll talk when we're home this weekend I guess. I haven't told Nanno (my other best pal) yet, I keep chickening out because I'm not sure how she'll respond. What Crazy and Nanno say is important to me, but I'm not sure exactly how important, in this particular instance. I have a feeling that Crazybrains disapproves. But the fact is that I like talking to HSG. I feel funny and smart and happy when we talk, because after all these years, the kid gets me in a way that no guy ever has, and certainly no guy at college does. Is my "relationship" with HSG holding me back from meeting someone here? Maybe. I guess. Because when some of my friends would just want to hook up with a guy at a party, I know that I can go home and talk to HSG, which in the morning will feel a lot better than waking up next to a random guy I don't care about, and who doesn't care about me.

It's all inanely complicated at this point. I have a feeling that there will be many, many posts about HSG.



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