My mom had a friend that she met at the community college she attended a year after my father passed away. She was my age now when she decided to further her education, which I really admire. It wasn’t easy raising two kids and going back to school. She went on to become an RN but that really has nothing to do with this story.
Her friend had 3 boys. One was way older, one was my brother’s age and one of them was my age. They had also lost their father which became an instant thing in common.
I never had too much trouble getting along with the opposite sex, perhaps because there was no cattiness involved like with female friends.
Plus, I thought that burps and farts were funny. I still do.
I was teased often by the mean-spirited boys at my school for being overweight.
And to be brutally honest, not attractive. I wore oversized glasses that constantly slid down my nose and was socially awkward. But I did have a few guy friends who didn’t give a rats ass about these things, as long as I knew my place.
Meaning that there was no way in hell that I could ever be their girlfriend.
I had a wicked crush on the son my age. He had cornflower blue eyes and blonde hair that casually brushed his shoulders. It naturally feathered itself when he would brush it back with his fingers, which was often.
We all spent a decent amount of time together way back then. My mom and her friend would study together, so us kids would hang out. Because of this, I became pretty tight with Tony. (His real name because why the fuck not?)
We all went to Cedar Point one hot summer day, an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio that boasts some of the world’s best roller coasters. He and I were allowed to go off on our own for a while since we both loved to ride them.
The Gemini is a twin racing coaster, one red and one blue. We both decided that the blue one was the fastest and for some reason, there was barely a line for it that day. We rode the blue one over and over again, running with wild young abandon back into the line.
As we stood there waiting for at least the 10th time, I decided to throw caution to the wind and finally tell Tony how much I liked him. It seemed the perfect opportunity. We were both windblown, full of adrenaline and as happy as hogs in a mud puddle.
“I really like you, Tony,” I said, my heart beating a mile a minute.
He looked at me funny. “Yeah, you’re cool, Mer,” he replied.
“No, I mean more than just friends,” I offered hopefully.
His face went into a grimace. “No way, you’re too ugly.” Wow, tell me how you really feel, why don’t you?
In hindsight, I probably should have given him a knee to his nuts.
Instead, my 15-year-old heart broke into a million shards. I started to cry, damn it anyways.
“Listen, I didn’t mean that…we’re just good friends, is all. I’m sorry I said that.” If he was being sincere I was too shocked to register it.
The damage had been done. I turned around and started walking through the small crowd of people behind us. I had no interest in going on the ride again, especially with him. All I wanted to do was find my mom and go home so that I could hide in my room.
He didn’t chase after me. I didn’t expect him to. I suppose that he rode the blue coaster by himself because it was the fastest one.
I didn’t say a word the rest of the time that we were at the park. My mom asked me what was wrong but I wouldn’t say. Just a moody teenage girl. I was pretty kooky by that age anyways.
Tony acted perfectly normal like nothing had transpired between us.
This is actually the first time that I’ve ever told this story. I’m sure that you can understand why.
I got over it eventually but our friendship was never the same after that. Thankfully, we both got too old to hang out with our mothers so we rarely saw each other.
I still love roller coasters, but I haven’t ridden one in years. There is no better thrill than when you’re cresting that first hill, waiting for gravity to take over, as you plummet to the ground below.