one hundred chapters

of love and other things

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#6 – The Ex-Boyfriend, pt. I

The Ex-Boyfriend is, despite my strong attempts to not make it seem like it, a very touchy subject for me. Every time I mention him, I make it seem as though he has no importance to me whatsoever, but the truth is … he does.

I met the Ex-Boyfriend at the end of June 2008, through MSN Messenger. It was a time when I checked out my MSN friend requests on hi5 (yeah ..) and accepted or refused them based on whether they were cute and geographically close (or if, you know, I actually knew who they were). So, when his request came along and I realized that he lived in the same town I did, and didn’t look half bad, I obviously accepted.

He started talking to me right away, and after about one or two hours of continued conversation, he asked for my number. At the time, I was still testing the waters with the Clarinet Player, plus he was being incredibly annoying, so I simply gave him my number hoping he would stop talking and never remember me again. That didn’t happen.

Long story short: my best friend warned me against him, saying he was a ‘womanizer’; during the Summer of 2008, we exchanged several text messages and agreed to meet for coffee or ice cream several times, but I always ended up cancelling on him, giving fake excuses like ‘I’m going to the next town over with my parents’.

A couple of really marking events during that Summer were: once, I did go to the next town over with my parents (we lived there for almost 13 years) and, coincidence of all coincidences, he was spending a week there with his aunt and uncle. I was having dinner at a pizzeria near my former home with my parents when he texted me, asking if I was in that same town and neighbourhood, because he thought he saw a girl with hair like mine (it was really blonde, at the time, for some reason). I said that yes, I was, and that’s when he told me he was spending the week there, and how close his aunt’s house was to the pizzeria. When we left the pizzeria, he leaned over on his aunt’s balcony just to see me, and we waved at each other. It might seem like a small thing, but my heart beat really fast that day (let’s highlight the fact that, every day, I adamantly insisted that I wasn’t interested in him at all, nor would I ever be).

The second one happened near the end of August. There was a sort of festival going on in my town, called the ‘Youth Week’ (despite the fact that it was really only a weekend). During one of the nights, my philharmonic band was going to be performing, and he … went to see it. After the concert, I remember I was standing near the stage with a couple of my band mates, when he texted me saying he was nearby. I looked around (you know when you’ve only seen someone a couple of times and you’re not sure you’ll remember them?), trying to see if I recognized them, when suddenly I looked in front of me … and there he was, laughing cutely at me, with his mobile phone in hand. I smiled back at him, but we still didn’t talk.

The first time we ever had a conversation in person (and, you know, not through texting or MSN), was after classes started again. I was starting high school, as a 10th grader, and he was an 11th grader. We’d had a huge fight and stopped talking the day before he went on a week-long trip to Paris, because I’d found out he was texting his ex-girlfriend saying he wanted to get back together with her. I thought it was really wrong of him to constantly say he was interested in me and flirt with me all the time, when the entire time he just wanted to get back together with her.

After he returned from Paris, I texted him, apologizing to him for overreacting (it really was none of my business), and he made up this lame excuse, saying he just wanted to see if she’d cheat on her current boyfriend to see how bad she was. Whatever. I decided to look past it and all was good between us. And so, we decided to meet up on the next Wednesday afternoon (it’s common practice for no one to have classes on Wednesday afternoons in our town). It was the first time we ever had a personal conversation, and it was also the day we shared our first kiss (and make-out. It was obvious we were meeting up to make out, right?). As weird as it sounds, I never did forget the date: September 24th, 2008.


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#3 – The ‘Cuban’

The ‘Cuban’ was a meaningless (but kind of necessary at the same time) chapter of my life. You see, I was 14 years old and in my 9th grade. All of my friends were getting boyfriends and having their first kiss, they texted boys back and forth all the time, and I was just there, single and text-less. So, when I was sitting on the steps of my school one afternoon with my best friend and this new foreign student walked by and stared at me the entire time, I decided to take action.

I was 14, though, so when I say ‘take action’, I mean that people started spreading the word ‘oh, I hear Cuban is interested in Isis’ ‘I think she’s interested too’, blah blah, until it reached his ears. It all happened very fast, actually. He asked me to ‘take a walk around the school’ with him (unfortunately, it was how we all spent all of our recesses), told me he liked me, and kissed me.

My first kiss was nothing wonderful and romantic. It was just that, a kiss. I was inexperienced, so I basically just did whatever he did and prayed to God it was okay. It started open-mouthed right away, and then he just got his tongue in the mess and I just thought ‘to hell with it …’

We became boyfriend and girlfriend after that, but the relationship only lasted three or four months, until I graduated middle school and went to my 10th grade (first year of high school), leaving him behind. Oh right, did I mention he was one year younger than me, therefore in his 8th grade? Right. Also, I didn’t get a texting partner at all, because he didn’t even have a cellphone. I’m not sure he has one right now, actually.

During those three/four months, though, we spent many recesses holding hands and walking together, kissing but not really making out (14 year old me didn’t know the difference and thought kissing for a long time was the same thing as making out), and smoking together. Ahh, the joys of dating someone who also smokes.

In any case, on the last day of 9th grade exams, we had a talk and decided to break up, because the distance would be too big (I’m not even lying when I say our high school is 2 streets down from our middle school) and I’d find a high school guy to be interested in. This ended up being very true, actually. But, like all other stories, that is a story for another time.

As he told me that we had to break up, I got a little teary-eyed, but didn’t cry. Instead, I smiled at him, wished him good luck with everything, and went to meet my friends at the bar, where I cried about 5 tears, had a soda, a cigarette, and moved on to greener (or not, really) pastures.

‘Cuban’, although meaningless, marked the start of my dating life. And boy, what a life it has been! I can’t wait to tell you about it.

 Until next time,