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      A Long Time to Decide

     


As a young woman in today's society, love can be a confusing thing. Talking to young men has informed me that they often find themselves thinking the same thing. It is the nature of our age group to latch on to somebody with what we think is true love, but is often re-labelled by us at some point as a mere superficial crush. So how does one identify love when one is surrounded by peers dating for bad reasons and doing dumb things in their false, childish, immature "relationships"?

 

I have always been of the opinion that a lengthy partnership is not synonymous with a loving, understanding, deep partnership filled with a true knowledge of your relationship counterpart. I myself have enjoyed many superficial relationships where we cared for each other on the level of a crush, enjoyed each others' presence, and were attracted to each other. We didn't know all that much about each other, and I-love-yous were frequent and mostly meaningless. I, for one, was tired of it.

 

In my grade 5 year I became obsessively infatuated with a boy in my class. I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread and saw a perfect future together. I had this ridiculous obsession all through the rest of elementary school, occasionally interspersed with brief crushes on other boys.

In my grade 8 year I found myself the object of this same kind of affection, though not from the boy I had doted on and fawned over for the past 3 years. This boy with an interest in me had been my somewhat friend/acquaintance since the first grade offered at the school, which was grade 4. The school was small and selective, an arts school that carried out auditions to determine placement of potential students. Each grade had a maximum of 56 students. You can imagine, therefore, the kind of competition for the opposite sex that was present (especially since there was about 3 times the amount of girls than boys, on average). "Relationships" were formed in grades as early as 4, and quite a few lasted until grade 8.

 

I thought it was ridiculous.

 

The guy that liked me ended up travelling to his mother's parents' home country of Italy, prior to my knowledge of his feelings for me. This was about 3 or 4 months into school, very early November or December. He returned from Italy with a few gifts for friends, and, to my genuine surprise, a beautiful necklace for me. I did not catch on for a bit.

 

We ended up boyfriend and girlfriend, though I can't for the life of me remember how. It probably involved a note or friends' interference or something childish... This lasted for about a day and a half before I realized I couldn't reconcile dating  this boy in whom I had no interest, all the while being still obsessed with the loser, jackass of the boy that I had been drooling over since the age of 10. He was an asshole in every way, but that's a completely different story. He finally appeared in my eyes the same way he actually was (unintelligent, perverted and an all-around lout) a few months after my dumping the necklace bringer, who had since gotten over me and liked another girl.

 

I'd missed my chance, unfortunately, with a nice, funny, intelligent, talented boy with whom I actually had things in common. So began my crush that lasted until graduation. He definitely was not interested, though our somewhat-friendship continued.

 

During our yearbook signing there was much talk from girls who insisted we were perfect for each other (all to cheer me up, I'm sure). One even said of the girl he liked, but never dated, "So what? They barely have a past, but YOU two have a FUTURE!" I still giggle to this day about her strange conviction of this fact, which is probably the reason I remember it word for word.

 

I graduated. Cue the long boring summer during which I met a boy on whom I had a giant crush for the first 8 or 9 months of grade nine, even though he became my best friend and came out as gay. He is 2 months older than me, though that spans an entire grade, and our friendship is very open and strange. That, too, is a different story.

 

The "necklace boy" is not gone from THIS story, though. The last couple of months of grade nine, the ensuing summer, and the first few months of the beginning of grade ten have been filled with awareness of him, desire for him and a longing to get a second chance even though I threw my first away. He was one of 5 people that continued from our small arts school to our current high school, city- and even world-renowned for its art programs and a famous alumnus or two. He remains in my circle of friends and is even a member of a choir I attend out-of-city. I know his mom (and she knows mine), and she is an absolutely lovely woman.

I sincerely hope I get a chance to experience love with him, possibly (this is something I couldn't believe I would think about- not this young) even be inducted into his adorable little family.

 

Oh, well. There's lots of time for it to happen, if it is supposed to. I'm willing to work for it.

Even if it's taken me a long time to decide.

 

 

(PS. The necklace was stolen by some girl who wanted to try it on for a bit during a dance. I think she ended up stealing some of my eyeshadow, too, for that matter. It was stolen the day I broke up with him, if I remember correctly. I'm sure he's forgtten about it now, but back then he probably thought I'd burned it or something.)

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