After that night, we kept our conversation going through every form of social media we could find. We had a message thread going on Facebook, we had exchanged numbers and would text on an hourly basis and we would have the occasional banter on MySpace (just to let you know how long ago this whole thing happened). Needless to say, with all of these conversations going, it didn't take long before I got to know him. I learned about his outrageous family life, which included a former alcoholic father who had abandoned his family to join the Mormon church and start a new one. There was his crazy mom and her equally as insane boyfriend who were more obsessed with creating a beer garden than raising successful children. There was his sister, who I had already known since we were both flute players, and finally, there was him.
He was, and still is, a truly fascinating individual. Even back then, he had big dreams and plans on how to get there. He was smart, clever and witty and had a natural gift for conversation. He was able to ask me corny questions like what my biggest dreams and fears were while sounding unbelievably sincere and, in an uncharacteristic move, I actually told him. I'd be lying if I said I didn't start to like him almost right away. He made it almost impossible not to. I had expressed my interest to my closest friends but never actually intended to pursue anything.
At this point in time, I had just gotten over a year-long crush on a boy who, in retrospect, I'm glad I didn't date. I was trying to shake off a creepy stalker who kept trying to get me to come to his house under the pretense of teaching my calculus and I was witnessing enough relationship problems through my friends that I wasn't entirely sure I wanted any romantic entanglements. He had other ideas, though.
One night, about a month after we met, we were chatting on Facebook when a strange message came up from his sister. Now, his sister and I RARELY spoke, and never when we weren't in band. I was caught off guard but she was just warning me against dating that creepy stalker I mentioned before.
"He's a jerk and he's no good for anyone. I thought you should know because A told me you were interesting in him."
I replied (and I paraphrase):
"As usual, A got his story mixed up haha I had said that creepy stalker was interested in me and that I kept trying to shake him off. He doesn't seem like that nice of a guy and he comes on a bit too strong for my taste."
His sister: "As long as you're not interested in him. He and I had a thing back and I think he's gay, not to mention a jerk."
Sister: "Not to mention there's a million other, better guys out there to like. So do you like anyone?"
I froze. What a truly uncomfortable question. At this point, I was still talking to A and... (well, I'll just leave the exact conversation here for you to decipher. It's something I've looked back on who knows how many times and has been analyzed by an obscene number of people, all of whom are unable to discern what any of it really meant. Hopefully, you have better luck than all of us!)
"and you have to admit, the quote is true. can you think of anyone not taken or gay? yeah, that's what i thought. even the kid i like i sometimes wonder about... tsk tsk..."
"lol u make me smile
cept for the part of u calling me either an asshole...or gay...
i hate you for that
and for not getting a good nights sleep also
put that on the list"
"you make me smile too =]
and you're getting just as much sleep as i am so ha
i know you're not taken or gay but at the same time, you also don't seem the type of guy who would like a girl like me
so does that mean that only gay/taken men will ever like me?"
"so your saying im not gay but i dont like girls?
idk what i am now
i have to go re-examine my life"
"so are you saying what I think you're saying?"
"that I'm gay? no"
"wait, i am so confused
when in the world did i say you dont like girls?
i never said you were gay
my exact words were
"only gay or taken men will ever like me"
and then you went off on some sort of tangent and stopped making sense lol
so tell me what "so your saying im not gay but i dont like girls?" means"
"meaning why am i prohibited from liking you?
you said only gay and taken guys like you"
"are you saying you like me?"
"well even if i didnt have a small liking towards you id still question the gray area of your restrictions:P
im saying your an enjoyable person to be around
and that i like the time we spend together:)
but yes i do like you
i just dont know how much yet:)"
I know there are CLEAR flaws in this and, if it were to have happened now, the conversation would have gone in an ENTIRELY different direction but keep in mind that we were still in high school and brand-spanking-new to the dating game. He had only had one serious girlfriend before and I had only had strings of relationships that lasted 2 months a piece. Neither of us knew what to say and, if we did, we were too embarrassed to say it. The conversation I was having with his sister ended at the same time my conversation with him did. She left me with the advice- "Well, if you like someone, you should tell them. You should definitely tell them, even if they're too shy to tell you."
Maybe, if I had taken this advice, things would have been simpler. But, being a typical teenager, I didn't. And things just kept getting more and more complicated.