The High School Sweetheart


Ah. Young love.

I was 16 going on 17. I knew I was naive.

He was 17 going on 18. He took care of me.

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… Sound vaguely familiar?

We were about as right for each other as Leisl and Rolf too because even though they had to face the Nazis and the nuns, The High School Sweetheart and I instead spent our tumultuous three year relationship dealing with the fallout from my parents’ NASTY divorce, which usually took the form of me being a heinous bitch.

I still cringe when I think about the ways that I walked all over this boy who tried to love the broken mess that I was to the best of a 17-20 year old’s ability. About 6 months after we started dating, I knew it wasn’t right. He was a small town guy who wanted to spend the rest of his life in our home town, drinking beer, and raising a family which I would like to go on the record that there is NOTHING wrong with that. Except that the thought of that as my future made me die a little inside. So instead of letting go of what I knew was wrong for me, I played with him much the way a cat plays with a mouse that it knows it’s a about to eat but wants to fuck with a little first.

That’s not entirely fair. Imagine that the cat started out in love with the mouse and truly wanted to want to fall back in love with the mouse and that the cat had a lot of well-earned emotional issues from years of watching the daddy cat treat the mommy cat like shit.

Yeah. That’s better.

My mom had a friend whose daughter dated him a few years after we broke up. When she found out that I was his previous girlfriend, she told my mom “Wow, that’s HER? She really screwed him up.”

Sometimes I think about contacting him to apologize, but he’s now married with kids and truthfully I hope I don’t even cross his mind. For his sake, I hope he’s done a better job of forgiving me than I’ve done of forgiving myself.