The rest of Freshman Year
The rest of the year was a blur of firsts. First homecoming, where my middle school boyfriend asked me back out, first detention, for what I can’t recall, and first rejection by a boy I liked.
Connor started hanging around us more and more, usually dragging Caleb with him. He began making the rounds on my friends, hitting on them and turning them against each other, until they realized how stupid they were being. It felt like I was the only one immune to his charms. Secretly however, I liked him too but my self esteem was low so I never allowed myself to think anything other than he was just being nice when he’d flirt.
Monica claimed to be in love with Connor, and joined me in my slight crush on Caleb. My crush however was more so the need to give him something in his life to look forward to, and to help him get out of the trouble that seemed to follow him around. He was always getting in trouble with teachers, gaining a lot of detentions and suspensions.
Jenna and Melanie were constantly fighting over Connor, only to make up and ignore him for a few days before they fell back into the same routine. Jenna used more restraint towards him than Melanie ever showed around any guy. Of all of us, she was the only one with sexual experience at that time, and guys had actually deemed her easy. She always had dates, while Jenna and I still had girl nights at each others houses, very rarely even catching a guys attention.
Gabe was a different story however. He and Jenna dated in middle school, until he met Melanie, then he broke up with Jenna for her. From then on, he kept back and fourth between the two, claiming to love them both, and me as well, but I think that was more so because we’d known each other since we were in diapers, and our parents grew up together too. To be honest, he disgusted me, and still does, with his insane claims of love when he barely knows a girl, not to mention hes as sexist and racist as they come.
Connor and Caleb had a few other girl friends that we gradually came to like as the year went on, Natalie and Tonya. Tonya immediately hated Jenna and I, but ironically liked Melanie. It was weird because Melanie was the one who was sleeping with Connor, Jenna just had a crush on him and I was nothing more than a friend. Connor was always cheating on Tonya with Melanie and vice versa. Towards the end of the year however, we got on the same page and really became friends.
Natalie was an ex girlfriend of both Connor and Caleb. She claimed to hate them both but yet she stuck around with us. She never seemed to want to talk about her relationship with Caleb, and thinking back, I think if she would have talked about it then, it would have saved me a whole lot of heartache and bruises. It was almost as if she were afraid of him.
I don’t remember much else of that first year. My middle school boyfriend and his family moved away and we gradually lost contact. I didn’t think I’d miss him as much as I did. When I found him later on Facebook, he never wanted to talk to me much, and it hurts me to think that it may be my own fault. I talk to his brother more than him, and even that is very selected.
My English teacher of that year helped shape my love for Romeo and Juliet, as well as other classics. He reviled to the class one day that teaching was not his first choice, that he had originally set out for Hollywood to become an actor. Then he’d met his fiance and his plans changed. It was his influence that made me think that maybe I could write and be published some day. A dream that, years later, I realized is very rare, if not impossible for people who don’t have money to put into it.
The Choir teacher also helped me a lot. He allowed me an escape through singing. He was new to the school just as we were, so it was almost like we grew up those 4 years together. Towards our graduation, he teared up and told us he felt he should retire and graduate with us. We got on his nerves a lot and hassled him pretty much every day so it meant a lot that he actually liked us.
Of all the rest of the teachers I had through high school, I’d have to say those 2 helped me the most through the next 3 years I was to go through.
Second chapter of a true story by Bree Houseman.