Imagine from: http://dontdatethatdude.files.wordpress.c
There’s one part if teen angst we probably all remember will acrid clarity: heartbreak. Whether it was unrequited love or the pain of having your heart stomped to pieces and ground into the sidewalk cracks, we’ve all been there. I have one of each, but the second story is far more interesting. (First story: My first high school crush – who I drooled over for about six months – turned out to be gay and I was the only one who couldn't see it coming. The end.)
After getting over crush #1, I fell hard for a junior (I was but a lowly freshman). To protect the names of the not-so-innocent, we’ll call him Donny. Donny was smart, funny, talented, marginally athletic, and liked Classic Rock. We dated for the next two years until he graduated. He told me he’d love me forever and I used to daydream in French class about marrying him in a white gown and carrying red roses. Blood and cream would be my colors. What the hell was wrong with me? Anyway…
When Donny went off to college, we “agreed” to see other people. My first “date” after that was with a guy who had been one of Donny’s friends. We’ll call him Mark. While on this most-platonic of dates ('cause it turns out Mark felt weird about taking out his friend's quasi-girlfriend), Mark lets it slip that Donny wasn’t a model boyfriend one night at a party he attended while I was out of town. Now, I wasn’t necessary shocked by this information since I’d always been jealous of the way this one girl acted around him. But I still called him and left him a teasing message on his dorm answering machine saying I thought he was scum. (He, he, I had such a mature sense of humor. Clever, witty, subtle. That's me.)
He calls me back around – oh, must have been roughly 2 am – and proceeds to apologize for cheating on me with some totally different girl.
“OMG! [Except back then I would've actually said the words "Oh my God" because we didn't speak in abbreviations.] That’s not even who I was talking about."
“I know," he says. "Let me finish."
He then proceeds to tell me about the SIX different girls he cheated on me with during the time we were together in high school. SIX!!! Tiger Woods had nothing on Donny (except Tiger actually picked attractive girls, where Donny did not, which I considered an even bigger insult.)
The thing I remember most about the next morning is having eyes so red and puffy that my history teacher asked me if I was okay. Just let me sink down farther in my chair and die of embarrassment.
In retrospect, the truly embarrassing part is that I took him back. It was like his confession rekindled his interest in me and we started exclusively dating again. Except for girl number SEVEN. I couldn’t expect him not to have just one more little relapse, right? So what if she was my friend and debate partner? And I was freakin' on my way to visit him when it happened?
Boy – I’m glad I typed this because it reminds me just how naive and love-struck teens are. And yet, it was the most real feelings I'd ever had for someone not related to me by blood. The type of infatuation that threatens to drag you down into a whirlpool if anything goes wrong. That's the emotion we need to tap into as YA authors!
So that's me and my pathetic, deluded, naive, love-struck, forgiving heart. What about you? What's your heartbreak story? Did anyone else think their first love would last forever?