In the eighth grade, I broke a boy’s heart.
Tom and I met in history, Mr. Miller’s class. He sat behind me and we would chat, because I talked to everyone (my list of detentions can attest to this fact; I think I got a detention every day for talking in class). In junior high, we would “go out” with people, which only meant that you walked in the hallways together and occasionally had lunch with them. We didn’t go anywhere, because we couldn’t drive. Anyway, Tom and I got to be pretty good friends, and one day he asked me to go out with him. I didn’t really like him in that way, but I didn’t know what to say, so I agreed. We hung out a couple times at his house, and I think we went to the mall once. He bought me a necklace for my birthday, from Claire’s. It was a rose in a heart. I still didn’t really have any feelings for him, but he was really nice and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.
The big thing at our school was the end of the year eighth grade dance. It was THE thing to talk about, plan for, who is going with who, what are you wearing…it was a hot topic for everyone. If you were going out with somebody, you would be going to the dance with them, no question about it. So of course I was going to have to go with Tom. The problem was that I had a crush on another boy. And he and Tom were friends, so we all ended up going together. I did have a good time at the dance but by this time my crush on the other boy was out of control. I knew that I was going to have to come clean with Tom.
I don’t know why I picked the day that I did, call it inexperience or just plain mean, but I decided to tell him at his birthday party. I know, you guys! I know, looking back at it that this is horrible! Anyway, it was at a local skating rink and I remember I pulled Tom aside and told him very seriously that I didn’t feel the same way about him that he felt about me, and that I thought we should just be friends. He was crushed. He immediately went outside and smoked a cigarette, something that I HIGHLY frowned upon, and which was his way of saying a big Screw you to me. He told me that I had broken his heart. I felt awful.
I did end up going out with the other boy once, and found him to be a huge bore. I didn’t really talk to Tom after that, we ran in different circles in high school. But every so often he would send me an imploring look, or let it be known that he still had feelings for me. I’m pretty sure I was his first love, and I feel bad that he wasn’t mine.
Today Tom found me on Facebook, and we ended up having a really nice conversation. He lives in a different state and has a daughter, so we talked about our kids and our lives now. It’s funny, to talk to someone that knew me when I was so young and so different. So many things have changed and my life is so different than what I had planned. It was really good to talk with him and I hope we stay in touch. And if he ever finds this blog, Tom, thank you for being so nice to me, and I’m sorry I broke your heart all those years ago.