Stories about a girl

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7th grade dance

We had been going out for a week, although we hadn’t actually gone anywhere.

We had agreed to meet at the school dance, which was to be held in the gym, that Friday. I don’t remember what I wore that night, other than a liberal amount of English Leather, and I can’t remember what she wore either.

Truth be told, we didn’t see much of each other at the dance. I talked with my friends, most likely about the most recent episode of ALF, and she was off with her friends debating whether or not she wanted to go out with me anymore.

She wasn’t choosing someone else over me - she just didn’t want to be tied down at all. There was school to think of and band. Although we only danced once that night, and it might have been to Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” we ended on friendly terms, as far as I remember, and we still tried to launch a middle school newspaper (to no avail).

Prom 1991

In my sophomore year of high school, I had been invited to prom by a red-headed senior, continuing my trend of being friendly with girls who were upperclassmen. I got the O.K. from my folks to go and to spend the night at a chaperoned post-prom party at a friend’s house.

This was not the type of post-prom party that makes the newspapers for its lewd and lascivious activities today, but there was a game of truth and dare that evening. I got dared to kiss the younger sister of the party’s host.

Early that morning, while the streets were still dark and lit by the orange glow of streetlights, I kissed the girl. One kiss grew into a few more and then we went back down to the party to fall asleep in front of the television. The girl told me later they were her first kisses.

March 18, 2000

I was 25 years old, well-employed at a local newspaper in Georgia and partying in New York City with a few of my colleagues. I had arranged a reunion of sorts with a few high school friends of mine - one who shared my love of jumping into quarries and blasting classic rock - and one I had started talking to via this amazing new technology called instant messaging. She and I also had shared a love of journalism in middle school and high school.

The evening of our reunion was a bit rainy, but we didn’t have too far to walk in between stops. There was dinner at a Thai restaurant, heavily recommended by my now very yuppie friend who lived across the river in Hoboken, followed by a show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (per my request).

Afterwards, our New York City friend took us to a party just outside the NYU campus where he mingled with the people he knew and my old newspaper pal and I reacquainted ourselves. She wore a soft, fuzzy top that felt amazing as I casually brushed up against it. We talked about how good it had been to talk to each other again as we shared a few adult beverages. The night wore on and we started to stand closer and closer, soon moving from the cramped quarters of the party to the hall outside.

We kissed.

Eventually, although we were in the city that never sleeps, it was time to turn in for the night. The cab pulled up to the apartment building where I was staying and I said my goodbyes. I went up to the apartment and sat out on the balcony watching the sky lighten and the red tail lights of the cars on the street move their way up the street.

I didn’t know where things would go with this girl and I. She still lived in Massachusetts and I was living in Georgia. I was committed to trying a long distance romance, but I knew the odds were against us.

Shows what I know, we have been married six and a half years and are expecting our second child in March.

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