The amount of cringe that overwhelms my soul when I recount that dreadful day is nothing short of utterly painful. The absolute horror of being a human train wreck while being comical looking back, can also be incredibly embarrassing.
It is one of the singular moments that really makes me shine as a person, a great window into my forever socially unacceptable behaviors induced by anxiety.
When I was twelve, I wasn’t the prettiest or the most athletic, to be frank I did little more than read, eat, draw and play Pokemon for hours on end. I ended up joining a game club after school, where we literally ate snacks and played card games; this was where I belonged. These were my people.
Eventually, I met a kid who shared the same love of video gaming and even showed me a neat card based games that I can’t for the life of me recall the names of. His name was J and he was the coolest dude ever. We would always sit together and we became super tight, even during regular school hours.
Until shit got weird, that is. Ah yes, how beautifully naive was my brain during middle school, constantly I was stuck in my own land of imagination and didn’t have time for pesky things like crushes and boys. (My Totodile wasn’t gonna evolve itself). So naturally it took quite awhile after the hang-outs and presents that this wasn’t just the perfect friendship I took it as, there were…ulterior motives.
But dear lord I ended up realizing it.
Along with being super uninterested in anything “relationship” wise, I was just as equally terrified of being mean to someone.
I don’t do well with other people being upset. I just sort of awkwardly tap you on the back and occasionally embrace in a hug only to be praying you let go right away.
During one of the final days of our club meeting, (end of the school year), we sat next to one another watching some movie. I was super into the flick and barely noticed J nervously staring at me.
I stopped eating my popcorn as I felt someone staring at me, unfortunately I found myself trapped in a stare-off that I couldn’t bear to break.
Oh hell to the no.
The hand holding lasted maybe an entirety of two minutes. I tried to ignore the screams attempting to force their way out of my mouth and my heart that was trying to explode.
I had to get out of there.
Pardoning myself from the movie I informed him I needed to simply run to the bathroom real quick.
And I ran down the hall.
And I ran.
But I didn’t stop running.
I left my popcorn and my “boyfriend” there as I sprinted out the empty halls, down a staircase, across the street and all the way home.