The Guys

I remember being only six years old,

When I met Spencer Blake.

He had a shag of brown hair and big blue eyes,

And he was the fastest runner of our grade.

Being so young, I didn't know what it was that I felt,

But everytime I saw him I smiled.

Everytime he looked at me or asked to borrow my crayons,

Those butterflies were dancing fervently in my stomach.

One day, he went down the slide on the school playground,

And I, attempting something I later learned was called flirting,

Decided to slide right down after him.

I landed right on top of him at the bottom.

It was a dream come true for me...

But he cried.

I got yelled at by the principal,

And that boy moved away months later.

I never saw him again, but I'll always remember Spencer Blake.

++++

Years passed, and I had become a very different little girl.

Now nine, I was friends with all the boys at school.

Tomboy, I labeled myself, wearing baggy clothes with grass-stained jeans,

And gotinto fights behind the portables where the teachers couldn't see.

That's how I met Travis Dow.

Travis was short and funny, certainly no athlete,

But he was witty, and if his insults ever failed him,

He could run like the wind away from the bigger boys.

He lives down the street from me, in an old farm house like mine.

He had brown hair, and the greenest eyes I'd ever seen.

At this age, I knew a word for what I felt; crush.

And I certainly felt crushed by it, for it consumed every waking thought I had.

I didn't know what I wanted to become of it, children don't understand intimacy.

But I wanted him somehow.

Feeling brave one autumn afternoon, during recess,

I decided to say it aloud.

"I like you, Travis."

His answer sent my heart to the stars,

"I like you, too."

But then my daddy was baling hay in their field one afternoon,

And saw something growing next to their house;

Marijuana.

At the time, I didn't know what that was.

But Daddy told me he didn't want me near Travis, and wouldn't let me invite him over.

I told Travis what daddy had said.

And then he moved away a few months later.

I never saw him again, but I will always remember Travis Dow.

+++

We accelerate several more years, to the age of thirteen,

Boys like Crosby, Joel, and Darryl momentary beats in my chest.

Not worth mentioning; junior high boys were the cruelest.

But then there was Jordan Vandjelovic;

Sandy blonde hair, blue eyes, and abs!

He won all the ribbons at track, and he was funny;

The perfect package.

He and I were in the same class, and took the same schoolbus home each day.

I knew the word now, but wasn't sure that this was the word for how I felt. They said it was love.

No, I was still in the age of crush.

But I knew more about what I wanted. I wanted to hold hands with him and share a slow dance,

Maybe even kiss him if it wasn't so gross.

But I never got my hand or my dance.

Because he found out how I felt,

And apparently... I wasn't good enough.

One afternoon, on the school bus, he turned to me;

Blue eyes all shiny and deep,

And he laughed in my face, and stood up.

"You have no chance with me," he said,

And the other kids laughed.

For the first time, I cried over a boy that day.

I thought my heart was broken.

Turns out my esteem was just scarred.

After that day, I despised him;

But I will never forget Jordan Vandjelovic.

+++

Then highschool came that very next year,

And the summer had transformed me;

My chest was larger, my body more defined and shapely,

Maybe still a bit chubby, but I thought I looked good.

I hoped I would wow all the boys at school, and I was ready to meet some older, more mature athletes and jokers.

But on that first day, I was just concentrating on not getting lost.

And that's how I met Clarke Rieck.

He was tall and slim, with short, light-brown hair, and blue eyes!

He had glasses, but they didn't hinder his beautifully-sculpted face or physique.

I saw him walking down the stairs, and I thought he was a junior; definately older than me.

Then I saw him in three of my classes, and realized he was my age!

Through some miracle of fate, we started talking;

I got to know him, and he got to know me.

We didn't have a whole lot in common, but he was a football player, and I went and watched one of his games.

He needed help in class sometimes, and we often paired together.

I stayed friends with him all year long.

I even went to his house, taking my best friend at the time with me,

We watched scary movies, but I was too nervous to make a move;

I had my friend sit between us on the couch.

Towards the end of the year, we had a serious talk;

Over the internet, no less.

He said he knew how I felt about him,

Which, at that time, I seriously thought was that famous love.

And he admitted he liked me, too.

I was sure things were set, and I'd be holding hands and slow dancing in minutes.

But, he was Christian, and took his faith seriously.

His family didn't want him dating until he was sixteen.

He was fifteen.

I only completely lost hope when he started talking to Erika;

Prettier, smarter, and more bubbly.

I gave up on him,

But I will always remember Clarke Rieck.

+++

Only months later, my life was very different.

I had changed from the preppy wanna-be,

And settled into an easier, low-maintenance lifestyle.

I had converted into a nerd.

Not the smart kind, but the kind that liked fantasy novels and making web sites about nothing imparticular.

I joined a chatting, role-playing community.

That's where I met HIM,

Nicholas Fernandez.

Or as I first new him by his chat-handle, Ryosho.

We sparred with katanas and swords by day,

And danced under cyber stars at night,

Playing people we wished we really were.

Eventually, we stopped playing pretend,

And took off the masks and became ourselves.

I learned that beyond the confident and charismatic handle, he was a troubled and angry young man,

With a lot of aggression, a lot of baggage...

He was a boxer for a brief period, but only to deal with the rage.

Before meeting me, he bought and sold all types of drugs,

and had been smoking since he was thirteen.

Who was this bad, bad guy?

Had he not been so open, and so charming,

I would've been far more terrified.

But he thought I was beautiful, in pictures and on webcam.

And he thought that all those other guys had no idea what they had missed out on.

These other guys, who were nothing like him; perfect little golden boys,

Who could run like the wind or kick a ball, but were too arrogant to see beyond themselves.

He couldn't run fast, he was no athlete.

He didn't have sculpted abs or ocean-blue eyes.

He didn't hold faith above all else, though he did recognize a God;

A God that brought me into his life.

Finally, I called him on a payphone,

During my highschool halloween dance.

The moment I heard his voice,

Something in me moved.

And I knew that my life, as I knew it, was over.

Then he said he loved me.

And without even a moment's hesitation,

Without even second-guessing this feeling,

So similar to crushes and giggling and desiring something unknown,

I said... "I love you, too."

After that night, we faced many trials.

The distance, the time, the lies that had to be undone.

I had to admit that I doubted myself, that I felt like I wasn't enough for him.

He had to admit that he wasn't actually born in Italy, and that he had been arrested for possession while I was seeing a musical in Toronto.

We had to admit to fear, to impatience, to true and undeniable agony.

But we always admitted that we loved eachother too much to let anything stop us.

I traveled to Ohio, a year and four months after that payphone call.

My father drove me 350 miles to see the guy.

And see him, I did, for the first time;

Of course I had seen pictures and lagging webcam moments,

But nothing like the beauty that took hold of me in that Holiday Inn lobby.

Black hair softer than anything I'd ever touched,

Brown eyes that pierced mine and seemed to see my very soul.

I finally got to hold hands with someone who gave me butterflies,

And it fit perfectly.

In that weekend, we explored eachother, inside and out.

We gave it our all and didn't let doubt or half-broken hearts get in our way.

We showed God what a beautiful thing he had brought together.

We showed ourselves that our love could do anything.

It's nearly three years after that life-altering payphone minute.

I'm in Ohio, enjoying a few summer weeks of love with him.

We're simply walking through the mall, and I'm watching him.

His slow gait that I have to slow down to keep at pace with.

His SouthPole shirt and pants that hang down off his ass.

Yes, the man of my dreams is a G, a thug;

Not a prep like Jordan, a class clown like Travis,

or a jock like Clarke;

The last thing I ever imagined being with.

He's got his chain on,

and his stud in his right ear.

And believe it or not, it's all sexy to me.

And he smells so good,

And he's smiling.

He's happy, I'm happy; we did that for eachother.

So even though Spencer, Travis, Jordan and Clarke

Have all defined me in some way,

Nicholas Fernandez is the one I won't have to 'remember',

Because he'll always be there.

Of all those guys,

This one is mine.

The End

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