I was driving home from Edmonton and as I pulled up to my house, I had six guys waiting for me to come home. At least two of those were my cousins, but still, I was thrilled that they were there. They carried my luggage and promised to take me to the movies that night. We were going to ride in my cousin's Volkswagen Beetle. Which meant, I was sitting on someone's lap. And at the end of the night, as I peeled myself off of Jack's lap, he called to me saying, “Call me tomorrow and we'll walk to the school together to pick up our schedules.”
I did a double-take. Had Jack just said that to me? I had been flirting with him for so long I had forgotten when I started. He had a girlfriend.
“Okay,” I said and I did call him the next day.
The next three days were a bit of a whirlwind as it is kind of fun to have a relationship with a guy who lives close by. It was also fun because he was friends with my brother, Hugh, and I always liked it when our social lives intersected.
Suddenly, in those last days of summer, before school began, I realized that Jack was going to break up with his girlfriend for me. Her getting dumped did not trouble my moral compass. I have a very hazy view of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, in that I think it is completely impossible for your boyfriend or girlfriend to cheat on you because you don't have a real relationship with them. By definition, that relationship is only a trial, and as we were teenagers, it was a trial likely to fail.
But I started thinking about what would happen if I started to date Jack and it immediately got terrifying. He lived a little over a block from my house. If I was his girlfriend, I'd see him all the time. I didn't like that. That was one of the best parts of dating a guy from a different town. You got a bit of space. If he was a block and a half away, would I ever get any time to myself? Not only that, but what if he came over, and I said I needed a day off? I just knew that he would then flip the situation on its ear and say he was actually there to see Hugh, and then he'd just slip over to my room and I thought Hugh would not take my side. Then I thought about all the things about me that had made Jeremy unhappy and I felt certain Jack would feel the same way. He'd want a physical relationship and if I resisted, what would happen? He would say awful things about me. I'd heard him say that sort of thing about other girls before. It felt like a sure thing. And what if I didn't resist? I thought I'd get pregnant, and the idea solidified my decision.
I phoned Jack up and told him that I didn't want him to break up with his girlfriend over me.
He said, “That has nothing to do with you. I was going to do it anyway.”
I answered, “Fine, but even if you break up with her, I'm not going to date you.”
He sounded lazy. “Why did you have to call me to tell me this, Stephanie? You could have told me in person. We were going to see each other today anyway.”
And I felt that oppression of never being alone. “I did need to tell you over the phone, so you understand how I feel before we see each other today.”
“Right,” he replied.
He was really cool about my decision as long as I didn't have a boyfriend. As long as I was a single lady, kicking it up, he was fine. I even went on a date with him after this story, and he was cool... until I got a boyfriend.
About the Creator
I write novels like I am part-printer, part book factory, and a little girl running away with a balloon. I'm here as an experiment and I'm unsure if this is a place where I can fit in. We'll see.