Bearcat (n): 1) an arboreal civet with a long prehensile tail; 2) (informal) a hot-blooded or fiery girl; 3) a group of lady comedians from Boston
Susie bought me a journal on my 13th Birthday. I got the gift right before we started rehearsals for the Spring musical, and while you were never a 13 year old girl, I’m sure you can understand the undying need to write down every feeling in your heart, because if you don’t, it feels like it’s just going to break and then you would have nothing to give the boy you love.
We would meet at the Cole center on Saturday mornings for rehearsals and I remember everything about the first time I saw you. Beyond being taken in by your soul crushing blue eyes*, I love your style. You wore a scully cap, ringed t-shirt with an alien head on it, Jenco jeans, and vans. I know all of this because when I got home that afternoon I wrote everything down in my journal with the aid of lovingly hand drawn pictures of that very outfit.
My love for you was certainly controversial, not only were you a grade younger than me, had an income that was clearly above my single mom’s, but you went to another school. My life was tortured through the week knowing if I had just lived a little ways down the road in our town I would see those perfect cheeks not yet ruined by puberty. Plus I wouldn’t have to deal with Mrs. M my crazy 8th grade English teacher who cried in class.
Over the weeks of sharing the stage we slowly got to know each other. Perhaps you would remember it differently as I knew you far better. That journal was practically falling apart by our 4th week together. I had memorized your phone number (I still know it to this day: 651- XX62). Vanessa and I would sit at the kitchen table after school and we would call and hang up – just to hear your voice. Stalking was much easier before caller ID. I can fully admit it: I stalked you. Sometimes we would walk bye your house, hiding in neighbors bushes.
One several pages of that Journal just had the words I <3 XXXXX written 100 times, because I thought if I wrote it enough it would come true.
I would love to say that something came of my love for you. We started to hang out and go to parties together where you would sometimes touch me. Most of the time it was accidental – a brush of the shoulder or an awkward forced hug good night.
The summer going into 9th grade I saw you often, we shared the same friends and went to the same events – but there was one night that to this day I will never forget.
Sammy invited Genevieve and I over his house, and to my surprise, you were there too. Sammy and Gen had mutual feelings for each other, though nothing really came of that either – with the exception of a few kisses and home schooling on Sammy’s part getting in the way.
That night I remember thinking I needed to stop smiling so much because it was beginning to hurt. Sammy suggested we all go on a walk around the farm behind his house together, the sun was setting, it was warm and I felt like writing your name over and over again was truly worth it – I had wished you into loving me
We walked outside and you offered me your arm – Gods, you were such a gentleman! We laughed and stayed together as on little double date went on, except when you and Sam told us to wait bye the fence while you too ran off for a moment.
Gen and I giggled with hormones. We whispered back and fourth how cool this was. We acted like the popular girls we weren’t. Gen and I held hands wishing on every star that the night wouldn’t end.
When you came back, you were both holding something behind your back so we couldn’t see what you had. You picked us flowers. Those were the first flowers I ever received from a boy. We walked back to Sam’s and sooner rather than later one of our moms picked us up. That was the first, last, and only date we ever went on.
I went into high school still unkissed and unloved by you.
Yours was a classic case of many boys that I would think I loved: I was hardly confident, and to be honest and fair, my friends were far prettier than I am. I think through our non existent courtship you had a crush on every one of my girlfriends. This is not me as a 29 year old being down on myself. If this had all happened today I would have slept with you and left you for dead by now – well at least get drunk enough to tell you how I feel and make out in my car.
I saw you sometime last year, God, you still look the same. Even after all these years I wanted to immediately go home and write down what you were wearing. After talking to you all of those old feelings faded, and I hate to break it to myself- never mind you – but you’ve kind of turned into an ass. So it goes.
So, I write you all these things, because unlike other real relationships I’ve had – ours wasn’t real and you couldn’t possibly know these things. Nothing ever happened so no blame or messy break up can be recounted. Instead, I can only tell you how much I loved you (and I truly believe that I did love you) as much as the 13 year old version of myself could love anyone.
Here’s to a journal that recorded every nothing we ever had and remembering every outfit you ever wore.
*Direct quote from the journal