11~ Whom (no names, if you prefer) did you love, who didn't love you back?
How did he NOT love me,
Let me count the ways...
Let's not, because this would be more than a blog. It would turn into a mini novel or a new series on HBO.
I'm not going to mention all of them, but the ones who definitely made an impact and in their own ways, influenced my attitude towards approaching love and relationships.
1. Fred: I first encountered him my freshman year of high school. His skin was smooth and the color of butterscotch. His eyes, a dark and striking contrast of mahogany. He was a refreshing change; he took pride in his appearance. Very suave. He wasn't trying to be a gangsta, thug, or act overly macho. He knew he looked good and oozed confidence on the point of arrogance.
All the girls wanted him. I found it comical how they threw themselves at him. I could tell they amused him; in the end, he wasn't going to give them the time of day.
But I couldn't blame them for wanting him because my face would get hot every time he was even in the vicinity, whether it was the hall, cafeteria, or outside.
One of my closest friends felt the same way. Her name was Amy, who coincidentally is engaged to the Ronnie I spoke about in my first Love Challenge entry. She would write about him all the time in letters to me. She was not as flingy as the other females, but she did make it known to him that she was interested.
Weeks went by. It ate at her that he didn't seem to respond to her advances. She decided to try a different approach. She asked me since I was good with feeling people out to try and interact with him...to feel if he was interested or not.
I was hesitant, but she was my closest friend at the time. I knew it would mean the world to her. I didn't tell her I was part of Fred's fan club as well; I figured I wouldn't be the type of female he would ever notice. I didn't want to make my goal obvious, either.
Opportunity knocked sooner rather than later. He was struggling in math; at the time, I was an after school volunteer for math and English. I was in a rush to get to one of my classes and accidentally bumped into Fred on my way there. He asked me if I was Amy's friend, and I told him I was.
"You're pretty smart at math, aren't you?"
I told him I was but wasn't sure why he would need it. He seemed pretty put together. He confessed his grades weren't so good and he needed a lot of help. I told him I would do the best I could.
The tutoring sessions were pleasure and torture. Pleasure because I got a chance to get to know him a little better. I got a chance to breathe in his cologne and listen to the range in his voice. I got a chance to question him every now and again about his love life.
I would report any inkling to Amy. She frowned when I told her he hadn't been specific as of yet if he had a girlfriend or not. To me, if he wasn't forward with the info, it meant he was involved. But during further tutoring sessions, I had to change my way of thinking. Fred seemed a bit guarded when it came to who he was dealing with.
"People gossip too much at this school, so I'm not going to give them anything to gossip about. Too much energy defending; too much energy proving."
I smiled; it was very smart strategy. I decided it was time for me to probe a little bit in regards to Amy; I asked how he felt about her, since he already knew her.
"She's cool people."
"But do you dig her?"
"Does she dig me?"
"Now, you're trying to play stupid," I told him. "She might not be flinging her body at you but she has given you signs."
He chuckled to himself.
"All right; you got me. But since you're her friend, you really expect me to tell you?"
"Why are you hesitant?"
"For one, you will probably go back and tell her, so my answer better be the right one. If it is yes, then you've played matchmaker; if it's no, you have to break a heart. Do you really want to be in that position?"
I really didn't want to be in the position, period.
"Tell you what," he propositioned, as he closed his math book. "I will tell you what you want to know if you promise not to tell her."
"That's not fair..."
"That's how it gotta go down if you really want to know..."
As I tried to formulate a loophole to tell Amy without telling Amy, I agreed, because I wanted to know the answer.
"She's cool people, but I'm not into her like that."
"See aren't you glad you didn't have to tell her that?"
He and I made our way out of the classroom. I was in front of him about to turn the doorknob. He closed his hand over mine, and I could feel him pressed against me.
"But I do know who I'm into; it doesn't take a math expert to guess who that is..." he whispered against my ears. He stepped in front of me then and walked away; I stood there for a few minutes...stunned, mostly.
Feeling pleased because he was feeling me, loving me; feeling messed up because he wasn't feeling Amy. In the end, I told Amy that he did have a girlfriend; I couldn't bring myself to let her know Fred just wasn't interested.
The tutoring sessions started to get a bit uncomfortable. Even know I had the knowledge Fred was into me, I would have daydreams about Fred and I being together, getting to know each other...having Harlequin romance like sex after he declared his undying love for me.
But those dreams got shattered when I slipped up and told him how I felt. He took it as an invitation to "get down." I told him I had not done that before; he told me, "I thought you were a good girl with a freaky side, not a prude!"
"Then what are you saying; that you don't love me?"
He laughed in my face and was like, "No, I don't love you, but I was hoping to get in those tight little panties of yours. Guess I was mistaken."
As my eyes filled with tears, he continued, "Thanks for all your help in math. I went from a D to a B; I couldn't have done it without you."
2. Andre: I met him my senior year of high school. I had been selected to be a debutante. I was originally not going to do it because of finances. I was focused on getting money together for my class ring, graduation, and college. However, the advisors of the club worked to get together money for me to participate, so I agreed.
He was one of the people chosen to be an escort, but he wasn't my escort. He was the escort to one of my classmates. My escort was someone I had known ever since elementary school; he and I are still cool to this day.
From the gate there was electricity, but not the kind you think. Andre took my quiet and reserve to be stuck up. I took his confidence and aloofness and equated it to his being a natural jackass.
Needless to say, he and I couldn't stand each other. And my classmate could barely stand him, either.
He and I didn't go to the same high school. Our high schools were bitter rivals, to be exact. He was a few years younger than me as well.
He couldn't stand me, but he would usually stop by where I worked. Would buy something little but stick around a little longer.
At first, it was just to bust my chops. But later, it was to actually talk. He discovered I wasn't really stuck up. I discovered he wasn't always a jack ass.
Chocolate skin, nice smile...well defined body. Athlete. And I'm not a huge fan of jocks, particularly football jocks. But I couldn't lie; he had it going on.
The things that happened occurred after T and I broke up the 2nd time, but before T and I tried things again for the 3rd time...so it was that short span. And then occured again just before I went to college.
Andre and I went out but he never wanted to call them dates. He would sing to me. He and I would have very heavy make out sessions. We were doing all the things people in relationships did; it never occurred to me to ask. As it got closer for me to go to college, I noticed he was becoming more and more distant. Not answering my calls, not being at his normal spot.
Finally I asked him what the deal was. He told me, "It's been fun, but you're going one way; I'm going another."
I hung up on him; he called back. I didn't speak. He was like, "Come on, Ma; don't be like that! What did you think this was?"
"You know what I thought it was. Do you think I'm the type of chic that just does this?"
"Then why did you approach me?"
"At first, just to get on your nerves. But later, as I got to know you, you were mad cool. I just liked being around you. Didn't think there was nothing wrong with what we were doing. But you want love and all that; I'm not that dude."
As it turns out, he did a big favor for me. He's now a parent of seven, and he still hasn't settled down yet.