All of this happened in March. In December and January, he and I joked around as we walked out to the parking lot. I once tackled him and we fell into the snow laughing. His brother looked out the window wondering where we went. In March, the early part, I recall an awkward moment when I asked Dan to kiss me, and right at the beginning, I pulled back saying that I had forgotten how to kiss. Keep in mind, the encounter with Steve was only months before that. Kissing is not like piano, you can’t just forget without practicing, right?
April rolled around, and with it, my birthday. I had insisted that he should not get me anything. Then, my week had gone horribly for reasons so petty that I fail to remember them now. So, I did what most girls do, and vented my frustration out on him. My own insecurities and doubts pushed him away from me, and I stopped talking to him…for a day.
The following afternoon, I found his present in my car. He must have known that I never locked my car (since the lock mechanism was messed up). There were two calendars with Cats on various Greek islands with a post it telling me that hopefully, this would make me smile…and it did since it proved that he did know me well since I often expressed my love for the Greek islands as well as my affection towards cats despite being allergic to them.
Then thing seemed as if my relapse into depression had never happened. Still, with how busy he was with tennis practice, and how tied up in everything I was, we had little time to see each other. Usually, he and I would sneak off to a secluded place after school and make out. However, we once got caught in the old gym by the girls’ softball team.
Then there was NHS night, a perfect opportunity to introduce our parents. Too bad we didn’t use it. I remember his mother asking if I was just there for newspaper when I had gone just to see her son at a swim meet. Sometimes I wonder if Dan ever told his mother about us, or if she just figured it out.
NHS often made me feel uneasy, as if somehow, my volunteer work was made worthless due to the fact I probably wouldn’t have done it if NHS wasn’t a nice thing to put down on a college application. Still, being a two-year member was a small consolation since Dan had only been inducted senior year due to some technicality.
It wasn’t so much that I felt that I had to compete with Dan, but just catch up with him. He had straight-As, varsity letters. Basically, he was the perfect trophy boyfriend. Still, I wasn’t exactly a slacker either. Newspaper, band, Latin club, Visions and Voices (school literary magazine) kept me busy. I ended up winning awards in journalism, literature, Latin, and biological sciences at the senior recognition ceremony. So, in some ways, not only was I the token Asian kid, but a trophy girlfriend as well.
In May came senior prom. I was a little uneasy since the state tennis finals were that same weekend. Fortunately, Dan returned early so we could make it to the dance. We ended up not going out to dinner due to the fact he was still unsure of when he could make it back, so he couldn’t make reservations.
To avoid looking like every other girl by having the same dress, I had my aunt make me a dark blue fairy-tale princess style dress with bell-shaped sleeves and skirt. Dan fit the part of Prince Charming, sweeping me off of my feet despite his inability to dance. When we danced while surrounded by a circle of my friends from band, I finally felt like I belonged, not just with him, but my friends as well. This thought offers me little comfort now since I have lost touch with many of those people. Nonetheless, prom might finally worked its magic for the girl who once sat out in the corner on slow songs since she had no date.
At after prom, there was the usual fun, games, and junk food. Dan won a door prize of two free movie tickets. We raced around the inflatable maze. I got beat up by a friend of mine in bouncy boxing. It was like being a kid again.
Sadly, Dan actually had a curfew that night. Still, I’ll never forget how eerily the wind blew through the trees, or how Dan loaned me his jacket and put his arm around me as we left after prom.
Before taking me home, Dan stopped in a secluded area of the park by the tennis courts. This was to be one of many of “our places.” We made out for awhile, and then I finally finished the hand job I started on our first date. I wonder if his parents yelled at him for breaking curfew.
Not too long after prom came graduation. I say this now, but I’m sure that back then, it felt as if time were grinding to a halt the month before graduation.
After an uneventful day celebrating with the family and listening to monotonous speeches on stage, I accepted my diploma and walked down the stage steps of the convention center. The guy taking professional photos probably didn’t notice me flicking off one of the assistant principals as the picture was being taken.
That night, Dan and I went to a swim party thrown by my friend Liz. Thus began the transgressions performed in her guest room and on top of her pool table. It felt nice to finally be free of high school pettiness and stupidity. That weekend, Dan and I went separately to several parties. I got a chance to hang out with the friends I never saw again after leaving for college. I occasionally got emails in the first few weeks, but after that, it was as if we had never known each other at all.
This marked the beginning of the summer. This was to be my last summer as a child, but by then, I had already done some adult-like things. Yet there was still a certain amount of innocence and naivete in me that still hasn’t left me as a college student.
That summer with Dan was pure magic. We would hang out by the pool or at the library. Once, we snuck into our former rival high school and made out in the hallways for old times’ sake.
One memory strikes me the most. Dan was housesitting one weekend. After hanging out at the pool, we fooled around in the bedroom of the house he was sitting. It felt so deliciously bad to do something so naughty. There, I gave him his first blow job. He screamed so loud that I was afraid his neighbors would hear us.
I realized then that he was not the same wide-eyed, innocent guy I used to bake cookies for in high school. Then again, it’s easy to mistake inexperience for innocence. I soon learned of his taste for bizarre erotica, particularly involving anthropomorphic characters and mummification or entombment.
Still, if fantasy can become reality, then why the hell not? He even called me his “silver fox” at one point in time.
However, I could never afford the expensive materials to completely bind him…but I had other methods of satiating both of our hungers.