The First Manipulation

    You want to know how it happened? The turning point? Because she hadn't even been my first choice. Hell no. The other girl had been, the one who sat next to her, the other short blonde, the first girl to ever reject me. How had i responded to that rejection? The way any self-respecting 12 year old boy would. I quickly asked out the next girl who came to my head. "Hey, she's kinda cool i thought, i know her, why not?" So i asked her out. But i wasn't all in it, you know, i mean, how many 12 year olds are actually serious about going out with someone. You don't even do anything! If you ever concieve a date, your dad plays Elvis and drives you to a B movie. So its no shock that no one takes it seriously, or at least not me. Not until the dance.

     I had decided that that was gonna be the night, i was gonna dump her. I had no real reason for going out with her, and like i change my boxers, i was a typical 7th grader when it came to changing girlfriends. But at a dance? That was kinda harsh. Those damn things were the social event of the season, the whole grade would be there dressed up as if they were old enough to get laid. Anyway, i combed my dope ass bowl cut, slapped on that same blue shirt and striped tie that i wore to every dance and strolled in like i owned the Robert Adams Middle School gymnasium. After all, i was breaking up with a girl, i had the power, i controlled my own fate, and even at age 12, especially when there is no real significant emotions involved, its an empowering feeling.

     But before i can really stick my puny little chest out and raise my head that was unproportionally big to my body at that time, a girl came out of the gym in a panic. Someone was dying. Rather, someone was crying. In middle school, same thing.

     " Alex, come quick! Liz is crying!" she said to me. That's right, i'm better than a doctor, i'm a fucking hero, i'm the mother fucking long haired stud on the cover of the romance novel, carrying the girl in the torn dress off to better days...i'm the boyfriend. That's right, for as little as we actually "did" i was a cure-all for sadness. Again, that's how it was; a boy who you sometimes are still nervous to talk to in public is the one person who can save you when you're crying in public. Not just public. A fucking dance.

     Okay, I think to myself, technically i'm still the boyfriend, and i can't dump someone who is crying. I gotta be a good guy here, i mean she's a cool girl, i should really help her.

     I gave the nod. Show me to the girl, and let me do my thing (as if 7th graders have a "thing" besides hitting puberty).

     She led me to Liz, who was surrounded by a small crowd of people like a fresh car accident, leaning up against the bleachers in an ugly brown leather jacket she must've robbed from a cowboy. It was far too big for her, and her light blonde hair flowed down over the collar and ugly brown tassles. People made an opening in the crowd to let the unproven master through (it's okay, i'm the boyfriend), and she looked with up with those normally deep blue eyes now tinted red on the outside, and a cute, sniffling nose looking genuinely happy to see me.

     I slowed down and kinda plopped down next to her...I realized that i didn't really want to be here dealing with a crying girl, I mean, what the fuck am i supposed to do, i feel bad and all but no one even knew why she was crying. So i asked. She didn't want to tell me.

     Typical. She's making it hard for the hero to work.

     So I asked if she was okay, kinda rubbed her shoulder, not knowing exactly what the hell i was doing.

     That's when the mouth opened. Not hers. The wise guy.

     " Alex! Make her feel better! Kiss her!"

     It was someone kid in the back. Thanks pal. I'm in 7th grade, that's still kind of a big deal, especially in front of a crowd of my peers. Who knew this hero had a sidekick?

     Others agreed though, and urged me on.

     " Yeah, kiss her, it'll make her feel better."

     I looked at her. Her face was down again, blushing. She was a little embarrassed, and seemed to be conscious of the crowd more than before. Poor girl, she didn't want to put me in this spot. She looked fragile sitting against those bleachers. What the hell. Let's give it a go.

     She sobbed.

     I leaned in.

     I caught her pretty solidly on the cheek. She stopped crying, toning it down to a mere sniffle. A small smile crept over her face as if, holy shit, i had actually done the right thing and made things better. She turned towards me and gave me a hug with her tiny arms, and kissed me back on the cheek.

     " Thanks," she sputtered out quietly.

     It wasn't my first kiss. Who knows, it might've been hers. Who knows why it even did the trick? Either way, she quickly recovered and stood up, and removed that ugly brown shell of a hyde from her shoulders to reveal a petite, dark dress. The crowd smiled and a couple people patted us both on the back before going back to their pretentious dance. Liz looked down and off to the side, apologizing for that "whole thing" while timidly stroking her hair away from her face. I didn't care. I was happy to do it.

     I don't know what it was, but from that point, there was no way i was dumping her. In fact, i felt stronger for her than i had any girl before. Looking back, she definately had started to rapidly develop into my first love. And that fucked up moment was the start of it, that moment that was supposed to be my glorious break up, that moment i did not want to deal with, that moment was the key that locked my cell for years.

    And i still have no idea why the hell she was crying in the first place.  


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