Be true to yourself

Story by Julia Hurlburt

This was originally supposed to be about how I felt about dating in high school. It was going to be about how, as a girl in high school, you don’t need a man. It’s funny because, before I could even get started, this thing happened. The best part of it all is that, even though I thought it would be about him, it ended up about being about me. It’s all about me.

My relationship history is one that is short and not completely explainable. I don’t know if you really need to know, but it all plays a part in what led up to how this all fits together. My first boyfriend that matters was Raymond Watson. We went to daycare together in fourth grade. He was tall with dirty blond, short hair and green eyes.

I remember he had two little brothers and that we would drop them off at the first bus stop in the mornings. He asked me to be his girlfriend outside on the playground while everyone was inside. Our relationship consisted of about that much. We “flirted” and such, but the climax of our emotional roller coaster was when he and his best friend Tyler were talking about how cute one of my friends was in front of me. That was the end of that. Heart crushed.

The second boy that meant anything to me in the realm of traumatic relationships was my best guy friend in eighth grade, Tony Bird. I remember the first time he entered my life. My newly-found friend, Hannah Armstrong, was eyeing him during our first gym class. They dated for eight months. Eight weird months. She broke up with him at the skating rink by screaming, “It’s over,” and walking out. That’s when he noticed me. That was my mistake, being there. We dated for less than a week, if you don’t count the time I was vacationing in Rome, but that’s the important part. While I was gone, he was asking one of our other friends if she liked him and such. Once I found out, it was over. I wasn’t that crushed, just disappointed.

William David Folker. It’s weird writing about him. I’ve talked about it too many times. I feel like I’m saying it incorrectly at this point just because of the law that states that a story said one too many times is never the same. From what I remember, truthfully, I liked him. A lot. When his girlfriend dumped him because he cheated on her, I ignored that fact. I looked at the fact that he was someone I cared about, and he was hurting. Again, my mistake was being there. Every time he needed something, I was there. When he needed a hand to hold, I was there. When he needed a person to love, I was there. And when he needed someone to love him, I was there. He was the first guy I really kissed, a real kiss, and I loved him. I can’t say he was a terrible guy because he wasn’t. He didn’t take advantage of me because I was younger, and he didn’t say anything that he didn’t really mean. The point of our relationship was that it happened. It was there to show me something I wanted from someone else. I wanted someone to be there and to be honest with me.

We broke up by kissing goodbye in the rain to a song we listened to too many times, “Let Go” by Frou Frou. I cried a lot. It took me a long time to get over him. The weekend after we broke up, we went bowling. A girl came with him…he complained about her being a bad kisser.

You would think I would be bitter, but I value the fact that I knew him. He was himself. He made a difference in my life. He showed me something I don’t want and something I do.

The next one was Tyler. The sad part about Tyler is I don’t remember his last name, but he was the best boyfriend I ever had. We met a couple months before he left during my freshmen year. He wore the same leather jacket almost everyday and he had the brightest blue eyes. Tyler was gentle. He was kind and sweet and caring. He would always hold my hand when we were together, and I didn’t think anything of it. When he went away with his family for a week he brought me back presents. Not that that was important to me, but it showed that he cared. He bought me a little silver and purple circular trinket and a little bear that was sitting on a heart that said, “I love you.”

I remember our first kiss. He walked me to the bus like he always did and as I went in to kiss his cheek he slipped trying to kiss my cheek. It was cute. Innocent. I loved it.
Even after he left, we continued to be friends. Though that’s not surprising; I have a habit of staying friends with exes. I remember when he stopped by to say goodbye. It’s weird because it wasn’t drawn out. Not extremely painful or mushy. It was something much more wonderful to me. He told me how happy he was that we had the time we spent together, how good and sweet of a person I was, and how he knew God had plans in store for me.

He didn’t say how I made him feel. Didn’t try to make out with me and get all he could from me. In fact, I’m not even sure we kissed goodbye. He was there. He was real. He understood me. And he wasn’t trying to get something out of me. I didn’t have to act like I was someone I wasn’t. I didn’t have to worry if he cared about the fact that my hair was messed up, or that I didn’t say all the right things.

The last one that has one final piece leading up to the main story is Eddie. I don’t need to tell you anything about him in detail. I dated him; it’s not what I wanted. My best friend Lia wanted me to. It’s been four years since then. A lot has changed. I’ve changed.

The point to all of this is what I learned from it and almost forgot until the weekend of Jan. 15. So, I met this guy. He’s tall with brown hair and blueish-green eyes. The first time I saw him was at church on a Wednesday night during my sophomore year. I can’t even remember it much to be honest. He had a crush on my cousin and would talk to me about it. One day it wasn’t about her anymore. We were just joking, but then he took me seriously. That’s how this thing happened.

And then he kissed me. Then starting saying all these nice things to me. I freaked.

I tried to talk to him about it. I tried to talk to others about it. I kept searching for an answer I wasn’t going to find until I realized that it was something only I could answer for myself.

It was about what I wanted. It wasn’t about what others thought was best for me, what love stories have said it’s supposed to be like for millions of years, or even what he really could understand out of my gibber gabber. What mattered was what I wanted, what I felt, and what I was going to do about it.

You see, we all have a choice when it comes to dating that sometimes we don’t remember or ever figure out. No matter what anyone else thinks, you have to decide what’s best for you.

Be true to yourself and realize no one else knows you the way you do. Just be yourself, make you’re own decisions, and love who you want to love because that’s what’s best for you.