Life Is an Eternal Middle School
By Naiche, age 15, New York
His name was Michael, and every single girl in Mr. Peter's sixth grade class was in love with him. He'd simply walk past, and that would cue off a round of gushing and whispering. When I think back, I often wonder why we all drooled over him so much. He was really short, and wore clothes that were always one size too big. I guess his sweet raspy voice and adorable smile made up for that.
Due to fate (and Mr. Peter's random seating chart generator), my seat was next to Michael's in class. We became fast friends, and spent all the free class time we had talking about whatever sixth graders talk about. I felt like I had an extreme advantage over the other girls. Michael and I were constantly making each other laugh, and he'd shoot me a smile from the boy's side of the play yard during recess. I was sure that Michael liked me, and it was only a matter of time before he told me.
This was before the seating chart generator struck again. This time it did not work in my favor at all. You know the person who walks into a room, and immediately sets off thunder, lightening, and horror movie music? You know, the one who makes you think of dead puppies, rainy days, and string beans. For me, that person's name was Kimberly. She was evil incarnate, a boyfriend stealing bully at age eleven. Of course, Kimberly had a new seat next to Michael while I was stuck behind the two, forced to hear his clever jokes and her irritating witch cackle all day long.
Before long, Kimberly and Michael were an item. She got to wear his too-big jacket to recess. She passed him notes with smiley faces on them in the middle of class. She spent every waking moment glued to his side. It was sickening, heartbreaking, and depressing all at once. I'd lost Michael as my best friend. Every time I tried to talk to him, Kimberly was right there, glaring. There was no way that I could even attempt a stand-off with her. She was taller than me and bulky enough to cause someone's death by merely sitting on them.
One day, we were stuck inside for recess and Kimberly wasn't at school. I was sitting by the back of the classroom when Michael approached me and offered up a graham cracker to make amends. Michael quickly explained that going out with Kimberly had been a huge mistake and that he wished that I was the one who was sitting next to him. I was ignorant to the phrase, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." I didn't care that Michael had ditched me in the first place. I completely forgot that Kimberly was abnormally big for a sixth grader. The little Naiche inside of me was jumping for joy, and Michael swore that the relationship would be over by the next morning.
When school started the next day, I ran to Michael and said, "Did you do it? Did you break up with her?" The events that played out after this were like scenes from a movie. Kimberly's head popped out from beside Michael's. She laughed and told me how cute it was that I thought Michael would dump her for me. In fact, she kept laughing for the next fifteen minutes. Michael simply sat there, saying nothing about the whole speech he had given me the day before. I retreated to my seat, shoulders slumped and head down. I was completely crushed.
Later on, Michael passed me a lame slip of paper ripped from his old math assignment reading, "Changed my mind, sorry. :( " The story spread around the class, and it easily became my most embarrassing moment. To this day, I haven't lived the heartbreak down. Those kinds of things can scar a kid for life, you know.
So, what did I learn from my mortifying experience? If the boy you like has decided to date the devil instead of you, then said boy's taste in girls is quite questionable. It's best to leave the situation alone altogether.