(Hmm, I’m starting to get into the realm where maybe I should consider making up names for these people. I mean, I know there are septeventy billion Joshes in the world, but I prefer not to get sued by the one out there who knows how to Google and maybe happens to be a big lawyer or something.)
(Although I know for a fact that this Josh is not a big lawyer, because I know how to Google. But more on that later. Plus, Miss Doxie will be my lawyer and she will kick yo’ass to the curb, boy.)
It was sometime during eighth grade that Josh asked me out. And unlike every boy I’d met up to this point, he meant it. He wanted to go OUT. On a DATE. And he CALLED ME. On the TELEPHONE. Swoon.
My parents? Were not too thrilled. Josh was in ninth grade. He looked older than that though. He worked out. His bedroom was actually the entire finished basement of his house. He had a fridge down there. And couches, plural. His own phone line, television, VCR, etc. He was cool, cats. But amazingly, they agreed that we could go out on a date.
As long as they came along. And Josh’s parents came along. (Oh, how I am cringing as I write this. See, here I go: cringe.)
We ate dinner at Friendly’s. I think there are still Friendly’s around, though they seem much more white-trash than I remember them being growing up. But then again, I probably was too. Anyway, at Friendly’s you could get a clown sundae. (Cone for a hat, whipped cream puffs for hair, Reese’s Pieces for a face, and at the bottom of the sundae was a lot of hot fudge and more Reese’s Pieces. Oh my god.)
Of course, I did not order a clown sundae on my date. But I did get ice cream. And French fries. Sigh. How innocent and non-crazy-teenage-girl I was back then.
After Friendly’s we went to a movie. I shit you not: We saw Beethoven. Luckily, we were not required to sit with our parents. AND we were allowed to sit several rows behind them. And there, during Beethoven, with my parents a few rows away, I got my first kiss. And if this weren’t all corny enough, I seriously did see stars and like, leave my body for a few seconds.
So after this, Josh and I kissed at every possible occasion. Behold, there was tongue. We wrote love notes; I borrowed his clothes; it was disgusting. We lurved each other.
Of course, stuff went wrong. He started to bug me. He was needy and emotional. His home life, beyond the awesome basement setup, was pretty awful. Mother Issues of Livia Soprano Proportions. That’s all I’ll say about that. (Except for this: According to Google, Josh now lives in a major city far, far away and works as a personal trainer. Specializing in pregnancy fitness. Yes, really. Read into that what you like.)
He also wore these turquoise madras plaid shorts all the time. Ew. They were so hideous. The church youth group took a trip down to Orlando that summer. (Holy HELL, I just remembered Amy went with me on that trip. So I guess we were still trying to be friends at this point. It definitely wasn’t going well. I distinctly remember fighting the urge to slap her across the face more than once.)
By the end of the trip, they were both working my last nerve. Amy didn’t like Josh and kept ditching me to meet random guys with some other girl. Josh was extra moody and depressive and wore the plaid shorts EVERY OTHER DAY. God. One morning, after being awoken several times by Amy’s hotel escape and re-entry attempts the night before, I decided that maybe I needed to break up with both of them.
I also decided that if Josh wore the plaid shorts that day, I’d take it as a sign to end it right away. Sure enough, he wore them. I finally asked him why the hell he didn’t pack more clothes. But before I got up the nerve to tell him we were over, he went and got himself nearly killed at the beach.
A wave hit him hard and knocked him underwater, where he hit his head or something and didn’t resurface. A lifeguard pulled him out and he was sent to the hospital for neck X-rays. He was fine, but being the distraught girlfriend kind of suited me.
I did break up with him sometime after the trip. For two weeks. He was inconsolable. He called me every day. He cried. He talked about his dad’s gun. He brought a bullet to church. Jason and I discussed our concerns about him. He broke me down and I took him back.
And I was actually very glad that I did, because things were great and so was all the kissing.
Sometime that summer it was decided that he would transfer from public school to my hellish private school. I was not too happy about this. I knew that as soon as a new good-looking guy showed up in our little pond, all the popular girl piranhas would swarm in and I would get dumped.
My classmates thought I was lying when I showed them Josh's picture. No way could a dork like me get a hottie like him. If he came to my school he'd end up wondering the same thing. He swore that would never happen. No one would ever replace me, ever. Ever!
Yeah. It happened. About a week after classes started. He did it over the phone. We both cried and I thought we could work things out. The next day he finalized the heart-ripping-stomping-squooshing by our lockers. Our lockers were practically next to each other. This had been super-exciting on the first day of school, but now I realized that this was going to make my freshman year a living hell.
Next up: Amy goes to hell, in more ways than one.