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The Mean Boy

High school when I was growing up were grades 10 thru 12. Us 15-year old girls were walking into uncharted territory. I had gone to Catholic School until 8th grade and then my parents released me to public school. I did one year at junior high during which my grades suffered horribly. I managed to get back on track toward the end of the year, but the first half of the year was nothing but a whirlwind of making new friends and getting into trouble. Nothing major, just fooling around most of the time and not caring about anything but having a good time. There was the threat of going back to Catholic school if I didn’t pull my grades up, so I did, because I had every intention of going to the high school that all my friends would be going to.

Shortly after starting 10th grade, my friends and I went to some house party we’d heard about. A friend’s older sister introduced me to a Senior boy who was a classmate of her’s. I’ll call him Mark. He was adorable. I liked him immediately and the attraction seemed mutual. We sat outside on a wooden bench and I took sips from his beer while we chatted freely about I don’t remember what. When my girlfriends came to get me, he asked for my phone number. I took a little notebook and pen from my blue tie-dyed hobo bag, wrote down my number, and handed it to him.

He called. When I told my parents about him, they were a little concerned. I was barely 15 and he was turning 18 before I turned 16. I was a young 15. At that point, I had barely made it past first base with a boy. The furthest I’d gone was a little caressing while fully clothed, and I had never touched a boy down there. Not that my parents knew any of that, but they knew I was pretty innocent. They relented after meeting him. It turned out they knew of his family and they were nice people.

Mark and I started “going out.” He had a job and his own car so I considered him to be my first official dating experience. We were seen around school holding hands, he would come over and hang out with my family, and we would go on dates to dinner and movies. Of course we started making out, and there was some “feeling up,” but he hadn’t pushed for anything further in the first month that we were dating. He was very sweet and gentle, and I had the feeling that he might be inexperienced too.

One night after a movie we parked in a dark corner of a church parking lot. We started making out and I could feel that things were getting a little hot between the both of us. Mark began to undo the button on my jeans and I stopped him. I just wasn’t ready. I had no idea how far he wanted to go and I really don’t think there was anything wrong with him doing that. We were both on the same page at that point, but I didn’t want to go any further. I was still very nervous about sexual activity.

The minute I stopped him, he stopped. I found myself apologizing and trying to explain, but he cut me off. He was sweet about it. He told me it was okay and started up the car. When we pulled up to the front of my house, he asked me if I still had that little notebook in my bag. I told him I did. He said he wanted to write me a note. I was a little puzzled, but I handed him the notebook and pen. He turned it so I couldn’t see what he was writing and then he handed it back to me and told me not to read it until I was alone and in my room. We kissed goodnight and said our goodbyes.

I raced passed my parents, ran upstairs to my room, closed the door and took out the notebook. It took me a second to find the page where he had wrote the note. I was expecting something sweet. What I found was, “D.T.” For those of you who don’t know what that means, it was a very well-used acronym back when I was in high school. It meant “Dick Tease.”

MORTIFIED does not even begin to describe how I felt at that moment. I was in shock. Needless to say, we broke up. And the reason we broke up was because I wouldn’t have sex with him. It came to light later that he thought calling me a dick tease would spur me into proving him wrong.

Several years later, after I was married and pregnant with my son, a friend from high school called me with the news that Mark had committed suicide. I was shocked and felt very sad for his family. Apparently he was despondent over the breakup of his marriage. My friend told me that he left a suicide note putting all the blame onto his wife. That part didn’t surprise me at all. I’m certainly not comparing the awful note he left for his wife with what he wrote on my note, but I saw a pattern there.

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