When I was 12 the hangout spot was a local icerink. Every Friday night, you took all the bullshit that happened through the school week, and left it at school. You brought ten dollars, got skates, challenged someone to a race around the rink, and if you were lucky- someone would ask you to slowdance.
His name was Chris. He was a great funny guy and he had a sister that went to our school too. She was the same age, but for some reason – she couldn’t stand me! He asked me if I wanted to dance. I blushed and said, “Ummm I don’t really know how…” He laughed and I had no idea why he was even talking to me.
We danced to the Leanne Rhymes song, “How Do I Live Without You.” He leaned in and said, “Will you be my girlfriend?”
I laughed nervously, “You wanna go out with me?”
“Yeah,” he said.
He leaned in and gave me a pretty fabulous first kiss. My leg even popped back. I remember his sister stormed past him and he looked up and said, “I wonder what’s her deal?”
I shrugged and enjoyed my very first dance and one of the happiest moments up to my life at that point. Chris walked me home and told me he couldn’t wait to see me Monday.
Monday morning I was super excited to go back to school. I remember getting all glammed up and putting on my favorite lip gloss.
I got off the school bus and my best friend Veronica came up to me. She rode the same bus as Chris. “Mae, Chris needs to talk to you.”
“Oh. Okay.” I said warily.
Chris came up to me and grabbed me by my arm. He took me into the school’s empty gym.
“I have to break up with you.”
I started to cry, “Why?”
He said that his sister didn’t like me because I had beat her in a very important swim meet the past year. He said that his sister was the only family other than hus Grandma that he had, and he didn’t want to fight with her over me.
“Please don’t. ” I said with tears pouring down my face.
“I’m sorry, Mae. Maybe later.” He kissed me on the cheek and walked away.
Tonight, my twelve year old niece went through her first break up. I hate it for her! I want to hold her in my arms, and tell her no more boyfriends, and all I can do is think about how happy she has been over the past week. Or, how I wish she wasn’t defining her happiness on another human being, and not herself.
She’s such a good kid and I really hate it for her, but I know its a part of growing up.