I was 15 the first time I saw Jeff. I had had crushes on boys before, but this was different. With the guys before him, it had been secret and one-way. I liked them from afar. I never let anything on. I would have been mortified if they had known.
But with Jeff it felt different than any of those crushes. It felt more real. I didn't think of it as a crush. One night when a bunch of us were out together, I saw Jeff pull out a chair for the girl sitting next to him. I was impressed with that. And there were other little things about him that spelled QUALITY.
Also, we had "chemistry."
I liked the way he stood with his thumbs hooked into his back pockets. Liked the way his jeans looked on him. I liked his face, his hair, his body. I liked what he said and how he said it. I liked the quality of his voice. I liked that I felt something real behind the face and body and talk. I could go on and on.
When I was with Jeff, I didn't feel clumsy or awkward or tongue-tied like I usually did around guys I liked
I saw Jeff at least twice a week - once when we all tutored disadvantaged kids at the school, once when we had our tutors' meeting, and sometimes again if the kids all got together and went to the movies, or just hung out at someone's house on a Saturday night.
When I was with Jeff, I didn't feel clumsy or awkward or tongue-tied like I usually did around guys I liked. We connected on some level that went beyond the fact that we liked the same movies and the same songs. He said things that I really understood and vice versa. I remember this one thing he said about everyone kind of travelling through life in their own bubble and then once in a while, two bubbles kind of touching and overlapping. I hoped he was talking about him and me.
But I spent much more time talking about him than talking to him. Jeff made up most of the content of my side of my daily phone conversation with my best friend, Judy, who went to another school.
So one day in gym, Anne, the girl who had introduced me to Jeff, comes up to me and says, "Jeff wants to ask you out. He wants to know if you want to go out with him."
I felt a little funny because it seemed to me that Anne had a crush on Jeff, too, and she had known him longer. But she never said anything about it. So I just said, Yeah, I would. I'm sure my eyes lit up like stars.
Although I was already 16, I was a bit of a late bloomer. This would be my first date.
I agonized over what to wear. Finally, I went over to my Aunt Charley's and borrowed something from her. And of course in the end I wasn't happy with what I was wearing and I was having a bad hair day.
I won't go into all the gory details of that first date. It was pretty awful. I was so nervous, I couldn't think of one thing to say. I must have said SOMETHING, but whatever it was, it was stiff and not really me.
I still remember the long ride home in the car with Jeff's best friend and his girlfriend practically making out in the front seat and Jeff and I in the back in total silence. The dream that had come true had turned into a nightmare.
So we didn't go out again - at least not that year. But the next spring, we started a real relationship. We went out, we talked endlessly, we made out passionately - in short, we became girlfriend and boyfriend.
I was never so happy. The actual relationship was to be short-lived. Three months to be exact. But it took me about ten years to get over Jeff.
In Deanna Troy's Betzazoid culture on Star Trek, the first person who touches your soul is your imzadi. As painful as the break-up was, I don't regret a minute of those wonderful three months. I think of Jeff as my imzadi.
We stayed in touch and we're still friends today.