In my next installment of my weird teenage years which is a gold mine of all things embarrassing in my life thus far. I think it’s time to tell the story of the first guy to ever ask me out and the creepy, stalker-y aftermath. I think this was also the beginning of my awkwardness around any potential romantic relationships. I blame this guy for that.
PSA: You owe your stalker nothing but firm boundaries. If he/she cannot respect that, then get a restraining order.
I will not censor his name since I have not seen him since high school graduation and I am not in contact with anyone who is connected to him in any way. I think it’ll be safe to use his first name.
It started in study hall and I’m not sure how but Charlie and I struck up a small conversation about anime. During this time I was going through an anime and manga fangirl stage in my life. In my head, I thought it was nothing more than a friendly conversation that did not imply anything. And even for me being a clueless 14 year old, I could tell that he had Yellow Fever.
Additionally, this was the peak of my awkward looking adolescent phase with my glasses with frames that did not suit my face and braces that made it difficult to speak at times. If my looks were not off-putting enough, then my inability to form coherent sentences would have deterred any romantic interest.
The next morning while I was at my locker, Charlie was hanging around while I was fighting with my locker. Of course, the school had to give me the one with the top locker compartment. After narrowly avoiding the falling textbooks and thus another concussion, Charlie’s awkwardly swaggered to me and then began and even more awkward conversation:
Charlie: “Ummm… I was wondering if we could… uh — hang out this weekend?”
me: “…” [INTERNAL PANIC! RED ALERT! AHHHHH!!!!!!! Wait, you have to go to the eye doctor this weekend! SCORE!] “…I can’t. I already have plans.”
Charlie: “Oh. Maybe some other time then?”
me: “…” [Pretend you didn't hear him and run away! (note: Yeah, I was immature and stupid, but that was the best I could come up with.)]
As you can see I didn’t handle being asked out for the first time ever very well. Mind you, I have been sheltered and lacked much social interaction with boys outside of family. I did not know how to act around them and there’s no instruction manual on what to do when a guy with questionable hygiene asks you out.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH BOYS?! I don’t know. I still think it’s pure luck I even ended up with ze fiancé.
I would have thought that after my rejection would have ended things there. I was wrong.
This was before the friend zone even became a thing. The fact is that the friend zone isn’t a thing. It’s really just a construct made up by guys who cannot handle rejection and think they’re owed a woman’s affection because they were nice to her. I never put Charlie in the so-called friend zone. In fact, he never had a chance because having Yellow Fever automatically puts you on the Guys to Never Interact with Ever list. My rejection gave him the idea that it was okay to continue asking me out every morning before the first bell and every afternoon when school ended. This was even more nerve wrecking when his locker was only a little ways down from mine.
I’m not sure if my anxiety screwed with my immune system, but later that week I developed a fever and other plague-like symptoms. It was bad enough that my mother let me stay home from school. This is the same Asian mom who refused to let me miss school unless there were direct orders from the doctor. Never in my life have I ever been so grateful for getting the flu days before Christmas break. I didn’t care that I felt like I was going to die as long as I didn’t have to deal with Charlie asking me out twice a day.
After break ended, he stopped pursuing me much to my relief. I kept my distance from my stalker all through high school without incident.