At the beginning of high school we meet a bunch of new people and form real bonds. We also start to gain some independence in high school. This also applies to dating. Like you can actually go on a date without having your parents drop you off or chaperone. Caught up in all this excitement, I fell for a boy named Jaque. He was a tall, lanky, charismatic, and older than me. He was also really involved in my school’s theatre stuff like I was. I pictured us being the Michelle and Barack of our high school theatre department if we ended up together.
Jaque didn’t necessarily have a lot of dating experience from what I could see. That was true until he started dating Kelly. Kelly was short, white, and demur. I was (still) tall, Black, and loud. Jaque and Kelly dated for about a year and though I respected their relationship, I wasn’t exactly sad to see it end. I waited the respectable amount of time and made the bold decision to tell Jaque how I felt.
“So I don’t know if you could already tell, but I really like you. I don’t know if you like me too or…” I wanted to keep talking to stay in a space where he hadn’t said yes or no yet, but I couldn’t think of any other words.
He looked shocked. “I mean, I’ve never really thought about it. It’s really cool that you had the balls to say this to me. I’m not really looking for a relationship right now after everything with Kelly. I just want to be single for my last year.”
His phrasing was annoying, but I got what he was saying. We agreed amicably to be friends and went on our way. A few months later I found out he started dating my friend Charlotte. I wasn’t just hurt because he told me he wanted to be single and then he was dating her. I was hurt because Charlotte promised me she wouldn’t date him. All I can remember is sobbing hysterically when I found out. I think it was my first real heartbreak.
The school year ended and summer came around. I was over everything and moving on with my life. I was texting with a mutual friend of mine and Charlotte’s and I found out Charlotte had suffered a serious dance injury. I was sorry to hear that but what I was told next was what got me. Jaque had broken up with her right after she got out of the hospital. He didn’t stick around to be there for her. There was part of me that was satisfied with karma and another part of me that felt bad for her. I could only imagine how hurt she felt. Jaque came out of all of it looking like he just used her to hookup with.
Lesson Learned: PAYBACK IS A BAD CHICK! If someone plays you, they play themselves. Just because you’re honest and straight up with them, doesn’t mean they’ll do the same with you. In all seriousness, though… Transparency is key. Say what you mean. If you don’t want a serious relationship, say that. If you just want to mess around with someone, say that. If you’re just not interested in someone, say that. You don’t need to be stuck on someone who twists their words to spare your feelings.