I find it funny how nobody ever dives deep into the thoughts of guys who get treated like most women do nowadays. It’d be silly to say that only the women get fucked over to the point of emotional distress, but that’s what I would call a surface reality. I’m only speaking on behalf of the black community because, well, I’m black and certain emotions are frowned upon.
My first “real” girlfriend was in middle school and nobody could tell me I wasn’t in love because I really was. Well, as much in love as a naïve 12 year old could be. I grew up under my Granny who was both a loving and hard woman, just like any other old school parent. My dad sacrificed 10 years worth of freedom for a couple dollars not long after I was born and my mom was in the streets finding her way as a result of it, so to have this other 12 year old girl give me emotions I’ve never felt before, it was mind blowing. I felt like I had something that was actually happy to have me. Although I talked proper and wore my shirts tucked in, I was really good at basketball and told funny enough jokes to fit in with just about everyone, especially the ‘cool’ people, so I hardly had any problems being accepted.
The temporary love of my life grew up in a neighborhood three minutes away from our middle school in what was called, “the Wood” (short for Studewood) and she was recognized as a part of a popular click that could dance and talk shit extremely well, which was important back then. Hell, they were basically the TLC of Hamilton Middle School.
But I knew better. We spent nights on the phone talking about everything, not just dancing and shit talking but about shit that made me realize that she was very similar to me. From about 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm (which was all the phone time I was able to have at the time), we talked about what we wanted to be when we grew up, what life meant, how dumb parents can be, and most of all, the feelings we had for each other.
The one thing about middle school though is the peer pressure. That shit will get the best of you. I remember going to a talent show they had at the local high school right up the street. I planned on surprising her because usually my granny wouldn’t let me go out on the weekends to play with my “hoodlum friends” but that particular weekend she decided to let me go. Of course, the church-going snitch had to chaperone us but I was just happy to be out of the house on a Friday night. I showered, loaded my hair with wave grease and starched my South Pole jeans and shirt, which was pointless because my Granny made me tuck it in. But best believe I took it out once I got in the car.
Everything was lit up at Booker T. Washington High School. Kids were outside cursing and kissing, some of them smoking and drinking in the parking lot waiting on the line to move. My granny gave me five dollars to get in which was just enough to not be able to eat or drink during the step show. Snacks were the least thing on my mind that night, I was fascinated by all that was going on and excited to see the BTW Gents- the most popular step team in all of H.I.S.D.
I gave the lady my five dollars grinning from ear to ear and headed inside to all of the commotion in the foyer. I immediately spotted her two friends which meant that she wasn’t too far behind. I walked up to them to see where my girlfriend was and, although I knew they would be surprised to see me out on the weekend, the look on their faces showed something a bit deeper than that.
“Hey y’all, where’s D at?” I said calmly.
Neither of them said a word, instead, they pointed towards the vending machine right on the side of the auditorium. Excited, I skipped my happy ass over towards the double doors, anxious to surprise my baby when suddenly my feet stopped moving.
My brain couldn’t process what I saw fast enough and I found myself having to think to breathe. My girlfriend of a month and a half was holding hands, kissing some light-skinned nigga with cornrows. The campus police officer came around the corner and flashed the light on the crowd of horny teens which sent them running directly towards me. The worst part is that I stood there frozen as she looked at me, noticing her giggle at something he said and walk right past me as if I didn’t exist. They made their way to the auditorium to watch the step show as I stood in the same spot for about a half an hour trying to figure out what the fuck just happened.
By the time I made it back to my Granny’s house, I had realized what love actually was. When you’re a naïve 12 year old, love is a phrase some people say to feel like grownups. Not knowing that even grownups don’t have a clue to what that shit really is. But then again, that’s a whole different blog for different day.