the 2 girls that killed my ambition.

Okay, here's the long sad story of Tim's love life. I made this private, because I'm sure I'll put some information in here I don't necessarily want any of them knowing. Here goes.

It all started my Sophomore year in high school. I was dating a girl named April. There wasn't a really good reason why I was dating her. I didn't really like her too much. But, she was pretty good looking, a cheerleader, and she asked me out. I said okay. Well, enter another girl. Barb. She was a year younger than me, but we got along great. She had a boyfriend, so there was kind of a little bit of tension, but not a lot. I kind of wanted to date her, and she kind of wanted to date me, but we were both in other relationships, so it wasn't ever an infatuation either one of us took too seriously. That is until I started spending too much time with Barb and April called me on it. She basically presented me with an ultimatum, which I didn't like. I broke up with her, telling her that I didn't do anything wrong, but no one could tell me what to do like that. I was a hard ass, I guess.

Barb found out what happened and felt understandably bad. I told her it wasn't a big deal. After all, I had just turned 16 and wanted to goof around with my guy friends. I was actually sort of looking forward to being single for a while. Barb tried to find a way to make it up to me, but I told her not to worry about it. A few days later she called me up, told me she had dumped her boyfriend, and wanted to date me. I told her I wasn't up for that. We could "see" each other, but I didn't really want be "tied down", after just getting all this new freedom with my new car and driver's license.

But, Barb was a persistent young lass and eventually wore me down. I told her I would date her. I tried to juggle my social life with my date life, but unfortunately I'm not very good at it. I would spend Friday night with Barb, Saturday with my guy friends. Barb would complain, so I'd spend Friday with my guy friends and all day Saturday with Barb. She'd complain, so I'd keep trying to suit her. Finally I had just had enough. I was working now, and had very little time for any kind of social life, much less 2 social lives that I knew had no chance of merging. I called it off.

She asked if I still wanted to be friends. I said sure, and I meant it too. I DID want to be friends.

For a while we were friends. But, it's pretty difficult to go from a pretty hot and heavy relationship (in terms of 15 and 16 year olds, back then), to a friendship. Some stuff still happened, despite my trying to resist. By this time, my Junior year (her sophomore) had started. I spent less time with her than I did over the summer. She didn't like that.

Another thing I feel like I should explain was going on during this summer too. My mom quit her job, and my sister was going to an expensive private college, me to an expensive private high school. This really pissed me off, and there was a lot of tension in my household because of it. Money was tight. We weren't poor by any stretch of the imagination, but we were a lot poorer than we needed to be. I couldn't get name brand stuff all the time, and the food I ate was generic. My cars were so shitty. These aren't horrible things, but when you're 16, going to a private high school, they matter quite a bit. I put a lot of blame on my mom. I still do. During this summer, we were supposed to take a trip to California. I found out the day we left that my mother would not be joining us. It was me, my sister, and my dad. We were out there almost 2 weeks, and when we got back my mom had moved out. I don't know where she went, but she came back about 2 months later. When she came back I was already pretty well into my junior year.

Well, this whole thing made me very bitter. I no longer had to answer to my mom. She meant nothing to be by this point, and my dad was too upset to care what I did. So, I got really stupid during this time. I stopped contact with all my old friends and made new ones. I did this, I think, to distance myself from the life I knew. I didn't especially want the friends I had to know what was going on with me, and I felt like I had to do it alone. So, I did. I stopped calling my friends and when they called me I yelled at them, telling them they didn't understand or something. I barely knew what I was saying back then. It didn't make any sense to me, even while I was saying it.

So, I spent a lot of time at home, with my dad. My sister was at school, and my dad spent most of his time in the garage. To this day, I still don't think my sister especially knew what was going on, exactly. After this got boring, I started going out with my other friends. My old friends were good, upstanding people. Honor Roll students, straight edged.... great people who will make something with their lives. My new friends.... not so much. They did a lot of drugs, drinking, were failing out of school, that sort of thing. I tried it for a while. I drank a lot. A LOT. I didn't do a lot of drugs, but I did some. This wasn't my lifestyle, and I knew it. This isn't where I wanted to be, so I left. Again.

I was 17 by this point, and still had my job at the movie theater. Barb would stop by and see me, and she'd call me on the phone a lot. I was ashamed of my behavior, and my family life. I didn't want people who knew me before to see me now, so talking to her pissed me off like you wouldn't believe. But, since I had made up my mind to stop this stupid behavior, I was trying to reintroduce myself to my old friends. Barb knew something was going on with me though, she always had known it. My other friends didn't know it, and I wasn't volunteering anything. I still didn't want her to talk to me. When the visits and phone calls wouldn't stop, I made some crack to one of my friends about her stalking me. Somehow word got back to her about what I had said, and she apparently didn't like it too much. I was walking down the hall to one of my classes and she came out of nowhere, shoved me into a locker and yelled at me about it. That was the end of her.

Enter... Senior year. I had a brand new job at Kinko's, severing the ties to my druggie friends at the movie theater. I got some of my old friends back, and made some new ones on top of that. I was doing great. My grades were up, my mom and I were getting along a little better, mostly because she had gotten a new job. No more financial troubles in the Wasson household, and I was happier than I had been in a long time. As luck would have it, I had 2 classes with Barb. Her last name being Ward and mine Wasson, we were always sat right next to each other. I felt bad for the way things had gone down in the years before. Twice I had killed my relationship with her when she was just trying to be friendly. I apologized for my behavior and hoped we could put that behind us, and be friends again. I wasn't interested in dating her, which was good because shortly after the "stalking" incident she got a new boyfriend, Nick. We started passing notes in class, talking on the phone, things like that. I felt really close to her, especially since she was so eager to accept me back after the horrible way I treated her. I knew there was something special there.

So, you guessed it, I started having feeling for her again. I knew she wouldn't want anything to do with me, since she was dating Nick. Still, I couldn't just stand around and feel this way without saying anything. So, this is what I told her, almost verbatim:

"Barb, I don't expect you to do anything with this, since I know you probably won't, but still, I feel like I should tell you. I really like you, and I think we would make a great couple. I know you're dating Nick, so I don't expect anything to happen, but I just thought you should know."

Well, she told me she felt the same way. She had thought about it too, had felt the closeness I had felt, and had considered dumping Nick for me. But, after debating in her head about it, she had decided to stay with him. This was the resolution I expected, so we hung up and I was satisfied with my attempt.

Fast forward 10 minutes, and Barb calls me up. She says she thinks she made the wrong choice, and I need to help her make the right one. All I needed to do was talk to her, listen to her, and be her friend. Eventually she'd make a concrete decision. I was ecstatic that she was putting this much thought into things. Maybe, just maybe, she'd choose me and all would be well in the world. She asked me why I had acted the way I had acted. I told her everything I just put in this here post. To this day, she's the only one (oh, and I guess anyone reading this, too) who knows the whole story. She then told me what she had been up to since our breakup, and the events that followed.

Basically, to make her story short, she turned into a big slut. She was sleeping around a lot. She's one of those God-lover types who felt bad about it. As well she should... she knew her boundaries and didn't follow them. She knew I have no problem with premarital sex, or meaningless sex, but SHE had different views, and should follow them. She felt dirty, she said. Luckily, she had stopped. But, she was now sleeping with Nick on almost a daily basis. I didn't see the harm... sure, it was premarital sex, something she didn't agree with, but compared to what she had been doing this was a walk in the park. A loving relationship, steady... no problem. But, she felt bad anyway, and wanted desperately to stop and didn't know how. Me, being the boy scout I am, offered to help in any way I could.

The way to help, said her, was just be there, listen to her and tell her it was going to be okay. I did that. She called me almost every night, her voice trembling, telling me she just slept with Nick. It tore me up inside like you wouldn't believe. It made me sick to my stomach. I vomited a lot back then. I would stay home on weekends because I knew she would call me, and she needed me.

As me and Barb got closer, her and Nick got more distant. Good, as far as I was concerned. We would go out on weekends together, talking and laughing and having a great time. This went on for a while, and a lot of stuff happened that made me feel like shit, but I'll skip those and move to the big one.

After a few months I started pushing her for an answer. I liked being her friend and all, but she knew I wanted more and stringing me along like this wasn't helping. She told me she was trying to make a decision, but it was hard, seeing Nick as a boyfriend and me as a friend, to make a clear decision. Her answer, for us to kiss and see what happens. See if there's the sparks that she felt with Nick. This had to be a highly secret mission, since me and her really shouldn't be seeing each other anyway. Nick was getting more jealous, and Barb's parents were getting worried. So, we definitely had to sneak a kiss. If anyone saw us, it would just be a disaster.

I drove her home from school one day, and she told me her parents weren't home. It would be the perfect time to kiss, and see what happened. We went to her bedroom, just in case her parents walked in. It was extremely awkward, trying to kiss under these circumstances, but we did. And as soon as we did, there was other stuff. A lot of other stuff. It got really intense, and fast, and before I knew it we were in the middle of the act. I tried to stop, knowing full well that this was the sort of thing she was trying to stop doing. This was what made her feel dirty, and less worthy as a person. I tried to stop. I did stop, actually. A few times, but she kept telling me it was okay, killing my conscience for a few minutes at a time. Finally things were over, and we were getting dressed. She told me I had to hurry out, since her parents would be home soon. I hurried out.

On the way home I kept thinking.... If this was real, then why would she let it happen when I was trying to stop it? But, if she was lying about wanting to stop, why? What was her motivation? She had done a pretty good job of making me feel like shit, but why would she do that on purpose? Tons, tons, tons of questions filled my mind.

Things were understandably weird from that point on.

My friends tried to convince me that she was messing with me, even though they didn't know the point to which we had messed. I told them they just didn't understand, that it was different, they just didn't know. Meanwhile, me and Barb weren't having deep conversations or talking much anymore.

Fast forward... graduation. She gave me a card I felt was from the heart. She apologized for how things had happened, saying that she'd never forget me and she would love me forever. I felt even shittier. Had I taken advantage of her that day, then ignored her ever since? Was it my fault?

I went away to school about 3 weeks later. I tried to stay in touch with her, but she wouldn't return my mail, email, or phone calls. After a few months of this, my friend's advice started to ring true. She was messing with me. I had messed her up a few years back, and this was her revenge. It worked. She made me feel like shit for more than a year by this point.

Well, I didn't talk to her for a long time after that.

Ah, but remember when I was making all new friends? I made one named Missy (or Jill/Julie for those of you in-the-know). We had a lot of the same interests, and experiences. She was an adorable girl. She, unlike Barb, returned my phone calls, email, and letters while I was in Chicago. We got a lot closer during that time, and I thought maybe this would be the girl to help me recover from the whole Barb fiasco.

Whenever I went home I would see her. We got along great.

When she went away to school, I went down to visit her one weekend. We drank a lot. We also got very close. She tried to kiss me, but I would pull away. Then I would try to kiss her, and she would pull away. That's how things worked that night. Finally we fell asleep, in each other's arms on the ground. It was wonderful. With her I didn't need to tell her I wanted to date, it was just kind of understood. She had reservations, because we were such good friends and she didn't want to ruin that. All I could do was bide my time. There was no arguing with that.

We kept in touch a lot. We came very close to dating, especially right before I graduated college. We were very close to just saying "All right, let's go for it", then I graduated. This is where things get weird.

I get home and my friends and family have thrown me a surprise graduation party. I was tired out of my mind from all my finals, that I had just finished that day, so at the time I didn't even notice that Missy wasn't there. The next day I realized it though, and called her. She apologized for not being there, but her excuse was what killed me. She said she would have felt uncomfortable with all those people she didn't know. Fuck that. It was my party, she would have been there for me, congratulating me for graduating #1 in my class with a 3.9 GPA, graduating early no less. Her excuse was so "me me me" that I got pissed. With good reason, I still believe. That was my accomplishment, and her not acknowledging it because of some selfish reason pissed me off.

She used my pissed off behavior as an excuse to call it quits. She had felt "distance" now. Whatever. She told me she didn't really ever want to talk to me again. I said fine.

2 months later she emails me (nice and personal, eh?) and apology. I accept, because I'm a damn chump. We try to be friends again, but it's pointless. It's not working, and it's not going anywhere. She's not a good friend, and you guys know that from my troubles with her at the beginning of this journal.

So, there is it. My horrible experiences with love. Hopefully #3 will work. I'm not looking for marriage, I'm looking for returned feelings, and a relationship involving those feelings that doesn't end like these have.

And, a strange ending, for your reading pleasure.

Barb is back in the picture. Go figure. She's been emailing me, telling me she misses me as a friend and wants to hang out again. I email her back, saying I'm not interested, she has nothing to prove to me anymore, and I would rather call it quits back when we called it quits. She doesn't like this answer. And remember how persistent she is? She might just win this battle, too.