Thursday, June 5, 2014

The One That Got Away

As many of you know, my high school years would pass by without any semblance of a dating life. I should've started wearing tricorns and knee breeches in high school and learned a minuet, staying true to what I would later liberate from my heart and mind. I'm not going to dive into the pity pool, but let me point towards a possible love connection from June of 1991.

Angie and I are working together at "Fishin' Hole," a stand we put in for little kids to win something with every play. The object is to drop a fishing line with a magnet into a pool and pick up a prize for fifty cents a drop. The kids get excited and swing their lines around, meaning we have to dodge flying magnets. You'll put somebody's eye out, kid!

During a break from rugrat infestation, she asks a jawdropper:

"Do you have a girlfriend?"


I ponder my next words for several seconds before finally letting them out of my mouth: "What, do you want to be mine?"

"How did you know?"

"Know what?"

"That I liked you?"

I pause again. "Wild guess."

As I read back over my journal, I'm still not sure why I asked that question, other than the moment was right and the words were right.

But I have to be careful. If this girl is playing me, I don't want to go down as a sucker. Teenage hearts break easier, and not just in the ladies. But Angie tells me she and another girl had talked about me earlier in the day. It sounds legit, but I don't let down my guard.

At the time, it doesn't seem right, anyway. Years later, I realize why: I'm 19 and she's 15. I'm in college, and she's in high school. It reeks of illegality, even if everything's above the belt. She's nearly the same age as my kid brother's girlfriend. I don't push the relationship.

A month later, Angie falls through the termination hole amid questionable circumstances. I hear she gave out the grand prize at the "Golden Grail" game for a ball that landed right next to the grand prize cup without it being a winner. I gather she took pity on somebody.

I did it once too, giving a little girl a small prize at another game when she was only a hair away from being a winner.

"You just saved me a lot of problems," her grateful father told me.

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