In eighth grade I loved a boy who, alas, loved another. His code name was Herbie, so that is what I shall call him here today. During this tumultuous time, I wrote a song about my sadness, called “Fading Shadows”:
All the time you ignore me
And pass me right by
I turn around rejected
And I almost start to cry
Then the hurt changes to anger
And I solemnly swear
That I love you no more
And I don’t really care
Of the way that I feel
Shadows are fading and I don’t know what’s real
I need time to get over you
I need time to heal
I think there was more, if for no other reason than I have always felt very strongly about bridges. But that is all I remember. And I will tell you this song was no joke. I was very proud, and even wrote piano music to go along with it!
However, all my creative efforts were for naught. See, I spent the whole year in eighth-grade love with this guy on my schoolbus. He of course crushed on this one girl that all the boys loved.
That I was used to, but then she liked him back and they went out, breaking my heart and also creating an uncomfortable connection in my mind with Rod Stewart’s “My Heart Can’t Tell You No.” Finally they broke up, and I must give myself retroactive props for actually feeling bad for the both of them, looking so sad.
But we all must move on, and for me, I thought that moving on would maybe happen at Six Flags Great Adventure. You see, our mutual friend Christina was having her birthday party there. Exciting! And Herbie and I got along pretty well, but you know in “Friends” when Rachel’s like, “He needs to see me outside of work so he can start falling in love with me!” about JoshOOAH? That is totally how I felt. I’m not a morning person. There’s only so cute one can look when one makeups on the bus and is forced to wear a uniform.
But in real life? Herbie simply had no idea how curly I could get my hair, you know? I owned Benders! And also had planned a totally awesome ensemble that was a dangerous combination of 1989, weird sense of humor, and fashion inspiration from The Baby-Sitters Club. The skirt had ruffles, and was to be accompanied by my green Reebok hightops.
PLUS, I will do ANYthing at an amusement park; I love that adrenaline immensely. It’s actually probably a good thing that Action Park closed down when it did. Considering that I saw the bloody pictures on the line for the Alpine Slide, laughed, then went full throttle down the entire hill.
Even if Herbie never liked me as more than a friend, I genuinely liked him as a person, and everyone going. Plus, Lightning Loops was still around, and that ride ruled! The Great Adventure Plan was super win-win!
About a week before the party, I asked Christina about it and she looked visibly uncomfortable.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
She was all, “I don’t want to tell you.”
“No, you can tell me, what is it?”
“Herbie…isn’t going to go if you’re going.”
“He said he hates you.”
It was really depressing and confusing. Also, we didn’t even end up going to Great Adventure. We went to see “K-9” with Jim Belushi at the Valley Stream theater, then had a sleepover at Christina’s house. We watched Guns N’ Roses videos, and that was the night that I decided “Patience” was overrated. Though I have since changed my mind about that.
Slowly, my heart healed, and I was able to unrequited love again in ninth grade. More on that another time ❤
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