I consider myself a walking cliche — the good girl who always falls for the bad boy. I guess I’ve always been a bit of a rebel myself (despite being a good student and a mostly dutiful daughter) so I identified with guys that seemed to not give a damn about what the world thought of them. Growing up in a strict Muslim household, I was naturally prone to being attracted to anything that would mean defying my parents. My choice of boyfriends often reflected that.
Freddie (I’ve changed his name to protect his identity) wasn’t particularly attractive, witty or smart. He was tall and skinny with shoulder-length curly hair that he tied up with a scraggly hairband and had a small gap between his two front teeth. But, what drew my attention towards him was his stay-away-from-me attitude. His hostile attitude towards me (and everyone else) made me curious. He was the only guy in the pizzeria that we both worked in that didn’t flirt with me or go out of his way for me. I was the youngest employee there at the age of 17 and the only girl under 30 that worked there, so the men always flocked around me and I enjoyed the attention.
At first, I didn’t care much that he barely ever spoke to me. But after a while, his mysterious demeanor started to get to me. Who did he think he was? Hell, he wasn’t even cute, so why the attitude? Eventually, the lack of attention got on my nerves. I ignored him harder than he ignored and made a point not to acknowledge his presence. When that didn’t seem to draw a reaction out of him, I tried another approach.
“Hey, you need some help”, Freddie and I were the only ones working at the pizzeria one morning when I decided to finally talk to him.
He grunted what I took to be a ‘yeah’ and I helped him roll out dough for the first batch of pizzas of the day. We kneaded side by side, silently. I stoke a quick glance at him from the corner of my eye and saw his face relaxed for the first time–his trademark scowl was nowhere to be seen.
I took the opportunity to start a conversation. “So, where do you…”
“Wanna hang out after your shift is over?”, he abruptly cut me off.
“Sure”, I said and walked over to the customer service station because the telephone lines were about to open for orders.
I met Freddie outside after work and without a word we started walking. He led me up to the roof of an apartment building at the end of the block of the pizzeria. As soon as he sat down, he pulled out small bag of weed (a dime bag, I would soon learn). I’d never smoked marijuana before nor did anyone I knew closely.
“I’m assuming you don’t want a pull?”, Freddie asked. I nodded a no.
After a few puffs, he turned to look at me and asked me if I was sure I wanted to be here with him. I said yes — and that’s all it took to get our story started.
I got to know the side of him that few people rarely did — that he wrote songs and played the guitar. He didn’t aspire to become a famous musician and he didn’t let anyone read his songs or listen to him play. His music, like everything else about him, was only for himself.
After that first day, he never asked me to smoke, drink or do any other kinds of drugs, ever. But he never shied away from indulging in front of me, either.
By our six month anniversary, we spent most of our time together. I went to his apartment in the basement of his parent’s house on most mornings instead of going to school. Although I was no virgin, he was the first guy that made me aware of all the things my body could do. He gave me my first orgasm and he made me discover a whole new sexual side of myself.
I didn’t introduce him to any of my friends, even though I was close to all of his. I went to a specialized high school and my friends were all a smart bunch, and I knew they wouldn’t understand what I was doing with him. I was a senior and prom was approaching and I had a serious dilemma — how was I supposed to take him to my prom? I explained to him that it would be better if I go with all my girlfriends, as we had promised each other at the beginning of the school year that we would be each others’ prom dates if we didn’t have a guy to go with.
Ironically, by the time prom rolled around, all four of my girlfriends had serious boyfriends and they wanted me to find a date so we could all go with our guys together. Even then, I didn’t tell. And haven’t since, either.