Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The One That Got Away

His name was Jeremy.
My parents had just dragged me, kicking and screaming, to a small town in Ohio. I was 16 and I didn't want to switch schools.
I refused to make friends. I sat in my new high school cafeteria, scowling at everyone who dared to make eye contact.
Frustrated, my parents forced me to audition for a community theater production.
I was Princess Jasmine. He was the genie.
I was sitting backstage when he appeared. I had noticed him the day before--a handsome Italian boy my own age, with dark brown curls, tan skin, and a boyish grin.
"Can I borrow a pencil?" he asked, sitting next to me.
I handed him a pencil wordlessly, glaring at him for bothering me. I still hated everyone in my new town.
"They're playing our song right now," he said casually, making notes on his script.
In the background, the sound speaker was softly playing "I Knew I Loved You" by Savage Garden.
I stared at him, dumbfounded.
"What are you talking about?" I asked. "You don't even know me."
"You're right," he said, looking up thoughtfully. "We should get to know each other better. Especially now that we have a song."
I shook my head in amazement.
"You're crazy," was all I could muster.
"I know, isn't it great?" he shot back, with a big smile and a wink, before tossing the pencil back in my lap and walking away.
For the next week, Jeremy followed me around, acting like we'd known each other our whole lives. I got used to him. I couldn't help laugh at his jokes. And when we figured out he lived in the neighborhood next to mine, he started giving me rides to play rehearsal in his shiny black BMW.
He quickly became my best friend. We spent every weekend together, riding around town in his car. Hikes at the state park. Drive-in movies. Mini golf. Sometimes we would even just park somewhere random, talking and laughing for hours.
I drank up every detail about him. Despite his effortless charm and outgoing personality, Jeremy was quietly unhappy. His dad owned a software company, which took him to Europe or Asia for months at a time. His mom was never home and would sometimes disappear for weeks, without even saying goodbye. And although he would never admit it, I knew Jeremy hated being alone in that big house.
I didn't make many friends at my new high school. All I could think about was him. Jeremy attended a Catholic school across town. The only frustration to our relationship was those large chunks during the week when I couldn't see him. I found myself impatiently going through the motions of school, waiting for the final bell to ring. I knew he felt the same way because as soon as I would pull into my driveway, he would already be sitting on my front steps jokingly shouting, "what took you so long?"
One Saturday afternoon we were laughing hysterically on the couch in his living room, smearing his leftover birthday cake on each other's faces after some silly argument, when he suddenly grew serious.
"I love you, Jen," he told me, staring in my frosting-framed eyes.
My heart soared.
The summer after our high school graduation, I helped Jeremy pack up his boxes. He was heading to Stanford. I was heading to Missouri for journalism school.
We numbly agreed to end things between us. A long-distance relationship didn't make sense. Our lives were about to drastically change and we knew it. We were already a part of each other's pasts before our futures had even begun.
Of course, I couldn't just get over him. Nothing is that clean.
I drifted unhappily through my first semester of college, putting my efforts into studying and ignoring social opportunities. One afternoon, I stared in my bedroom mirror, in a daze, watching my reflection cut my long brown hair off with scissors. I gazed nonchalantly as each lock dropped to the ground.
Chop chop. Snip snip. Bye bye.
But my depression slowly evaporated and I found myself getting caught up in the excitement of university life.
During my junior year of college, I fell madly in love with the half-Egyptian sports editor of my college newspaper.
Six months into our relationship, I was sitting on his lap in front of my desktop, checking my brand new Facebook account. It was 2005 and I was mesmerized that I was able to reconnect with all my old high school friends with the click of a button.
I came across Jeremy. He was no longer at Stanford. He had transferred to NYU.
And there before my eyes was a status update that turned my world upside down.
Jeremy is gay.

My eyes blurred with tears. I couldn't even finish reading the comments of support from his friends. He said he had been confused for a long time and as a devout Catholic, it took him years to even come to terms with the realization.
My boyfriend swiveled me around on his lap, noticing the tears in my eyes.
"What's wrong, honey?" he asked, worried. "Who's this Jeremy?
Nobody, I told him, just some guy I used to know.
It was a painful realization to face.
The one that got away had never even been mine.


ravenlocks said...


Jen, you need to write a book. Like yesterday. Not very many people can turn a story of love into an actual experience. When you write, I can picture's like you're not writing about it but you're showing it to us.

And that last line! It haunts me.


Angela said...

I agree with ravenlocks ! And I never knew you lived here in OH. Where ?

JenniH said...

Oh, what an amazing tale. I agree with the others, you should write a book. You are really talented.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Yes, I agree..write a damn book, so I can hide under the blanket and read it and giggle like a school girl, hahaha! I loved this :))) xx

Shannon said...

Beautifully written. And I have a really close friend who went through something oh so similar. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I was not expecting that outcome at all. That was amazingly written also. I also agree with the others, write a book, like now..

Chloe Moon said...

I would read this book...I would see your movie! Yes you need to be an author!

I recently wondered why a guy that was literally attached at my hip never asked me in high school. We went to prom together, he even tried to kiss me or ask me out or anything. It really hurt my self esteem years ago...Well I got a message a lil while ago from him on facebook where he told me he was marrying his boyfriend of 3 years. It all made sense now. =)

You wrote your story just beautifully!

Priyanka S said...

As someone else commented above, I was totally not expecting the way your story would take a twist. Tautly and beautifully narrated...

I forgot to comment in your previous post but just wanted to add my two cents here:) You have a great gift for telling stories(still remember the haunted radio-station post!), both personal and otherwise...and I look forward to reading your future posts:)

Tights Lover said...

Amazing read. You definitely surprised me at the end. Something similar happened to an ex of mine...and it definitely is shocking, to say the least.

Bunny Moreno said...

Oh I have stories like that too-we def have to swap some one day. Ugh my heart broke for you when I read the end-I know how you must have felt. I am still searching for my first love on fb-nada yet-I think I told you about would be nice to find out what happened to him and if he is indeed now gay or not...he was confizzled back then. Sigh...oh'Lamour....xox

Sherin said...

Ahh, what a story! I can't believe it. Good for him, but you must have really been devastated!

Couture Carrie said...

Whoa, what a story, darling!


Kim Alston said...

omg'd! he was gay! totally unexpected. that has happened to so many people jen. they dated young and the person wasn't quite sure so they didn't say anything. WOW! it was a beautiful love story. i love how he approached you. glad you added bloglovin! i'm reading all of my reader's blogs through it, so it shouldn't take me long to respond when you post something. love you girl! have a great weekend doll!

Blond Duck said...

Awww. At least you know it wasn't you.

Loved the phrase "frosting framed eyes".


I'll echo the rest of the comments, you need to write a book. And I'm not just saying that to be nice. I love reading your blog posts, especially the ones about your life tales (and I probably look forward to your comments the most on my blog). You have an amazing way of articulating yourself, and I read the store of you and Jeremy with anticipation as to what happened. That was a twist I didn't see coming, and I'm sorry that happened. Actually, my friend dated a guy for 8 years. EIGHT YEARS!!! On their 8th year anniversairy, she hacked his e-mail and found out he was gay and secretly in a relationship with a man. It's a heart breaking situation to be in, but hey, at least it makes for a really good story? Ok no, that was cruel of me to say. I'm bad at this, clearly.

But I know you're in a happier place now with your current beau, so everything happens for a reason, right?

But seriously, get on those damn memoirs. Your life is like a movie and I love watching it unfold!!

A BRIT GREEK said...

I really enjoyed reading this... When are you gonna write a book lady... need a giggle and some drama!

Imogen said...

That was really interesting to read. I totally didn't expect that at the end. These are my favourite types of posts when you write about one of your experiences. I love the way you write.

Cafe Fashionista said...

The best ones always are, aren't they? :)

Rachel Jensen {Da Paura ♥} said...

Wow, what a story!!! Omg, this is amazing and you wrote it so amazingly. You really are such a talented writer.


Preity Lama Tamang said...

omg!! loved what to wrote!! it was very touching!! i wish i could write as good as you!!

Johanna V said...

You are one great writer! And What a story, that's not something one could expect! :o

Laia said...

It is true? that must be a really strange experience but definitely a great story to write about,as always is a really great post to read about Jennifer.

Isabelle Thornton said...

Great story. Really a surprise at the end. Life can be weird like that.

Oh to Be a Muse said...

Thank you, Jen. I love when you write this stuff. The beginning of the story was starting to remind me of one of those The Perks of Being a Wallflower or something. Your writing is so good that I have to ask myself if it's real! :)

I hope you and Jeremy are friends or that you guys have at least caught up or something.

To re-chirp what everyone is already chirping...write a book know I'll read it.

Ali of Dressing Ken said...

So weird but at the very beginning of your post, I thought to myself I wonder if he is gay. Wow. I think it is because you guys got along so well. Which in a way is sort of sad that straight couples can not get along better, more like friends.

Ali of

Sierra {Ocean Dreams} said...

Oh wow that would be such a harsh reality! It almost would have been better had you not known...but then ago you might have found out sooner or later. At least you had a lovely relationship - sorry that had to happen though.

Anonymous said...

Gay. That explains the BMW and the community theater. I wonder if there are any stories about guys who dated girls that came out as lesbian. "We were rebuilding the crank shaft of my F-150 one day. . .". If it's not out there, it should be.

Mouthwash said...

This one caught me by the heart. I ached right along with you. I'm sorry Jen! Heartbreak like that stays with us forever.

livlovelaugh said...

wow..... this was such... .intense writing! Almost fictional! Very nicely written!


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