I had a huge crush in 9th grade. Well, I had several. But this. This was not the crush that comes when you see the guy in the hall and your heart goes pitter- patter. No, no, no. This was an all day, all night, full blown, I'll-Never-Get-Over-You Four Alarm crush.
(Unless someone else showed interest, then I was good to go.)
He rode my bus (yes, I rode the bus in junior high. You can get over it now)and he was probably the most charming guy I had ever met. Unfortunately for me, I seemed to be stuck in the dreadful "Friend Zone" with Chum. (This is what my friend and I maturely named him at that time.)
The "Friend Zone" was quite familiar to me growing up. The majority of my relationships with guys were on a really intense, but very love-less friendship level. They asked me for advice about girls, told me I was cool - and also that they thought of me like a little sister.
(FYI - boys don't kiss their sisters. In most states.)
Anyways, Chum had never actually told me he only saw me as a sister, so I held out some hope for him. By some miracle, I ended up in Science with him in 9th grade. We sat next to each other at an intimate table for 4. The other people at the table were one weird girl with a mullet and one of Chum's friends that also happened to ride our bus. So, aside from the weird girl, our table was like a little bus tour.
So cute. And meant to be. Clearly.
One day, as we sat in Science pretending to listen to the teacher, Chum decided to ask me a question.
Chum: Hey, Kim. What are your favorite bands? I've got a bunch of CD's if you want to borrow some.
Me: (oh my God, this is it - we are totally falling in love right now.) Um, I dunno. I love Dave Matthew's Band, Self, Our Lady Peace, Toadies, Flaming Lips.
Chum: (raises eyebrows) Wow, I like all those, too! That's so awesome.
Me: Thanks, Chum. I do my best. (lightly slaps his shoulder. Cause that's what clueless girls do.)
Chum's friend looks back and forth between us. He looks angry.
Chum's Friend: (smirking) So, you and Chum really have a lot in common. That's cool. I bet you like all the exact same bands. But you don't like Chum that way, do you?
Me: (Yes. Completely.) Uhhh - no! I mean, c'mon, we're friends! He's my buuuudy! Right, Chum? (slaps his shoulder again. Omg, I touched him twice.)
Chum: (awkwardly) Well, yeah. I guess. I mean. Yeah.
Chum's Friend: Right, right. So, hey Kim, have you ever heard of the Electric Beatles?
Me: (Crap, I have never even come close to hearing of that band. Do I lie? Obviously Chum likes them if Friend is asking. SHIT! Lie, Kim. Just lie your ass off.) Definitely! I've heard some of their stuff.
Chum: (glaring at Friend and speaking softly) Kim, seriously.
Me: (waves arms like a crazy person) No, no! I have! This summer one of my friends introduced me to them. I don't know their stuff like, really well, but I'd know it if I heard it.
Chum's Friend: (chuckles) Sweet! Maybe they'll come to town this summer and we can all go.
Me: (jaw on the floor) Wow, yeah. That would be amazing. Chum, would you want to go?
Chum: (frowning and further glaring at Friend) Yeah. Sure. It'd be great.
Fast forward three weeks later. I had gotten in so far over my head on lying about the effing Electric Beatles that it had taken over my life. Chum's stupid friend had drawn up a logo on a piece of paper and I had memorized it and drawn it all over my notebooks. I even brought up the Electric Beatles in conversations with other people.
("You mean you haven't heard of the Electric Beatles? Oh my God, they are amazing! Me and Chum talk about them in Science all the time.)
For awhile, I seemed to be getting away with it. (This was before the days of Google, people.) And the best part was, Chum and I had something to consistently talk about.
Until it all fell apart.
One day in Science, Chum wasn't there. He had the flu or something. I was stuck with Stupid Friend, and doing my darnedest to ignore everything he said. He got irritated - and decided it was time to humiliate me.
Chum's Friend: So, did you hear the Electric Beatles are coming this summer?
Me: NO way! Oh my gosh!
Chum's Friend: Yeah, and they're going to ask Chum to play the drums for them, too.
Me: (confused) Wait, what? What do you mean?
Chum's Friend: Well, it's just a story, right? I mean, you know there's no Electric Beatles, don't you?
Me: (Oh, holy mother funky butt-lovin.)
I just sat there, stunned. I was an awkward 15-year-old girl who just found out she'd been totally and completely HAD. There were no Electric Beatles. There was no logo. There were no songs.
Now Chum knew I had lied to look good around him. And more importantly, he knew I wanted to be more than just a friend.
The next day in Science, Chum was there. No one said anything at the table (except weird-hair girl asked for a pencil) but we all knew what had happened.
Chum and I never got together. It didn't matter anyway, the relationship would have been built on a throne of lies and embarrassment for me. He did take me to and from school a few times in high school, and we traded CD's with each other often in those next few years. I'm pretty sure I still hit him every chance I got, too.
I'll never know if the Electric Beatles ruined my chances with him. But at least he knows I would have said anything to make him think more of me. And that would make anyone feel good.
Incidentally, I have no idea what happened to Chum's stupid friend. My hope is karma bit him in the ass and he turned out to be a total loser playing guitar for a terrible band called the Electric Beatles.
(Update: There is now a band called the Electric Beatles, and they are a tribute band to the actual Beatles. Chum's loser friend does not play guitar for them.)