Growing Up, Breaking Down

Story Submitted by Karissa:

Patrick was a kid that I'd known since birth but had lost contact with sometime before middle school. Our parents had also been friends since before either of us were born, so, about eight years later, when I heard that my mother and father were meeting up with his parents for dinner and that he might be there, I took my parents' invite, and prepared for a nice reunion.

Patrick had grown into a tall and pretty good-looking young man. He was in his senior year in high school and was on the baseball team. I, myself, was a year older and had already graduated. At the end of the night, Patrick and I exchanged phone numbers, and went our separate ways.

Quite soon, we were texting one another back and forth, and he seemed like a nice guy. He asked me all about my music interests and what I was doing with my life, and I had given him some examples of some bands that I liked, including the Doors.  I also told him about the rock band I was singing in at the time, and he seemed pretty impressed. He didn't have much to say about himself, but I chalked that up to shyness.

We set up a date a couple weeks in advance for New Year's Day to grab dinner and a movie. It wasn't until a couple days before the date was scheduled that things began to get just a little weird. Although I had told him about quite a few bands that I liked, he texted me every time he heard the Doors on the radio.

New Year's Day had arrived, and we were both getting dropped off at the movie theater plaza for neither of us could drive at the time. I waited at the designated meeting place, and he arrived soon after. He said, "I brought you a present!" I was really flattered, and I told him so. He handed me a rolled up piece of paper, with an air of poorly-concealed pride.

It was a crude drawing of a stadium with balloons and bright colors. The top of the page said "Happy New Year," and the side of the stadium said, verbatim, "Karissa and her band! FAMOUS!"

At that point, I was in a quandary as to how I should respond. He said, "Well, how do you like it?" with an expectant look.

I cleared my throat and managed to say, "It's really nice, thank you." He was positively beaming with pride.

At dinner, I tried to make small talk, but he kept giving me extremely short answers that were difficult to expand upon. There was another red flag when the waitress messed up my order, and I said that it was okay, and that I totally understood. At this, he turned to me with astonishment and said, "Why are you being so nice to that waitress?"

At that point, any attraction that I had for him was gone, but he had already bought tickets to the movie, so I decided to wait it out. We walked to the theater and he tried to hold my hand, but I pulled my hand away.

I made sure to get a water bottle with a screw-on cap. Throughout the movie, when he tried to hold my hand, I would remove my hand to unscrew the top to the bottle and take a drink, replacing my hand in a less accessable spot. This continued for the entirety of the movie and I thought I was oh-so-clever. That is until, about three quarters of the way into the film, I ran out of water and he noticed. He snatched my hand and wouldn't let it go until the movie ended.

After it was over, I said that I was tired and that I would very much like to go home. He looked disappointed, but agreed, and we went outside to wait for our respective rides.

When we got to a bench, I sat down, and he inched closer to me.  I tried scooting away, but at this point he was leaning in close to me, saying things like "You're so beautiful" and other variations on this.

I kept my face turned slightly away the whole time. He finally asked why I wouldn't look at him, and I told him the truth: that it seemed very much like he wanted to kiss me and that I didn't want... that.

At first he denied it, but then asked why I didn't want to kiss him. I told him that I didn't know him very well and he argued that we'd known each other for eighteen years. I was trying to let him down easily and eventually I thought he was getting the message, when suddenly he started to cry.  Hard.

Luckily for me, my parents drove up and I hurried away. I thought that was the last I would hear from him, and I wish that were true.

Over the course of the next few days, he called and texted me about a dozen times, and I ignored him. In retrospect, that may have been a bit cruel, but to be honest, I was creeped out.

About a week after the date, my father got an e-mail from Patrick's mother asking why I was ignoring her son. My dad, being tactful as always, said that Patrick may have come on a little too strong, and that I only wanted to be friends.

About an hour later, I recieved a text from Patrick, the gist of which was, "I don't want to hurt you or anything, but I really don't want a relationship right now. I'm sorry if I broke your heart."

I have since ignored all of his attempts at contact, which have continued until this day, two years later.


  1. "a crude drawing of a stadium with balloons and bright colors"

    Ha! I almost expected her to mention that he had drawn a crayon dinosaur in the background.

  2. Question are you sure you were a freshman in college and not a freshman in high school because this really sounds like you are a lot younger than you act. I only say this because neither of you could drive at the time. HMMMM???

  3. ^ Not all people learn to drive. I am 20 years old and never even got a permit. I walk, ride my bike, or take a bus. So yeah, not all of us drive or can even afford our own car. :-/

  4. Well, I'm flattered that you think I act older than I am, but yes, I was a freshman in college at the time. I was a late driver.

    I actually think that this experience is what coaxed me into getting my license... y'know, the whole "being trapped in a bad situation" thing. A car seemed reeeaaaally appealing after this.


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