Age: Day 5,777 of my life [15 Years Old]
Date: 8 January 2005
People Involved: Krista & Cyndi
I’ve been a nerd in one form or another my entire life. Before the tenth grade, however, I was the type of nerd you think of when you imagine a videogame playing loner in high school. In the summer before tenth grade, I finally got a group of friends. They were the best friends I could have asked for. As I came out of my shell, many things started to change. When the second semester of my sophomore year started, my world shifted in the course of a day.
I was inexperienced with girls. I was 15. My only “relationships” were in name only. I had “dated” three girls. Aside from the title, it amounted to nothing. I held hands with one. I took one to an Avalanche game once. It’s what I consider middle school relationships. They were fake. Experiments with terminology and emotions we did not understand. That all changed when I came back to school from Winter Vacation during my sophomore year.
There was a new girl. She was only slightly younger than me. She was cute, redheaded, and smart. I couldn’t resist. She started talking to me before classes on the first day. Over the course of the first week, we continued to flirt. As she became accepted by the nerdy group of kids at school, several of our friends realized that we were always flirting with each other. It only took four days from the first time we talked to the time our friends forced the subject.
By the end of the first week, a friend in common convinced her to give me a note asking me out. I agreed, of course. We were sitting in the commons room after school. I was sitting on one of the lunch tables as I read the note. I don’t really remember how I reacted after that. All I knew was that this one was different. For the first time ever, I would be in a relationship that meant something to me. She would go on to give me my first kiss in the coming days. By the end of the month, she would have cheated on me—prompting me to dump her.
But that night, I was floating. I went home, did my homework, and turned on my PlayStation 2. I was playing Final Fantasy X at the time. I heard my sister come home. She was 19 at the time. She had been out of the house for a year or two. I just continued playing. My mind was running through the events of the day. I wanted to log on and AIM with my new girlfriend. I wanted to verify that this was real. I remember being a teenager—feeling emotions in their pure form. It was intoxicating.
My mother opened the downstairs door and yelled for me to come down. She gave no explanation. So I ignored the request (even though it sounded more like a demand). I wanted to keep playing and keep living in this new world of my own. A few minutes later, the door opened again and my mother uttered these words, “Richard. Come down and see a picture of your niece or nephew.” I thought about those words for a few seconds before I paused the game and went downstairs. I didn’t understand.
My sister handed me an ultrasound picture. She was pregnant—due in August. It was the first time I had every learned about the existence of the little girl I now know and love. It was a strange moment. One of those moments when the world shifts around you. That morning, I knew nothing of relationships or pregnant sisters. After that day, it all changed. I had a niece. I had a girlfriend. I was so very happy…for as long as a 15 year old can remain happy until hormones throw you in another direction.