Alternative: A Memory of Young Love
It’s Friday night, and I’m home listening to reggae over a glass of red wine.
Which ideally, shouldn’t be a big deal, but this isn’t me. I’m a social being, I love being around people. But what I hate is being around people, yet still feeling alone.
And that’s exactly why I’m here. Drinking wine. Listening to reggae. And typing.
Typing to distract my mind from these permeating sad thoughts. So why not give stories of a better time?
So tonight I think of a story from my child hood, the story of…
I didn’t realize it then, but this was no normal friendship. It was a crush. Hanging out with Alex gave me, for lack of better phrase, warm yummy feelings in my heart.
At the tender age of 12, my alternative self (definition to be provided later) manifested itself. For some reason, I had begged my parents to allow me to go for summer school. I suppose it was more of a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) type of situation than something based in academics.
Either way, they agreed. And I went.
Out of roughly fifteen scholars, Alex was the only “outsider”, meaning she was the only student attending from a different school. Apparently, she, or her mom, or whoever, had heard about the program from her older sister. I didn’t really care how she had hears about it I was just happy I got to meet her.
I loved her! Wait, woah, what?
Yes, as much as the word love could mean to a 12-year-old. I loved her. I followed her everywhere. I was by her side every single break time. Another atypical action as I wasn’t the type of person to go around seeking the attention of others. People sought attention from me. Sure this is a little narcissistic, but it was true.
In this case all I can describe are the feelings. The feeling of just being so deeply into this human. Everything she did was stunning and spectacular to me. The way she spoke, the way she dressed.
What I do remember though, is that at the end of the program, we went on a class trip.
I don’t even remember the trip there, but what I do remember is one of the pit stops was those curio shops. You know those ones at view point? With like the Kenyan flag and all kinds of beads, yeah.
Alex bought me a bracelet.
Cool story, I know.
But they were matching bracelets! I remember thinking ‘I’m NEVER taking this off’ and thinking ‘how sweet is she?’ They were the exact feelings I’d imagine receiving a tiffany box would elicit. Yes. It was that serious.
So anyway, I head home and of course, this bracelet story is all I can talk about.
During this time my cousin was staying with us then, and I guess he had been listening to my daily stories each time I got back home from summer school of “Alex this, Alex that and blah Alex”. After hearing this latest story he couldn’t handle it anymore, and finally spits out “Is Alex like your boyfriend or something?”
Oh. My. Gosh.
“ALEX IS A GIRL!” I yelled in response.
But yes, if we absolutely must classify and categorize it, Alex was like my boyfriend or something. At least, those are the feelings I had toward her. Feelings I never addressed again until at least 6-7 years later.
When I finally learned and subconsciously coined the term “alternative”.
Not to be confused with the dictionary definition of bicurious, bisexual or whatever.
But being alternative: involuntarily being attracted to the same sex, aspects of the same sex, and getting warm happy feelings either in your heart or ‘down there’.
Note: I never saw Alex again. But my warm feelings then, paved the way for all my future warm feelings.
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