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The Perks of a High School Relationship Break-Up
Nothing adds more stress to an over-achieving high school-er than a break-up, especially a month before Valentine’s Day. In this case, the stress was coming from a boyfriend who was just a little too controlling and not motivated enough. Not only was Harper a hard-working, ambitious, involved student, but she had just detached herself from a burden that had been hanging on her back like a barnacle on a boat hull: her boyfriend, Sean. Sure, at first, the relationship was all hearts, kisses, and even talk about marriage. But to a fast-moving, go-getter like Harper, the habitual sit-around-on-a-Saturday-night-and-watch-your-guy-play-World-of-Warcraft got a little old. It was time for a change.
At first, life without having Sean around was…strange. Harper felt the peculiarity of driving straight home after practice instead of to his house. She even had to adjust to the fact that there would no longer be any need for a “goodnight” phone call. But eventually, she got used to it.
A couple of weeks after their split, Harper was showing herself not to be devastatingly pathetic, but strikingly independent. She was back to her old bubbly and outgoing self again, and did not think twice about talking to anyone of the opposite sex, something for which she would have been reprimanded if she were still with Sean. She was particularly happy to become close to one certain boy again.
Josh and Harper had been friends since middle school. Josh was funny, smart, and incredibly goal-oriented. The two would occasionally flirt, but nothing between them ever escalated to more than an easy, comfortable friendship. Josh and Harper did used to have crushes on one another, but at different times. Ironic, right? Anyway, Harper could not wait to hang out with her good friend again, just like old times. The two had a few classes together, making the idea of reconnecting seem exceedingly simple.
When Harper sauntered into calculus class on a bright Monday morning, immediately she sensed something different in Josh, who was sitting near the corner against the wall. This different was not a bad different; it was the different that causes your right eyebrow to arch up, your voice to crack slightly, and your stomach to release several fluttery butterflies. As if she were seeing him for the first time in an entirely new light, Harper’s interest was aroused by one of her best guy friends.
“Kelly, I don’t want to feel these things yet,” she confided in her best friend. “I just got out of a relationship; I’m in no way ready to jump right back into one!”
“You can’t help what you feel and who you’re attracted to! You’re only human, you know.”
Since calculus didn’t go too well, she decided to try talking to him again in History.
“Josh! Have you missed me?” Harper coaxed, meaning to be flirtatious, but coming off a bit awkward.
“Oh, you know I did!” Josh replied.
Harper remembered how much fun it was to flirt and be playful with the opposite sex. Everything was so new and exciting again!
When Harper came home from school, she found herself alone, homework-less, and for the first time in a while, bored. She decided to act on her impulses: she called Josh and invited him over.
Hanging out with Josh was just so…easy. There was no judgment, no tension, no awkwardness. It was fun, practically relaxed. The two spent the afternoon laughing, talking, and even playing ridiculous board games. By the time Josh left, the sun had set. Hours had gone by which seemed like mere minutes.
Around nine o’clock that evening, Harper received a phone call. As she lifted the phone in anticipation, she noticed that the screen read “Incoming Call: Josh”. Quickly she answered.
“Josh, what’s up?” She asked.
“Nothing much…hey listen, I was just wondering, do you know if Kelly has any plans for Valentine’s Day?”
Harper’s heart sank.
“Um,” she swallowed the large lump that had formed in her throat. “No, I don’t think so. Why?”
“Oh, well, I want to ask her to dinner. Do you think she’ll say yes?”
Harper, wanting to crawl in a hole and die quietly, said, almost to herself, “If she’s smart, she’ll say yes.” She hung up, only leaving Josh with the click of the receiver.
Harper was tremendously disappointed. Her heart was not broken, but it was severely bruised, as was her self-confidence. Harper came to the conclusion that boys suck. She decided that it would be best to stay single for the time being and regain focus on her school work, activities, family, and girl friends. Besides, she could hardly fathom spending Valentine’s Day apart from her two most steadfast boyfriends: Ben and Jerry.