Cold Hearted: Before

November 15, 2008
By Jordan Ludwig, Stevens, PA

The last day of summer vacation, August 24th, I bought tickets to the New York Yankees vs. the Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards. Although I had been at a game early that season where Baltimore faced the Texas Rangers I really wanted to go again. I also had an alerter motive; I wanted to take the guy I liked to see one of his favorite teams, the Yankees, play. The tickets cost me two and half times face value. I could have gotten seats for only twenty dollars a piece but I just had to sit on the Orioles side only nine or ten rows of the field. I ended up spending one hundred and eighty dollars just for the tickets. I looked forward to the day for weeks, and it finally came.
The game was good but long, it started at 1:05 and didn’t end until 5. We had about an hour and a half drive home, since we decided to take the park and ride into Baltimore. But before we left I wanted to walk to the harbor. I didn’t have anything specific in mind that I wanted to see, I had been there so many times that I had already seen the aquarium, duck paddle boats, and the ships you could tour. It just wouldn’t be a day trip to Baltimore if I didn’t go down there. We talked on the way down about where he lived before he came to America and about possibly going to see a game in the spring in New York. I was nice and I enjoyed his company. I don’t think I stopped smiling all day.
When he was driving home he asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. I said yes of course because I really wanted to spend more time with him. But unfortunately there was a catch and he wanted to bring one of his friends along. I again agreed because I didn’t mind this friend, he seemed nice, the only thing is I felt more like a third wheel, when in actuality he was. Although I wasn’t pleased I kept a smile on my face because the day had been as good as I expected, excluding three details, the Orioles losing, and the fact that my back was redder than an overripe tomato and I got a parking ticket.
We went to a Chinese restaurant, and then I dropped him off at his house. Before he got out we kissed and he said see you Saturday. Almost eleven o’clock at night and in Mountville I had only a few minutes to make it home before I couldn’t drive. I knew when I backed out of the driveway that I’d be lucky if I made it home by midnight. I had to pick up my sister at a friends’ in downtown Lancaster and then drive home. She wasn’t too happy, it being the night before school started and all, but all in all everything turned out fine. I wasn’t stopped on the way home driving after curfew and my mom didn’t get upset at me either. We got home at twelve fifteen in the morning and I wasn’t in bed until one or so, but the day had been worth it, and my mind could only think about Saturday. Before I went to bed I read the fortune cookie I got, ‘Struggle as hard as you can for whatever you believe in.’ And ever since that day I was hooked, unwilling to even imagine anything other than him.

August 26th: Sunday was amazing. I spent the day with the most amazing guy in Baltimore, what could be better than that? He’s the greatest thing that’s happened to me in the last few months, ever since March the month I wish I could destroy from my memory. I wake up in the morning and he is the first thing I think about. Even though, I can’t deny, that most times my name is the furthest thing from my mind. And yes he is a guy, but still my heart aches to have him once just call. Just to let me know he misses me. At the same time I know he won’t; no matter how much I want him too. I just want to know how his day was, to see how hanging out with his friends was. I wish he’d want to hold my hand, or put his arm around me, just look into my eyes and see that deep down somewhere for some reason I like him. He isn’t romantic; he never tells me I’m beautiful. But yet I still like him; there’s still this pulse that races through my brain when we kiss and no matter what there is always the hope that he might someday understand. He isn’t a fairly hot Hollywood star but to me he is everything.
I want nothing more than to lay out under the starts next to him feeling the grip of his hands as he holds with the sweet late night September air all around us. And yet I’ve committed the offense. The offense I promised myself I would never commit again. I’ve fallen and continue to fall with each day we spend together or don’t. They warned me but my feelings can’t be ignored. As much as I try to tell myself I haven’t because he hasn’t fallen with me, I can’t. I want him too; I want him to fall for me the way I’ve fallen for him; recalling only the most amazing qualities and being immune to the worst.
I want him to see me as the girl he can’t imagine being without and not just a girl whom he’s dating. I want him to proud of me to be able to say to anyone how much I mean to him. But I’m not crazy, it’s not like we’ve been attached since we were five. I know he won’t feel this way about me right now but maybe someday. Maybe. I have my doubts; mostly because he never does anything to make me believe he cares for me but he’ll talk up every girl that isn’t me. I can’t even try to describe my reaction if he’d do just one thing, one thing, to show me he cares.
Actions truly do say more than words. He can say back to me when I tell him I like him I like you too but that means nothing in the end if you never do anything to back it up. It doesn’t have to be special. Just a simple text using a buddies phone with a short message would be enough; a phone call, just coming to my house unannounced, or allowing me to choose what we do. Whether it is a day at an amusement park or going to a chick flick instead of an action packed movie. He has dictated many of things that happen between us. I have little say in what we do or when or where. If he wants to see me, I go to his house, if I want to see him; he’s too busy playing football with the guys in the park. I want to go out to dinner alone, he wants to bring a friend.
He also thinks I’m stupid when I don’t laugh at jokes. He thinks I have no sense of humor. But really I’m taken by his unique appeal when he laughs like he needs to laugh to survive. I can’t help but just watch him to see his face in complete joy without a care in the world. Even when he laughs at things only a guy could considered amusing, I can’t help but smile knowing his mind is content and nothing is bothering him.
He takes my breath away, even though I know I don’t take his away. My heart skips a beat when I first see him but I know his heart stays at a steady pace. My smile widens when he’s happy even if he ‘s occupied with something other than me.
I continually try and get close to him but he makes it impossible. As he unlatches our fingers because he doesn’t want to hold my hand or when I want him to hold me and he just wants to do something else. But no matter how much he continually hurts me I still fall. I can’t say why and I doubt I ever will, for some strange reason. It’s like he has this ability to keep me from reacting to things I normally would react too.
I’ve been so lonely these last few months; to me he has come at a perfect time. But I suppose I’m asking for too much, I suppose I expect him to be my knight and shining armor when really he’s just a teenage boy. I feel like well maybe, even though I like him and cherish the moments we spend together that I’ll always be waiting and wanting more than he can give me. I continue to wait because I know my feelings for him are strong, but I’m not sure he’ll ever make it. And I feel so guilty reading this seeing all the “I’s’”. Maybe there are so many because I feel like I’m the only one who wants this? I’m not really sure. He can say and do the sweetest things sometimes. Like when I’m lying in his arms and he gently rubs my back. Or when he looks and me and says I’ll see you Saturday. That’s special to me because he remembered what he said earlier that day. It was the first small step in the right direction. I’m sure he couldn’t see the gleam in my eyes when he said that, but there was that twinkle – this wonderful amazing feeling.


August 27th :I want to call him; it’s been days since we have talked. I want to see how’s just to been. To make sure he remembers I exist and that he still cares about us. To tell him I miss him and can’t wait until Saturday. I want to pick up my phone and call but I am afraid. No, not of him but what he’ll say. Unfortunately there is always this awful lingering thought that he might have changed his mind. I can’t get the thought to go away. I try; I tell myself that it’s not possible. But hearing him talk about all the girls at school only makes me wonder --- wonder if I’m no longer good enough. How’s that possible? I don not know since I care so much about him. I care even though I know that right now he is probably sitting in front of his television watching a baseball game.
Like I’ve written if he’d take a few minutes out of his day for me – just a few than I wouldn’t be so worried. And yet I can’t help but want to see him again. To have his attention on me – to hear his heart beat while my head is on his chest. To close my eyes and catch a glimpse of my own internal peace; to hold time at a stand still while capturing a snap shot to treasure. I would sometimes like to yell at him, to ask him how he can let an amazing girl wait by her phone to hear his voice. To go days without seeing him and feeling as though no matter how strongly she feels for him it still doesn’t matter! I want him to see it through my eyes – to know what it’s like to want him so bad, to think about him all day long and have to know at the same time you’re the furthest thing from his mind. To let him see my past so he knows I deserve some type of reciprocation. I remember saying on the first date we went on that it was essential to have a boyfriend whom I could call at anytime if I needed to talk. I wanted someone to count on, but how can I call him if he has no time for me?
Time. It seems to be one of the biggest obstacles. No time for him to call. No time for us to see each other. And if time isn’t the enemy it’s distance. He lives about forty-five minutes from where I do. But nothing I have said will stop me. He’s too important – there’s too much potential for us, and too many unmade memories. I really want to take him to my homecoming, I want to see his face when he looks at me in a dress and heels with all my confidence radiating for miles. Those are the moments I long for.

August 28th :It’s a new day and the same challenges invade my brain, my thoughts and concentration. It’s hard being on this emotional roller coaster. Being happy when I am with him and lost and confused when I am not. Being jerked from happiness to devastation when reality hits that it will be another week until I’m reminded of why I play this game. I can only try and distract myself over the weekdays with the thought of seeing him again. It’s incredible how much you can learn about someone in just a short period of time. You see the best and try and forget the worst. Remember the way it feels to have him hold you as the tingles run up and down your spine. While trying to forget that somewhere in the back of your mind you are trying to keep the truth hidden.
I try and keep the photos of the best times we’ve shared. Like when his eyes become big as a baseball is being hit from the park and his team wins even though that means my team loses. Our first date, where we went to the movies and to hold my hand (the only time he ever took the initiative to do so) he used the excuse ‘it’s cold in here.’
I don’t have a lot of expectations I just want to start a new chapter in my life. To have new experiences and at the same time have a good relationship with him, one that you like each other enough to at least hug when you first see them. I want him to remember that when we’re with other people just to take a few minutes just to be with me. It’s not exactly fair that he walks around with the ‘taken’ feeling but he does nothing to deserve to say ‘yeah she’s my girl.’
He has lupus erythematosus and even though he doesn’t know I know, I do. Sometimes I wonder if that is the reason I’m so lenient with him. I doubt it. Even though it affects him because he’s smaller than the average guy his age, he doesn’t show it. He doesn’t use it as a hinder and he won’t admit it to anyone. He walks around like he’s the big man on campus, and if I ever asked him about it I’m sure he’d deny it saying something like ‘what’s that?’ The truth is I’m afraid to ask, afraid to upset him; he makes me afraid of saying and asking most anything.
Another truth is though, I’m afraid to know the truth. I don’t want to venture into ideas of what could be stopping him. He made this comment the last time I saw him about not wanting to get serious until after school started. He didn’t want me to go back to school and see someone and realize I’d rather go out with them. I explained to him that isn’t how I am; you don’t do that to someone. To me when he said that it means one of two things. Either he is just as worried about rejection as I am or he thinks he might be in the situation and doesn’t want to get involved until he is sure there’s not a girl at his school he’d rather date. That’s the possibility I can’t handle thinking about. I haven’t had enough time or a fair shot. He has been holding back this whole time. How can I capture his heart if he never gives me the chance? How can I be the girlfriend he deserves if he doesn’t let me? Those are the questions I have no answer for.

August 29th (morning) : It’s now been four days, four long, long days. Four days of disappointment as I wake up and realize it’s not Saturday. Four days of wondering what he could be doing. I’ve tried to sound positive but it’s getting harder. If I were him I couldn’t let myself go days without talking to me. So how can he? I ask myself did I do something wrong? I go through all the time we have spent together, every detail. This is how I know I am hooked. It’s not a good thing, at least not at the time it isn’t. I’ve put myself in a bad position. I’ve opened my arms and am now vulnerable.
I hope he doesn’t hurt me. I hope he realizes my intentions are pure. I hope he can see I have the heart of an angel and that I could never hurt him. Everything I have written in here I wish I could share with him. I can’t. He’d probably think I’m obsessed and crazy. I’m not. I wouldn’t be writing this if I could just tell him. I wouldn’t be writing this if he would open up to me.
And again I sit here ten at night, phone near by, writing because I miss him. I sit here contemplating how he could be so insensitive? Somewhere I know there’s a great boyfriend and this is why I continue to wait. Continue to keep myself in the position where I could get hurt. But I’m a firm believer in if you don’t take chances you’ll always be wondering “What if?” And I’d rather know I tried than wonder; I’d rather put my heart out there knowing I stayed true to myself and get hurt. It’s then on him if he chooses to do the same or not. I know I’m shy and a little too serious but that’s why he is so good for me, he balances me out. My mind continues to search for the answer to what could have been so important that he couldn’t see fit to call me in the last four days? I suppose I’m guilty too. But I can’t let myself break down and call him. If I call I’ll never know if he cares enough about me to call. I want to know not just through words but also through actions. I need him to step up and treat me like I treat him… and here the tears come. Why am I crying? I suppose it’s because he makes me feel so inadequate. I know no one can make you own feelings you don’t want to but sometimes it’s hard. I guess though to him it wouldn’t matter he’d just think I was overreacting. But I’m not. Eventually being let down over and over again wears you down. Eventually you need to vent and I cry. And the only thing I’m envisioning is him smiling not even concerned with me. Sad huh?

August 29th (night) :I’m sitting here listening to rain falling – I think the sky is crying for me. Everyone in my house can sense that something is wrong. With my birthday only a few days away they can’t help but be concerned as to why I’m not more joyous. I really just want to spend it with him after I’m done at school. I’d like to go out to eat and just spend some nice quality time with him. I can’t say for sure what will happen, it’s only Friday and Saturday hasn’t even come yet. I continue to sit here realizing I’m running low on emotion. Low on energy, compassion, forgiveness, and will power. Where’s karma? How can you do some much and get nothing in return? How can you think about someone all day long and when there the reason you are so lonely? It just comes in the contract that if you are dating someone you expect to talk and spend time with them and that’s what I expect. Maybe my expectations are too unreasonable for someone of his caliber, age, and experience to fulfill.


August 31st: It’s now Sunday and I have nothing but the taste of disappointment in my mouth as I wake up and remember yesterday was Saturday. Yesterday was the day that got me through the week, the day I thought about for hours. The day I got ready for and the day that never came. I called him seven times between Friday and Saturday. Each time the phone rang, each time it was never answered. Again I was the furthest thing from his mind. He never called me back or gave a thought about Saturday being the day we were supposed to spend together. Instead like copious times before I was left to feel less than desired. I couldn’t mop or cry, I had to be strong for my little sister. I didn’t want her to see me get hurt again. She hates seeing a guy treat me the way he was and so I bottled up my feelings. I pretended like nothing had happened at all. I didn’t let her see the tears well up behind my eyes or the thought of disappointment make my body ache, that night though I did cry two tears. One for me and the day of only utter shame and the other for him because he’s too ignorant to see how wonderful I am. I was shameful because I had actually believed he’d remember. I cried a tear for him because he should be the one crying. He’s passing up someone who would be there, who wouldn’t do him wrong, who wants nothing more than to please him. I’m not going to try and call him anymore nor make an attempt to see him. He tried to play hard to get and he has succeeded. I no longer have anymore to give him. He has wasted everything away. He has spoiled memories to come and made the made memories leave a bitter after taste. I’ve struggled as hard as I can for something I believe in, but I believe no more.


I later found out that he never picked up his phone and Saturday never came because he didn’t like me.
He was such a gentlemen that he told me the day before my birthday. I decided the best thing to do was to get drunk, vodka being my choice. I didn’t drink slow and steady, I downed the vodka all within and hour. I’m not a heavy drinker, but he was in my house and I had hoped it would put me in an alternate world where I forgot all about what a jerk he turned out to be. I didn’t eat all day, or drink anything other than vodka. I was far, far, gone, so gone I remember walking out onto Main St. in Denver with all the alcohol in a plastic bag and falling over on the sidewalk. The day was odd I ended up going to my Mom’s house and going swimming, yes, still drunk, and before I got in the pool in my showy bikini I threw my journal at him. I did end up getting it back, it was one of those irrational decisions alcohol makes you believe at the time are good ones. He read one sentence and closed it, one sentence. I knew right then and there it was over, and I would be left picking up the pieces in the weeks to come. I ended up driving him and his friends’ home later that day, and on the way home I drove crying in my car to Tim McGraw’s ‘It’s Open Season on my Heart’. The next day I had school and I woke up feeling sicker then I ever felt before, I went into my kitchen to get a class of water. I ended up grabbing a beaker from my cupboard, and unable to move to refrigerator I set the beaker down and that’s when everything went black. The next thing I knew I was on the kitchen floor in my pajama’s my mom running to see what the loud “boom” was. She was about to call an ambulance, but I persuaded her not to, saying ‘Mom, it’s my birthday, please don’t call, you’ll ruin it!’ That wasn’t the reason I didn’t want her to call, I didn’t want them to find out I was drinking, because no one knew but him and his friends. She decided not to call but I consider myself lucky to this day, and I know that it was only because it was my birthday.



September 3rd: I’m not exactly sure when he stopped liking me or if he really every started. I do believe though at one time he did since I don’t think he was that good of a faker. He thought if he didn’t pick up his phone I would forget about him; I was nothing more than a joke to him. (He must of also thought I was stupid if that was his manly way of letting me know it was over.) In exactly one month he went from being the best thing of my summer to the worst. I was nothing more than some girl he used. The day I took him to the Orioles vs. Yankee’s baseball game meant nothing to him. Nothing did. He just wanted to go to a baseball game on someone else’s wallet. Looking back at this I see all the signs pointing to this ending; but I know there is some reason I had to go through all this. I do hope though no girl ever meets guy like this; I’m sure many have and many more will. For my sake and his I hope we can both take something from this. And I would like to apologize for anything I may have done because I too am only human. I hope he finds nothing but happiness and my optimism continues with the hope the he wishes the same for me. I wish this even knowing to this day he calls me names no girl should be referred to as. He makes up lies about me; but despite this I hope his life is nothing short of extraordinary. So to all you teenage girls take what you can from these miserable experiences and learn who people really are and always remember these guys who make us struggle are merely stepping-stones that will only be your past. Struggle as hard as you can for whatever you believe in (I know I will); someday it will be worth it.

The author's comments:
I decided to add a before and after to get across a point. The point that girls shouldn't believe that they know who just what kind of guy they've got on their hands. I know to this day I wish I would have never met this guy, wished I had never been presented with with chance to date, wish I just could move on. This whole situation still haunts me and I can only hope I will eventually find peace. I just want the world to know, know what it's like being a teenage girl and dealing with today's teenage boys. Girls struggle hard but only for the right reasons :)

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