Penguins

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Let me tell you something: when you are a teenager who has waited 15 for your first kiss and spends a majority of your time on the internet blogging on a website you tell everyone is a virus, not only do you fail socially and academically, but you also have a pretty shitty love life. Take it from me, it is not fun being addicted to the internet sometimes, because you always see all these pictures of people swimming and jumping off rocks into lakes and kissing their boyfriends and having fun with actual people, and it’s like, wow, I wish I knew people. All the people I know are just like me: addicted to tumblr and poorly loved by men. Actually, one of them doesn’t have a tumblr because of parental blocking, and another has had a boyfriend for over a year…and also, they all have other friends besides just me. So I guess I’m just me. But, like, they all have their own separate groups branching off of this main group, the only group I belong to. It might be the only group I’ve ever belonged to. I mean, I have other friends and know other people, but I’m only really good friends with one other person, and her group is all seniors and they treat me like one of their own but I kinda know I’ll never actually be one of their own, so no matter how inviting they are I’ll always feel like an outsider. I guess I kinda fit in with the weirdoes, but that’s only because of like three people I know who fit into that group, and those people actually aren’t that weird at all. They’re the kind of people who only get weird around their friends, kinda like me. I guess that’s why I fit in with them; when you’re not afraid to be yourself, it’s easy to get along with people. But I kinda stopped talking to all but two of them after I began dating one of them (saying they hate me is an understatement). And, man, let me tell you, that was the most shocking thing that has ever happened to me in my life.

The way we met the first time is kind of a blur. I suppose we met on the first day of fifth grade. I was wearing these dumbass camouflage sweat shorts…let’s not get into that. But the teacher had us go around the room (physical activity is pain) and actually talk to people (social activity is pain) and have them sign this paper thingy and write down one fact about them. I can imagine the facts I wrote about myself were pretty repetitive (Hi I’m Sydney, I like to draw and write and I’m 50% Italian with green eyes and blond hair!), so if we did meet on that day I mustn’t have made a very good impression to that perfect little fifth-grader, soon to be perfect high schooler, who will grow up to be most perfect man ever and surpass Ridiculously Photogenic Guy because he’s just that damn perfect. But anyway, I only remember meeting this really tall guy who scared the pants off my 4-foot-tall behind, and Chase, the guy who’d hold my heart and make me go through a whirlwind of pain and torture for the next four years. What a d*bag.

Actually, now that I think about it, if I did meet him, I did make an impression. I don’t know if it was very good, but he kept trying to get me to say hi to him. When I was younger, I didn’t want to get married or like boys or kiss a boy or talk to boys or be near boys, so I can imagine he probably freaked me out. He did trip on my chair though, and I actually do remember this, and I remember trying not to laugh because it was so goddamn funny. According to him, it was his mission in fifth grade to get my attention, so I guess that was a win for him. But only for a day though, because goddamn Chase got in the way of everything.

With Chase, everything was so complicated. I’m pretty sure he was leading me on the whole time, because I just got the feeling he was legitimately creeped out by me. I actually have a few theories on the matter: 1) he liked me in 5th grade, but when middle school came he realized I was weird and moved onto the whorish freaks that always blossom into beautiful little prostitutes between the ages of ten and twelve 2) he’s always liked me at least a little bit, so when he found out I liked him, he just didn’t know what to do, and our contrasting social statuses (him on top and me so below the radar not even the bullies knew who I was) prevented him from growing a pair and asking me out 3) he liked me as a friend from 5th to 7th grade and was just a total d*bag, then in 8th grade he found out I liked him and didn’t want to hurt me, thus, he never rejected me to my face, but never accepted me either, thus only encouraging my love for him. All options result in one outcome:

F*** you, Chase. F*** you and your couch.

So by the time middle school ended, I had absolutely no idea who my future boyfriend was. I still thought he’d be Chase. It turns out, he was the guy who showed up to my house on Halloween, and probably the one who took all the candy whenever we’d leave a box out so I could actually get some of my own. I actually do remember opening the door for him a few times during those three terrifying years where I was prevented from going trick-or-treating, which I look back on now with fond memories, because my little sister’s illness that everyone thought was swine flu prevented me from going out dressed as an Asian school girl (not the sexy kind…the Otaku kind). But besides Halloween, I didn’t see him, until that fateful first day of freshman year, when I went into the wrong classroom (fun fact: while looking for my Freshman year English classroom, I mistook it for the room next door, which turned out to be the English class I’d be taking for Sophomore year. Funny how things turn out that way). I ended up going into my real classroom late, and I remember everyone staring at me as I walked in. And I remember seeing him. Well, I remember seeing everybody, because everybody saw me, but he was there, too.

I ended up becoming best friends with his two best friends. The one who wasn’t gay wanted me, which was creepy, especially when we had to do a skit, with partners assigned by our teacher, and he was the Romeo to my Juliet and I wanted to cry because dear Lord sweet baby Jesus that was not at all okay. In fact, I rarely talked to my future boyfriend, except when he would join our quartet in the corner (me, my best friend, creepy lover boy, and the gay), but he would always just sit there and draw. That was what I liked about him, though. I’d never met someone who was so into art like me. And, damn, was he into art. I’m pretty sure he spent more time drawing in that class than actually paying attention. Drawing was how we got to know each other.

The second time we officially met, I didn’t even know his name. But we sat next to each other in English for like a week, and I remember seeing him drawing and commenting on it and we started talking and comparing drawings and challenging each other and all that jazz. I also remember thinking he was the most adorable freakin’ thing I’ve ever seen, because he really is. But, Chase was still douching it up and f***ing with my heart, so I’d never admit to it. Sami actually brought it up one time, and I claimed to not even remember his name.

But I did.

I always remembered him, ever since that time we drew bears on each other’s papers. Mine was a teddy bear, and his was some bloody, gut-chomping, monster-like s***. It was terrifying, and I was so envious of him.

As fate would have it, he did show up for Halloween that year, as he always did, except this time I actually remembered him. But goddamn, was I not prepared to see two guys from school, one being super freakin attractive and the other being creepy as all hell, on Halloween night while I was binging on candy and tea and watching some show I don’t remember. I was just chilling there, in my pink plaid PJ pants that I spilled bright blue nail polish on, my pink tee from Hollister, and just a thin white tank top underneath, with my hair up in the messiest bun you will ever see. But I didn’t care, because I figured all I’d see were s***s and little kids. So of course, when I rolled off the couch and opened the door and found them there, you can imagine my surprise and immense embarrassment, considering I was in my glasses, au natural, lacking a bra, and wearing mismatching socks and sagging PJ pants and just no, no to all of it, there is no universe that will ever exist where that will be an acceptable thing to occur. Nevertheless, I put my game face on, and tried not to care, because seriously the creep was dressed as Nacho Libre and my future lover was wearing an afro, so I really had nothing to be ashamed of. I talked to creeper guy, trying to ignore that sexy piece of unf standing next to him, and when that sexy piece of unf asked me to sneak out with them, I literally wanted to roll away and backflip into the sun because goddamn would that be the greatest thing ever. I would’ve pushed him to the floor and jumped on him and just done everything with him right then and there, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had no clue when my parents would be home and I was not exactly planning on getting grounded for life. So they left, and I had to say good-bye to my baby and his creepy friend, crying because goddamn was he perfect. I even knew it then, when I barely even knew the guy, that he was perfect.

I don’t remember when the next time I talked to him was. I probably talked to him a little bit, but not much, because we didn’t really become friends until Sophomore year in Bio. But, Jesus, when we came back for Sophomore year and I walked into Bio and saw him and all my old weirdo friends from Freshman year, I could’ve just peed myself because gosh darnit was I excited. I will not lie, my weirdo friends might be my favorite besides my main group, because the gay one’s brutally honest and the black one’s like the greatest guy ever and my boyfriend is just goddamn he is just goddamn. I knew that class would be awesome. And it was.

Looking back on it now, I guess I kinda liked him since freshman year, because I really don’t remember a time when I wasn’t attracted to him. I remember all those days in Bio where they’d f*** around and I’d kinda just be awkward as the only girl but still having a good time, and he’d catch my eye and he’d say something to me and most of the time it’d be criticizing because he was always kind of a jerk, but I wouldn’t care and I’d tell myself not to like him but deep down I was totally in love with him, ever since the teddy bear incident. And there were times where he would do something that would make me think, holy f*** why am I even attracted to you at all. But that was before we sat next to each other.

Teachers can really do wonders for you. My Bio teacher sat us right next to each other, with our best friend right in front of us and a bunch of other people that I was only slightly creeped out by. But I didn’t really care about any of them, because right after he sat down and I sat down I kinda just wanted to burst into tears because Jesus Christ he was beautiful. But I’d never admit it, not then. I was about 99.99% sure he despised me. He always went out of his way to tell me if I had something in my teeth or if my makeup was smudged or if my hair was messed up or if I was walking funny because of my heels or if something else something else something else. But at the same time, he always went out of his way to compliment me, and boy that was something else because at the time he was such a d*bag. He always talked about how good I was at drawing, and we’d always draw on each other’s papers. One time, I was doing my work and he was mapping out some floor plan for something on the back of his worksheet, and he asked me what I should add, and there was a strip of water in the front so I drew a fish. He turned that fish into a shark, and I turned his shark into a narwhal. Around that time, I got this theory that he was insanely in love with me. I don’t know what made me think that, and what made me not act on it, but some of the stuff he did was just so obvious. He’d always say hi to me in the halls, and always look at me for five minutes before doing it so we’d just stare at each other forever and then finally say hi, and he’d always choose me over his friends in class and claim it was because it was easier but I knew better. And it made me feel so special, it made me feel so f***ing great that he liked me, and I honestly could’ve grown wings and flown into outer space and die from lack of oxygen and not even care because someone perfect liked me and I liked him back and everything was almost as perfect as he was.

But there was a problem. I was still stubborn as all hell. There was a part of me that refused to admit my love for him. Something I’ve always wanted is to have a normal boyfriend. I was such a loser in middle school, and such a weirdo in high school, and all my friends were just as weird as me. I wanted to have a normal boyfriend as a way to prove to myself that I can be myself and still get a smoking hot model to love me. So I ignored the perfection in front of me simply because he had a few (super adorable) quirks, and settled for a new student from Kansas.

You know why?

He played the f***ing guitar, and something about the guitar just makes my ovaries want to burst into flames.
Well, that ended badly. My emotions were so all over the place, I ended up confessing to him and he said he wanted to take things slow, which was code for “I’m going to keep you here just in case things don’t work out with this other girl I’m telling the exact same thing to.”
I don’t really trust guitar players anymore.
Just kidding, they’re still hot as f***.

But anyway, I definitely freaked out on him and cried and yelled and screamed and stopped eating and became psychotic. I was such a mess, it was crazy. And during that time, something happened in Bio, something that nearly made me piss myself. We were sitting in class watching a movie, when all of a sudden God answered my prayers and that sexy mother hugger passed a note to me. We began talking, and I mentioned being forever alone, which he replied to by saying, “I could be your helping hand” with a cute little drawing of a hand next to it (he’s so friggin’ cute I could die). But, at the time, I was a mess, like I said before. And that was so vague, and I was already swimming in a vast sea of vagueness, and I didn’t want to misinterpret what he was saying. What if he meant wanted to set me up with someone? What if he meant he wanted to be there to comfort me as a friend? But, dear God, what if he wanted to date me? Only two other people had ever wanted to date me before and one was a pedophile and the other relationship lasted for a week. My inexperienced mind became all frazzled, and the devil on my shoulder stabbed the angle with a pitchfork and made me write “NO” in big capital letters. I was shaking. The realization of what I’d just done and what had just happened was tearing me up inside. But at the same time, I wasn’t even sure of what had just happened. But after that, I wasn’t so sure if he liked me anymore. In fact, I was more certain than ever that I liked him, and more certain than ever that if he didn’t hate me before, he would now.

In the weeks that followed, I got heart broken and he kept on being cute. He treated me as if I’d never indirectly rejected him, and always tracked me down at lunch to copy my homework. He always made me be his partner, too. One time in particular, in Bio, we were working with genetics. We had to pick a partner, and flip a coin three times. Heads would stand for the dominant trait, and tails for the recessive. So, for example, if you were trying to figure out if your baby would have curly or straight hair, and curly was heads and straight was tails, and you got heads twice, your baby would have curly hair. Basically, we had to have a fake baby with someone in the class.

It was really simple. The hard part was finding a partner. I’d never really been a social butterfly, and I expected my true love to go with his friend and my backup friend to go with his friend, and I saw myself getting stuck with one of the quiet weird people who forced me to be the social one or one of the ghetto girls who took selfies with their camera phones and put them in albums on Facebook titled “treeeeeesss?~*~**~*~~,” as I often did. But then, a miraculous thing happened. My friend who sat in front of me leaned over and shouted, “I PICK SYDNEY TO BE MY BABY MAMA!” And then, something mind-blowing happened. The perfect specimen of the male variety sitting next to me shedding glorious rays of sunshine brighter than a freakin’ firework said, “No. She’s gonna be my partner. She’s already sitting next to me.”

I froze. I was blushing so bad, and I didn’t want him to see me blushing, so I just sat there like a statue, trying to process the situation that had just happened. God, I still can’t even wrap my mind around it. Even when he began waving his hand in front of my face, I couldn’t move. Finally I got the courage to turn and look at him, and when I did he was really close to my face, and I kinda freaked out a bit and smiled all normally and pretended not to be dying inside. We were going to have a fake child together. I honestly could’ve just broke down in tears, right there in the middle of class.

I’m pretty sure we ended up using a penny, I don’t really remember, but I do remember laughing a lot, and that our baby almost turned out to be an Asian ginger. I named it Arbor Leigh, because I have this plan that I’m going to name my future daughter Arbor Leigh, first name Arbor middle name Leigh, and naming our fake baby my future baby’s name made our fake baby seem like a real baby, and I wanted to scream because holy Jesus the baby had our last names all conjoined into one glorious, beautiful thing that I can’t even describe to you now because great Scott I was so high off of his perfection I couldn’t think straight. Naturally, I got caught up drawing the baby, and he left to go talk to his friend, but later on I joined them, as usual. That was honestly one of the most mind-boggling days of Bio, and I had a lot of mind-boggling, heart-stopping, earth-shaking, life-changing days of Bio.

For instance, the first time we all sat together in a quartet, with me on one side sitting next to the only other girl who ever talked to these guys, and the love of my life across from her sitting next to my gay best friend. We began sitting like that every day, pretending to do work but really just them sharing stories and her jumping in and me laughing so hard I would start crying. I’m going to miss that so much.
Also, there was the day we were watching a video, and I went and sat next to him, and I had a lot of answers missing cuz that video was so goddamn boring I wanted to cry, and he took my paper and filled in all the answers I had missed.

And there was the day where he was getting his supplies out of his backpack, and for the first time in a long time he was alone, and I went and sat down in his seat, and he gave me this look like I had just started the Holocaust. But then, and I don’t even remember what I said to make this happen, but he smiled at me, a smile that was so genuine and pure and full of sex and perfection that I wanted to cry, and I realized, in that smile, that it wasn’t the fake teen love that I felt for members of boy bands and fictional characters that I felt for him; it was a whole new kind of love, a kind of love that was so real and so intense that I almost passed out. It was that smile that made me realize that I couldn’t live without him, and goddammit I would do everything in my power to make him mine.

And then he gave me his computer mouse to try out, and when you scroll down, I s*** you not, it’s seriously like sex for your hands.
During all this time, since the beginning of February, we had been talking on Facebook. It was so nice to get to know him without all of our other friends getting in the way, without teachers to worry about and papers to finish. It was so nice getting to know him, the real him, not the him that got pissed within five seconds and never did his work and always fell asleep in class and said really vulgar stuff that made me laugh so hard I cried, but the him that was deep, and mysterious, and thoughtful, and genuine, and funny, and smart, and helpful, and hardworking, and life changing and heart racing and mind blowing and just the definition of perfection. I loved him so goddamn much it hurt.

Of course, being me, I had to screw things up. I made it too obvious that I wanted him, and he found out and everyone found out and it became this awkward mess, and I spent a good couple of nights crying. But the funny thing is, he didn’t get creeped out. He didn’t leave. In fact, he came to me.

I have this tendency to run away with things get hard. And when I found out he liked me, I hid from him, which was pretty hard to do because we had Bio and I had to act like I didn’t want to burst into tears when I was forced to sit next to him during computer lab. I spent all day hiding, but I still kept Facebook open, just in case he talked to me. And he did. For the first time, someone had chased after me when I ran. And I knew it meant something. Even if he didn’t like me, it did give me the boost I needed. I decided I wouldn’t give up. He was the one. I wanted him so badly. I couldn’t live without him. Even if it was only as a friend, I wanted him in my life, no matter what.
So we called a truce, and he offered to take me out to get milkshakes to make up for all the drama that’d happened.
I almost died.

Well, it didn’t end up being a date like I’d hoped. I’d hung out with that group twice before, and they’re all pretty darn weird, and pretty much every single one of them except the love of my life treated me like a vagina with a face. But I didn’t care, because I wanted to spend time with him so damn badly. So, even though it bothered the hell out of me when they followed him over to my locker and acted as if what was going on had no significance at all, I didn’t mind, because he acted like it was special. He made me feel special. And I loved him even more for that. (He even made one of his friends give me his jacket because I was cold and his wasn’t a zip-up, and then later apologized for not giving me his. Couldn’t you just die?)

Thanks to his friends, we got Starbucks instead, and I ended up getting a frappuccino. But he still paid for it, and I swear to god, when we went up to the counter and it was just the two of us and we were bickering like an old married couple, it was like we were already dating and all I wanted to do was reach out and hug him and cry because he was so perfect and he always smelled really good, but I couldn’t because I still had the heart wrenching feeling that he was only being nice to me because he felt bad. And when he left, leaving me alone with the gay one and the small Filipino, he and I kinda just looked at each other. Not in a creepy way, but he waved good-bye to everyone else and then made eye contact with me and we just stared, and the look in his eyes made me feel like there should’ve been more, so much more should’ve happened, and he wanted it as badly as I did and there was just so much sexual tension going on in those few seconds it was insane. But then he left, and I was alone, all butthurt because I had gotten my lips all ready to be kissed and I had dressed especially cute just for the occasion, and there was absolutely no need.

So I went home, butthurt yet still super excited, because in my hand was a frappuccino that HE bought with HIS MONEY, I just became a mixed mess of emotions again and I was just freaking out all over the place because goddammit what was I going to do when he came on Facebook because I just couldn’t hide it anymore, I just couldn’t. And damn, was he asking for it, when we talked on Facebook and he had the balls to say, “You can tell me anything” all perfect and sexy. So I did. I told him everything. I told him how I couldn’t forget about him and how he was the first thing I thought of when I woke up and the last thing I thought of before I went to sleep. I told him how I cried over him that day when I was in hiding, and how I refused to give up because I wanted him so goddamn much. I told him how I was sick and tired of being alone and not having him there to hold me when I got cold, which was so often it was becoming an issue (it’s just one of the many things you deal with when you own a good deal of cute skirts). I told him everything, it all just came out like word vomit, and I couldn’t help it, he had to know.

So he jumped off his freakin’ roof.

He jumped off his freakin’ roof.

He felt bad for making me cry, so he decided to even the score by JUMPING OFF HIS FREAKIN’ ROOF.

If that’s not love than I don’t know what is, because that is honestly the weirdest and sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me. And so he told me that “the score was mutual,” and the next day he’d say “those 6 damn words,” and I remember smiling a lot and crying because I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. And, sure enough, the next day, after an extremely heart-wrenching period of Bio where all I did was get anxiety and blush and freak out over his perfection, he asked me out, in the most awkward way possible, but still, I accepted it, because holy f***ing s*** HE WAS ASKING ME OUT. I could’ve just died, right then and there, but I didn’t want to miss out on any of his sweet gloriousness because, God, I had been waiting too long for it.

The next day, I was all freaking out because I honestly didn’t and still don’t really have a clue how to be a girlfriend, and I was thinking that he wanted to spend time with his friends more than me and if he wanted to see me he’d come to me and why don’t I just stop being a pussy and go over there but no I’d probably bother him but damn does he look cute in those jeans. Finally, the pep rally ended, and my friends pushed me in his direction and left me in the middle of the gym, being pushed by oncoming traffic of people that seemed to be 5 feet taller than me. So I made my way outside and there he was, waiting for me, and I ran up to him as fast as I could with the dorkiest smile on my face and we walked side by side around the school and I couldn’t help myself so I hugged him, and I didn’t care if we were in people’s way or who saw because I could’ve stayed that way forever, and when lunch ended he gave me his jacket and Lord Almighty he looked hot in that shirt, and I hugged him again and then went off to class and all my friends made sex jokes about me and screamed about the jacket and it was like being on ecstasy or something, it was just that great.

A while later, we held hands for the first time, and, while it was forced upon us by one of my friends, he didn’t let go for a really long time afterwards. And I remember he always used to have this glare on his face, and he always looked really pissed off, even when he was with me, and as time when on he softened up, and he smiled a lot more and laughed a lot more and I was so happy he was happy.

But there was still a problem.

I was still the biggest virgin ever.

I had never kissed anyone, so I had no clue how to go about kissing him. And he caught me, mid-sentence, planting his lips awkwardly, half on my mouth and half on my chin, and God I wanted more but he backed away and blushed and smiled and walked away before I even had a chance to react, because, awkward as it was, that kiss took my breath away, and I remember all I was thinking was that I wanted more and I couldn’t get enough of him. And all the kisses that followed were breath-taking, and all the hugs and cute moments and the sneaking around and the fights and those goddamn flowers and the jokes and the cuddling and getting dirty and exhausted and wet and yelled at and caught and turned on and happy and just all of it, all of it was perfect, just like him, and I would never change any of it for anything because, damn, he was perfect, and we’re perfect together, and I love him so goddamn much.

But I can never tell anyone that, except for him, because a lot of people think that it’s stupid to say that I love you after only 4 months. But the truth is, we’ve known each other for over 5 years, and all that time we spent getting to know each other is what made me fall in love with you. I loved you before we even started dating, and everything that happened in the past 4 months just made me ten million times more certain of how much I love you. It’s not foolish to fall in love as a teenager. A lot of people think it is, but it’s really not. Teenagers fall in love so often because they have a lot of love to give, and they just keep giving it to the wrong people. It’s very rare that two people who are meant for each other find each other in high school. But my parents did it, and I think I did it, too. And even if it doesn’t work out, I will never regret one moment, one word, one touch, one kiss, one single breath. Everything I’ve done with you was absolutely perfect, every last thing. I regret nothing, and I never will. No matter what, you will always be the love of my life.





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