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Boys Who Built Me
First was someone I never met, and never would. They were much older than me and I was much too young to know what I was saying when I made him my blue peg in the game of Life. Only metaphorically. There is an internet rumor he is dead. I don't know his real name and am too uninterested to figure it out.
Second was a boy I admired from afar. A shark tooth necklace and the way he spoke broken, inexperienced spanish with our elderly teacher. He watched me walk barefoot on warm blacktop and once reached out for the sequins on my shirt. I'm not sure he ever knew my name. His dad was young.
Third was someone I missed in my first run of this list. Blond and so smart he'd sometimes mess up easy equations. Seemed to likely honestly, but my now-arch-nemesis liked him too. Spoiled the end of Harry Potter for me and I think that was a deal breaker. I saw him years later at a competition and I think he remembered me. He started my interest of guys in long sleeves.
Fourth was a loud troublemaker, nothing like me who had mastered the art of hardly existing. He dated my friend or something, I honestly didn't pay too much attention. He had a bit of a scandal with barbecue sauce. He teased me about liking him and never seemed to grow up.
Fifth was a coincidence. I met him before I actually did in a place I wasn't supposed to be with someone I hardly knew. That sounds much more dramatic than it actually was- I met him in a playground. We were close friends and he was funny. I think my brain liked him much more than my heart.
Sixth happened in retrospect. I think he was the first one that mattered. Gave me a lot of classroom awards and other kids were suspicious about it. We played war in the back of our bus once. His eyes were deep-set. He sometimes remembered I was a girl and told me to turn around as he was putting on deodorant.
Seventh was a mistake. My neighbor who was too short and nothing like anyone else. He had no personality so I invented one for him. He was my gateway to writing and character development. He was dating my manipulative friend and they were uncomfortable. I was so young it makes me sad. When he sees me he runs.
Eighth was too good for me. We were never together, and he was a bit younger than me, but he was bright. I had fallen down down down and he stood above me in confusion. I held onto him as a sort of odd and selfish goal. His singing voice was delicate and I know his mom's favorite song. We still talk and I still miss him, but not like that.
Ninth was a misunderstanding. On my part not his. He knew what he wanted- me. I asked around and everyone told me I was being ridiculous. I am forever apologetic. He tried to hug me and I recoiled in shock. He told me he loved me two days before I'd never see him again. He played Welcome to the Black Parade very screechy and I learned it on piano because of him.
Tenth is mine. He was a fire-based fixation and I burned slow. I entranced him somehow. I liked the broken I caught glimpses of and he liked that I liked him. We call it love and I flit between utter faith and disbelief. He took a lot of work. Someone haunts us both, me because of him. He likes my words sometimes. I want him all to myself.
Eleventh will never be. Someone I clicked with immediately. I became someone I never thought I would be. I called us friends but we both knew it was more. I think he felt something too but I'm not entirely sure. He crossed off all my firsts and made me feel an odd sort of special. I set him up with my friend and now he won't let me near him. I tell myself it will go away.