I remember this one time in high school, when I was invited to a friend's "end of the year" party. The entire class was there, and we decided to play "Seven Minutes in Heaven." The boys put all of their names in a hat, and the girls had to draw a name when it was their turn. I was fifteen at the time, hoping to choose a certain boy. I was first to choose, and instead of getting the guy of my dreams, I got paired up with the class loser!
As it turned out, this guy was a real dork. He dressed like our grandparents, and was almost impossible to have a conversation with. I wouldn't call him a nerd. Since he wasn't very smart or interesting either. The thing that I remember the most about him was his hair, which was, as usual, wearing way too much hair product in it. It looked like he had a ton of hair gel in it, making it looks greasy and disgusting.
He had a face full of nasty zits, and there was absolutely no way I wanted to go into my friend's coat closet with this loser. Unfortunately, I had to do it since everyone was waiting to see what would happen. We went into the closet, and as soon as we got in there, I thought that he was going to try to make a move on me. I was quiet, but was ready to fling the door open and run home screaming if he was going to try anything.
To my surprise, instead he sat down on the closet floor and got as far away from me as possible, and started to cry. "I didn't think I was really going to end up with you!" he sobbed at me, over and over again. At first, I was really angry at him because he was acting so upset that he was in the closet with me.
I was a lot cooler than him... not popular by any stretch, but still, I wasn't the biggest nerd in school either, so I figured that he would be happy to come into the closet with me and try to fool around. In fact, I was so sure that he'd love to do something like that with me that I was prepared to either run out of there or maybe even punch him in the nose if he tried to kiss me.
But instead, I got rejected and it felt awful. So, angrily I started complaining at him. "What's the big deal?" I said. "After all, I'm the one who was stuck in here with you. Nobody likes you!" I was so mad that I didn't even care if I hurt his feelings. The guy then admitted that there wasn't anything wrong with me, and in fact he'd had a crush on me all year long.
He had actually asked the guy who'd dealt with the names in the hat if he would try to somehow pair us up. But he didn't think anything was going to happen. So when he started crying and getting upset, it was because he was afraid that he was going to be a bad kisser or something. He had a crush on me, but he was nervous about being in the closet alone. Since he knew I didn't like him that much. I started to feel really bad, and my heart went out to him.
I told him that he wasn't so bad, but I just didn't know him that well, so of course I wouldn't know if I liked him or not. (OK, so that was a little lie to make a crying teenaged boy feels better!) I also said that if he wanted, I would let him kiss me on the cheek, but that was all since I didn't know him very well.
Unfortunately, we didn't get the chance. By that time, the other kids had decided to open the door and found me standing just where I had been a few minutes before, and the nerdy guy still on the floor, wiping his tear-filled eyes and dripping nose. Everyone assumed that he really had tried to kiss me, and that I wouldn't let him. The kids all laughed, mostly at him, and although we went back to join the party, he left after just a little while.
That week was the final week of school before summer started. When we signed each other's yearbooks, I added a note that he could call me sometime if he ever wanted to talk. I felt so bad about his unrequited crush, and the weird way that he acted, as well as how the kids all laughed at him. I was surprised when, a week or so after school ended, he called me.
All summer long, the two of us talked on the phone in a friendly way. It turned out that he wasn't so boring or stupid after all. Even though he dressed kind of dorky and sometimes acted strange, it turned out that he was somewhat funny and had some cool things to say. We found out that we had lots in common. I would spend time babysitting my two little brothers, and he'd call to keep me company.
I would return the favor by quizzing him on driving laws, since he was a few months older than I was and studying for his driving test. We actually became pretty good friends, though we never hung out together or anything over the summer.
The day before school started, he and I spoke on the phone and found that we had homeroom together, and agreed to meet then to catch up and compare the rest of our schedules the next day. When we'd met the next day, I was floored. Somehow, over the summer, his skin had cleared up and he'd grown a couple of inches. He was dressed pretty well too, and had taken my advice and gotten a better hairstyle.
In fact, he was looking pretty good, and I told him so! We wound up dating for most of that school year, and even now, we stay in touch on Facebook. It was a really interesting twist of fate that made us become friends. I guess that you never know what's possible until you get to know someone!