This is the story of my first love, how we got together, and how poorly I reacted to everything that happened between us. I'll call her "Giselle."
This is a perfect day for me to talk about Giselle, because today, May 14, is her 27th birthday. So I get to talk about the epitome of a stubborn Taurus, for no matter how many times I insulted her and called her a whore or a slut for no reason, she stayed by my side for three years. Why would I continue to berate someone that was obviously down for me all that time or else she would have left? Because that's how low my self-esteem was back then. I thought, if she spends this much time with me, what happens when she meets real men? She must really get busy with them. Of course, I didn't take into account her many physical maladies that made her arguably the least attractive girl in high school and made almost every other guy except me shrink away in horror. But I did worry because her self-esteem was very low as well, and if she had a chance to upgrade to a better boyfriend, I couldn't see a reason why she wouldn't. And as we all know, guys fuck anything.
Here is her list of physical problems, just to get it out of the way and paint the picture of her: First, she was very fat, something I really couldn't focus on since I was also very fat, but still...she was about 5'9", 220 lbs. when I first met her in late 1992. She had gained about 50 lbs. by the time we broke up three years later. And it wasn't the sexy, juicy kind of fat that a lot of women have. She did not carry it well at all. It was mostly in the belly and ass, not a round Bonita Applebum ass either, but a large, wide rump that beeped when she backed up like a garbage truck. Sometimes during sex she would try to ride the top, and my chest would literally start hurting like I was having a heart attack trying to support all that weight on me. One minor thing about her that other people could notice: These hideous brown spots on her front teeth that looked like she had been eating shit or something chocolate. They didn't go away ever, and she did brush, but these stains just stayed there at all times. Her explanation: Something about a botched dental exam that she didn't have the money to fix. Something more major that other people could notice: Her feet stuck out in opposite directions when she walked, and combined with her weight, she couldn't avoid looking like a waddling duck every time she went anywhere. Her explanation: Her ankles had been broken so many times over the years from general clumsiness that they just healed that way. The most major thing that other people could notice: Her one eye. Yes, she had a glass eye, her left one, and it was obvious because she couldn't keep it straight, so it was always looking at something else when she was trying to look at you. It even rolled back in her head once during sex, so that when she smiled and told me she loved me afterwards, all I saw in the left eye socket was white. I'm shocked that I didn't throw up. Her explanation: Something about her father fighting in Vietnam and catching Agent Orange and passing it on to her once he came back and conceived her, and she had to have her eye removed when she was two years old or risk losing both eyes by letting it progress. Other things that others didn't notice: A huge scar underneath her belly button (knifed in a gang fight, which totally went against her personality, although she did live in the Rockwell Gardens projects); one breast being slightly smaller than the other; a very sick habit of picking her nose and then putting the results in her mouth; and a story about having been raped a year before she met me that I didn't quite believe because she still lived in the same place that it happened, the aforementioned Rockwell Gardens, even though she had family that she could have gone to live with. Then again, being raped would explain why she came after me...she wanted to get a dick of her own choosing inside of her as soon as possible to get over that experience, and I was the ugliest dick in the school, so there was less chance of me turning her down.
So here's how our initial meeting came about: I was a junior in October 1992, never had sex, never had a date, thinking I would be a virgin forever. Giselle was a sophomore. We had a mutual friend, "Sherry," a cute Asian chick that I had the hots for. During the tryouts for the theater department's attempt at a production of Les Miserables, I was sitting near Sherry because I didn't know anyone else in the room since I didn't hang with the theater crowd. It was there that Sherry introduced me to Giselle, but it wasn't a fireworks, love-at-first-sight situation. My initial thoughts were, "She's ugly...big ass though." And that was it. I totally forgot about her and went back to flirting with Sherry and some white girl that had an early case of jungle fever. Apparently Giselle really liked what she saw of me for some reason, because a few days later a common male friend of ours gave me a piece of notebook paper with her name at the top, and the entire body of the letter consisted of the lyrics to the song "If Only You Knew" by Patti LaBelle. Naturally, I thought someone was playing a joke on me, since I had never had a girl express any interest in me. That first time I met Giselle was so underwhelming to me that I didn't recognize at all the name on the letter. I had no clue who gave me the note. And while I kept the letter and kinda floated for the next few days at the thought of having a secret admirer, I still thought it might be a joke since whoever this person was had not approached me to claim ownership of the letter.
Giselle sent another note a week later saying how much she liked me, but because again she was not stepping to me to claim responsibility, I shook it off as a prank. I didn't even suspect Giselle; after all, we were going to the same rehearsals for Les Miserables every day, and she never said a word to me. But one day after winning a small amount of money from a classmate in a sports bet, I invited Sherry out to lunch, totally intending to make a move on her. And during a lunch where I was going to tell Sherry how much I liked her, she put a stop to all that by telling me who my "secret admirer" was, and when she described her as the girl she introduced me to at Les Miserables tryouts, I was shocked. Like I said, we had plenty of opportunities to talk in the weeks since the tryouts, but she didn't approach me, and I honestly wasn't interested, so I didn't approach her. Turns out she was very, very shy, maybe even more than I always have been.
The next move was now on me, since I knew who she was and she was basically waiting for me to respond to her notes. I arranged to meet her in the lunchroom, and I arrived confident since I knew who I was looking for and I knew she had the hots for me. I no longer thought it was a prank, because it had gone too far for anyone to keep a prank like that going and because there were too many people that were friends of hers coming up to me and confirming her attraction to me. She wasn't as confident, however. I found her literally curled up under a lunch table, nervous and shaking but smiling as she always did. I helped her up off the floor, we made some small talk, and we agreed to go to a movie a week later after school on a half-day. We hung out and talked between classes for the next week, and those times along with rehearsals were the only times we could talk because she said that her family didn't have a phone. So we really didn't have a conversation longer than ten minutes until our first date. That's when she told me about the rape and the gang fight and the ankles and all that.
That first date was actually very cute, because I had no experience with women, so I didn't really know how to treat her. On the bus to the theater at Ford City Mall (which was a good hour plus away from our school on the bus, but we chose there just because the movie Malcolm X was playing there at 3:00P as a matinee and it would only cost us $3.50 each), I didn't sit next to her because, well, she wasn't my girlfriend so I didn't know if she wanted me to sit next to her. She sat next to me once she saw that I was as nervous as she was. Once we got to the theater, I loosened up a little because it was dark, and I put my arm around her. During a slow part where Malcolm visited Mecca, she curled into my arm to the point where her face was right there if I turned to her side. It would be an obvious invitation for intimacy to a normal guy, so of course I turned the other way. She then said the fateful words, "I get the feeling you want to kiss me." I smiled at her and turned the other way again. About thirty seconds later, something flashed through my mind along the lines of, "If I try to kiss her, I don't think she'll refuse me. She just might actually want me to kiss her." So I said out loud, "What the hell," and turned and kissed her. The funny part is that since I had never kissed anyone before, I expected to peck her on the lips and go back to the movie. Instead, she met me with nothing but tongue, and instinctively I responded. We later watched the movie again on tape and timed how long our kiss was with a stopwatch. It was about six minutes, nonstop.
Now, at this point we were a cute little story, two shy people finding each other and growing as a couple, and I wanted to keep it going at a slower pace, really getting to know each other. But Giselle did not want to go slow. She had an agenda to be lovers quickly, and as a result I never learned to trust her because I didn't have time to get to know her or figure out what she was about. This first date was on December 10, and we talked on the phone once a week after the date because she said she was at a laundromat pay phone. I remember this conversation because she asked about the way I was introducing her to my friends. I was referring to her as my "friend," and she was not happy. She wanted to be known as my girlfriend, and since we were swapping spit every day after school, that wasn't an unreasonable request, but I simply didn't know her well enough to grant that title naturally. She was almost still like a stranger to me. She also told me during this talk that she wanted me to tell her that I loved her, and that was not going to happen. But that showed where her mindset was. She was looking to find love, and I was her choice to give it to her.
My birthday is December 22, but Giselle couldn't see me because she was working, but the next day she came to my house for the first time. It was Christmas break, so there was no school. She was only supposed to drop by, then we would go to a movie. We never did go to the movie. Once we got into my bedroom and figured out that my elderly grandmother wasn't concerned about me and my first girlfriend being alone in my bedroom, all hell broke loose. Of course, it took some coaxing on her part. I kissed down to her cleavage several times before going back to her neck, and finally she got frustrated and said, "I'm not stopping you." That was my first taste of a woman's breast. She waited until her hose was around her knees before telling me that she was on the rag, but I was so horny by that point that I didn't care. So my first taste of poon was also my earning of the old Red Wings. And because I wanted to do a good job, I was down there for a good half-hour before Giselle grabbed my head, looked me in the eyes and said, "Make love to me." And make love I did, for about two minutes before it started feeling too good, then it was over.
Giselle proclaimed that she loved me basically every day after that, but I didn't start returning the expression until about three weeks later, and that wasn't because of love, it was because I was sick of seeing the hurt look on her face when she would tell me that she loved me and I would not respond in kind. So in a way she brought on my distrust of her, because if we would have grown into our relationship like I wanted to, I could have learned to love her eventually. I mean, I did like her personality, always sunny and happy and a little quirky. And I did admire her, because she was a great student, ambitious and intelligent and not at all a product of her environment, which is why I couldn't believe that she was ever involved in gangs. I just had my own issues with trust. Since I had never been with a girl, no dates, no nothing, and now all of a sudden here's someone claiming that she loves me and thinks the world of me and she kinda came out of nowhere...I just had a very hard time dealing with that. Combine that with her spending every Saturday at my house fucking me and blowing me, then spending all day Sunday at home doing homework and leaving me all alone, and I started to create reasons in my mind why Giselle was with me. She would have time to be with other guys on Sundays if she was with me on Saturdays, I figured. Never mind why she would be with me in the first place if she could find other guys. This mistrust built with the hurried way she was going about things, and after about a three-month honeymoon period, I couldn't hold in my feelings anymore. It basically became a contest to see how much I could hurt her before she had enough and went away, and then I could say to myself, "See? She wasn't true to me after all, she's not with me anymore." But she wouldn't go away. No matter what hurtful things I dreamed up about her, she simply wouldn't abandon me.
And being abandoned was what my fears were really all about. Giselle made the comment one day, and I dismissed it at the time, but of course now I realize that she was right on the money. She said that I was so afraid of her leaving because my mother died suddenly when I was ten years old, and I was scared that she would suddenly leave as well. It was so true. I was simply trying to drive Giselle away before I really did fall in love with her, because I was afraid of losing her once I did fall in love with her. And as much pain as I put Giselle through trying to insult her by calling her a slut and a whore, it was very painful for me too. Every night when I tried to go to sleep, I couldn't. I had images of Giselle sucking some thug's cock in those projects she lived in. I had thoughts of her being forced into turning tricks, stemming from her claims of being raped, but then I saw how much she loved sex when she was with me, and I didn't know what I was doing, so I figured she would really love it with guys who knew how to fuck. I was basically torturing myself coming up with situations where Giselle was spending time with men much better at sex than me. No matter how much she told me she was true to me, I refused to believe it, because to believe it would mean to believe in her, which exposed me to the possibility of being abandoned by someone I love again, and it would mean to believe in myself, to believe that I was good enough to make the woman I was with happy, which just seemed impossible to me.
There's not a whole lot much more to the story. We kept going around in that circle for three years, where we'd be happy for a few days or a week, then she would do something minor like say she would find a pay phone and call but she didn't, or tell me she would be at my house at noon but not come until 1P or 2P, and I would blow it way out of proportion and accuse her of being a slut, and we'd argue, and she'd cry, and I'd apologize, and we'd have makeup sex, and she'd leave and I'd stay up for hours wondering if she was going home like she said she was or if she was going to have sex with a real man, and I'd be so worked up by the time I saw her again that another session of me calling her a whore would take place, and we'd go around in that circle again. There were two pregnancies within that three years, and both resulted in abortions at my insistence. Not only did I not believe they were mine (of course they were mine) but I had never held a job before, and I didn't think there was any way we could support a child, plus I really cared what my family thought of me and I had never been in any real trouble, so I simply didn't want them to know that I was stupid enough to have knocked Giselle up with all the birth control methods we could have used. My grandmother died in 1994, so this second pregnancy occurred when I was living with my uncle and his family in February 1995 when I was 19. He found out about that pregnancy because Giselle and I were so mad at each other that we weren't actually speaking to each other, we were writing notes back and forth while we sat in my bedroom. When we left the room, my uncle found one of the notes on my floor, and it referenced Giselle's pregnancy. He was very disappointed, but he loaned me the money to cover the abortion, and we haven't spoken about it ever since. But no one in my family knows about the first pregnancy and abortion, in the summer of 1993 when we were still in high school, and they never will know.
The end came after we got back together after the second abortion and dated the rest of the year 1995. I had a job, so she would borrow money from me often, and in pretty big sums, but even that couldn't stop her from getting tired of me not supporting her and not trusting her, and after an argument over something so minor that I forget what, we separated for a week in December. We'd done that before, but when she called after a week, I didn't agree to get back together this time. Why? Because I was tired. I was tired of staying up at night worrying about where she was and who she was doing. I was tired of being in a relationship period, I wasn't mature enough to just enjoy Giselle's company and not stress about whether she was true to me. And, truth be told, I saw some women at my new job at CBOE, like "Yasmine" and a few others, who seemed to be into me, and I wanted a full shot at them without feeling like I was cheating on Giselle. But how could I trust them if I couldn't trust Giselle after three years? It wasn't about trust, it was about finding new lovers and getting into as many women as I could in order to boost my self-esteem. So that was it. Giselle called a couple of times after we broke up just to see how I was doing, but once I made it clear that I wasn't worrying about her and that I was dating others, she moved on.
We didn't speak or see each other again for six years. We would have never seen each other again had I not been a member of Classmates.com and she had not joined in December 2001. I e-mailed her just wondering how she was doing. She wrote back excited about hearing from me. We e-mailed back and forth for a month, during which time I learned that she graduated from college, had a son, and was engaged to some guy that wasn't the father of her child. I knew exactly what his name was because when she called me from "her cell phone," his name came up in my caller ID. Despite that, and despite their wedding day being set for Friday, February 15, 2002, she claimed one night while talking to me that she still loved me, and we set up a meeting in my apartment just to catch up and see each other again. She looked the same, except much bigger and without those brown spots on her teeth. She now weighed in at about 340 lbs. But one thing had not changed: She still couldn't keep her hands off me. We kissed that day, then she came back the next week and we made love. She told me that she was breaking her engagement and that we would find a place together and raise her son and everything would work out fine. I took Valentine's Day, Thursday, February 14, off work to spend with her. The Monday before, she called to say that she had something important to talk about, but she didn't want to tell me over the phone. She wanted to come by that night to tell me, but at that time it was past 11P and she decided it was too late so she'd see me the next day. That was the last time I heard from her. She stopped answering "her cell phone," she didn't show up on Valentine's Day, and I haven't seen her since. I was crushed that whole weekend. I couldn't believe that, knowing my fear of abandonment and knowing our history, Giselle would do that to me. She called a month and a half later and left a message asking me to read an e-mail she left, but all the e-mail said was that she'd be calling later and would it be okay to talk. I wrote back to never call me again after pulling the shit that she pulled unless she was going to explain herself. She wrote back saying that she would do just that in her next e-mail, but her next e-mail wasn't until another two months later, and it didn't explain anything. All that e-mail said was that she had just gone through a bad situation and could I lend her an ear? I was still so steaming mad that I totally ignored her request, and that's the last I heard from her at all.
I suppose one could say that I got what I deserved after treating her the way I did. While I don't feel bad brushing her off after she totally abandoned me, I can understand why she still had animosity towards me. I don't completely understand why she took the angle of reuniting with me, knocking boots with me again, and then leaving me instead of just telling me how much I hurt her in the past. Maybe she wanted me one last time before she went and married this other guy. Maybe she really was going to dump this guy for me, but he physically intimidated her into staying with him. Maybe at the last minute she finally realized what I'd been telling her all those years, which is she can do much better than me. Whatever the case may be, at least I did let her know how sorry I was for treating her like shit. At least I was able to see my first love again. Long before our little reuniting I had a very strong feeling that I would see Giselle again in my lifetime, and I actually have a very strong feeling that I'll see her yet again. And at least I was able to see and hear her passion for me again, because none of my other lovers have been as crazy about me in or out of bed as Giselle was. When I'm feeling really down, I still think about the way she made me feel any time I was with her. She was down for me. She loved me more than anyone else I've ever been with. I still don't know why, but I don't question it anymore.