I feel like I’m ready to talk about Luke.
I remember vividly my freshman year in high school, sneaking glances at the pretty blond boy on my right. I remember stalking him in the lunchroom, giggling crazily with my friends. I remember picking up a quarter that fell from his pocket and handing it to him. That moment filled me with joy for a couple of weeks.
I thought he was unattainable… until he wasn’t. Until he started talking to me in English class. Until he started walking me home, even though I knew he lived on the other side of town. Until he asked me out on my very first date. Until he told me he loved me for the first time.
That first year was probably the happiest and most nerve-wracking year of my life. Every day I would spend hours in the mirror and in my wardrobe, making sure I was perfect so Luke wouldn’t give up on me.
After the first year, it just felt like we fit together. We became “Luke’n’Lolly,” the couple that everyone wished they could be. Because of Luke, my high school career was a blissfully pain-free one. I was never one of the kids who had an onset of depression while going through puberty. I was popular; I had Luke.
When it came to the beginning of senior year I started to get worried. Would we go to the same college or fall into the trap of so many high school couples who believe they can “make it work?” This was when I started to get somewhat depressed. I felt sick to my stomach often and didn’t enjoy spending time with Luke or my friends like I used to. Luke wrongly interpreted this as my disinterest in the relationship and asked me kindly if I wanted to break things off. I said no, of course, but this led to a brief period in my life where I was sure he didn’t love me. I had never been more heartbroken. Little did I know that it was nothing to what I would feel later.
About three weeks later Luke asked me where I was applying to college. We hadn’t hung out much for a while, so I was mildly surprised by his query. Nonetheless, I told him: Brown, Columbia, Stony Brook University, and Hamilton college. He was enchanted with the idea of Hamilton, a small liberal arts school in New York. He decided to apply along with me, and we joyously found out near the end of the year that we both got in.
Again I was happy. Luke was taking social sciences and communications so he could study to become a human relations specialist. I was taking humanities and sciences, and studying to be a teacher. We would meet up every morning at a coffee shop and hang out, and then we would walk hand in hand to classes. It was bliss.
That bliss was about to end. Luke and I went out one night to meet up with my sister (who was going to Columbia), and her current boyfriend, Barney or Barry or something. It was at some barbecue place right in the middle of the two colleges. Lucinda and Luke hadn’t seen each other in years, and I had always known that she had a small crush on him. He apparently had more than a small crush on her.
They spent the entire night talking, and for weeks after I would catch Luke checking his e-mail and calls constantly. I asked him why he was so frantic, and he would mutter something about a contest and hurry off. Not long after that, he uttered me the words everyone dreads to hear: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
Three days later I heard he was dating my sister. That remains, to this day, the worst feeling I had ever experienced. Pain and hurt and jealousy and betrayal, all layered on top of one another in an awful mixture. He transferred from Hamilton to Columbia to be with her, and I found myself alone and depressed. I’d relied on him for companionship, and now that he was gone, I had almost no one.
In the midst of my graduation, Luke was off on a honeymoon with my sister, who I had hardly spoken to since they got together. I was bitter and cold. Right after, I was snatched up for my first job in NYC, as a teacher’s aide. My parents never even congratulated me, as they were teary-eyed over Lucinda’s romantic wedding, which I had declined to attend.
So Lucinda has Luke, my parents’ love, three adorable children, and a huge circle of friends, and I just teach, blog, and drink tea with two other tittering ladies and our dogs. I could have had her life, if she hadn’t been in the way. There’s a reason for my hatred.
Until next time, this is Lollipop, signing off!