Monday, February 15, 2010

The High School Years: Part 6 - Wake Up Call

Missed a part? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

We got to finals week. And after going quite a long time without a mention of it, Anna all of a sudden out of nowhere sent an email asking, “Hey, for some reason i just thought of this: Justin, do you still like Alura?”

It hit me right across the face and I started thinking about it. My emotions started taking control of me. I thought about Alura and how wonderful she was and how sweet and pretty and awesome she was. These feelings, these feelings that I had done such a good job at suppressing for the past month were coming back into me.

I like her now more than I have ever liked her before, but I'm controlling myself. Have I been doing better, do you think? Actually, it's funny that you mentioned that because just earlier today I was wondering to myself if I did the right thing by flat-out telling her that I liked her a lot 2 months ago and later the exact same day here I am telling out right that I like her more now than I ever liked her before. Let me tell you what, I am braver than I ever thought I would be when it comes to dealing with her girl. I'm actually very proud of myself. Seeing as how I we are putting these questions out there, I have a question for Alura. Alura, have you changed your mind at all? You can be honest, I won't be hurt/offended/angry/upset/mad/depressed if you say "no".
What I said was true. At the time I was feeling brave. Braver than I had ever felt in my life, despite the constant rejections and the lack of a date. Just the fact that I was regularly communicating with a girl that I liked was doing wonders for my self-esteem.

Alura did reply to my question with a simple, “Well, actually, no, I haven't. Sorry.”

I was doing so good controlling my inner obsession and now, all of a sudden, this rush of emotion was coming to me. But I had had enough of this. I wanted to break the habit.

Anna, please help me. I was doing so good, but today I'm having one of those days where I literally can't stop thinking about Alura. I know that I will always like her, but when you were absolutely obsessed over Mark, what did you do to cool down the obsession? I was doing so good until you asked me if I still liked her and then all of a sudden I started loving all over again, like I was a month or so ago. I just wished she would go out with me, but that could either a). help me feel better, or b). I could become so crazy over her that I start planning a marriage already. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
3 months is a little bit too long for a crush and I was beginning to realize it at this point, and I legitimately wanted to break it. Something about that surge of emotion Anna gave me with that question also compelled me to seek her advice on how to break the habit. And from the response I got from the 1-on-1 private email that I sent to her, Anna legitimately wanted to help me.

Well, first of all, ask yourself why you like her so much. Any reasons? Tell me them when you reply. Then think about all her faults. She has many, I assure you. Then say to yourself "what am I gaining in this? Absolutely nothing. I'll just keep liking her for all eternity to no avail and she'll never like me back, what's the point". It also helps to switch your attention from her. Think about Jodie Sweetin every time you find yourself concentrating on Alura.
Yes, I had told her about Jodie Sweetin. I replied by basically telling her what I have told you in previous chapters about how I thought she was beautiful and I had never really liked a girl before. I clued her in into the inner-workings of my mind, just like I have done with you here. However, I was stumped on the faults. Luckily for me, Anna was right on top of it.

1. She doesn't like soda.
2. She doesn't like dogs.
3. She already likes someone else.
4. She talks back to her parents more than even I do.
5. She's really impatient.
6. She pretends to be friends with people and then backstabs them.
7. She's a bully to the losers in our grades.
8. She has really bad handwriting.
9. She has told me several times that she can't wait to get back to work because the guy she likes works with her.
10. This is all being told to you strictly in confidence and you are not telling Alura I told you this personal stuff.

We'll work on those for now. Let me know if you need more faults. I personally don't know why you think she's all that beautiful. I mean, she's not ugly or plain or anything, but she's no raving beauty either, and even my other male friends don't think so either. And she's not all that understanding. She is quite embarrassed by the fact that you like her (again- not a word to her on what I'm telling you). But she is sweet, I can't argue with you on that one if other girls didn't like you, what made you think Alura would? (this has a negative connotation to it, but that's not how it’s meant to sound. it’s a sincere question)
I replied:

Au contraire to your thoughts, I think she is a raving beauty, just she doesn't act like one. Then again, I guess this is all a matter of opinion. Why is she embarrassed that I like her? Again, you know her better, but is she embarrassed because I like her or is she embarrassed because she feels bad and doesn't like me back. Granted, I'm not the most popular kid in school, but I'm not a geek or a nerd or anything like that. What I mean is is that I am smart and I do well in school, I'm just not a geek/nerd person, if that makes sense (okay, maybe a little).

It's not that I thought she would like me, it's just that I never liked a girl more than I like her and my hope was that if I told her how much I really like her she would notice me, like me, and go out with me. Well, I think I got one of three down (I definitley thinks she notices me)

I'm not sure how to mention this without having a really awkward conversation (or by bringing up this conversation) but no one is asking her to email me or anything. If she feels uncomfortable/embarrassed emailing me and she is only doing it because she feels like she has to and doesn't want to hurt my feelings, then tell her (somehow) that she doesn't have to.
Anna sent another email back:

How can you not like dogs? You're practically not human. And she is embarrassed about the fact that you like her. I think she was wishing it would be Mike (shh!). If given the choice, to be absolutely honest, she'd rather have finished mock trials and then never speak to you again, but she's too polite to let you know that she's only emailing because she feels she has to. I'm sorry for my bluntness, but you really have to get over her. Plus, the reason your little ruse to see her in the halls didn't work is because every time she sees you coming, she seriously runs, uses a different route, or hides behind a tall person. No joke.
Ouch. Mike was another member of mock trials and that bit about the hallways got me devastated. Sometimes I would see her and find ways to see her in the hallway to say hi or what not, but the fact that she intentionally runs away from me? No, that, that can’t be. Is she really that hurt? That embarrassed? That scared? To literally run away and go in a different direction?

Basically I was left speechless. I did not know what to say. I sent her an email asking how she knew about Alura’s hiding in the hallways and how bad I felt that in I was torturing her and making her life miserable. I even asked Anna if Alura was going to do mock trials again next year, to which she replied, “She's going to go through with it, because of mike, but she's confessed that she really doesn't want you to start liking her even more”. I told Anna that she did not have to email me anymore and her only reply to that was “her conscience would feel bad”. And to top it all off, Anna added that “You've scarred Alura for life and she's probably never going to be comfortable with you again”.

Anna had explicitly stated that not a word of this would come from my mouth to Alura. But a part of me felt so bad that I just felt like crawling up on my carpet and crying myself to sleep over the ordeal. How else can you get the pain to go away? I’m not a bad person, I knew I was not a bad person, and yet, here I was, scarring this innocent girl for life with my creepy stalkerishness. What was wrong with me? It’s bad enough that I have problems harming flies, now I had to cope with the fact that I have negatively affected someone I cared about in the most ostentatious manner possible.

That urge to say something was too overwhelming. If Anna could break her implicit promise to me that no one would know about my crush on Alura, then I could break my promise that I would not tell Alura that Anna just told me things that Alura did not want me know because it is the only way I could start feeling better about the whole ordeal.

I needed to send her something. I could not keep quiet about this. It’s the only way I could stop hating myself.


Wow, this is hard for me. Um, I have been talking to Anna privately on how to conquer my obsession with you, seeing as how she conquered her obsession with Mark and she told me how much I was bothering you. I kind of understand why you felt that way because I really liked you and you don't really like me. But why did you have to keep all of it a secret from me? If all I am doing is bothering you and making your life hell, then why do you keep emailing me? You don't have to run from me, my intentions are only those of good ones. Now that I know how much I have bothered you I feel so awful because I obviously never meant to do that to you. I'm sorry for causing you any pain or suffering. I understand that you will probably never look at me in a positive light again, but I hope you understand what I am saying. I still want to be friends with you (hopefully you want the same, but if you don't I understand) and hopefully we can still email (in childish tone: I like emails. End childish tone), but if you don't want to I understand. I just want you to forgive me for bothering you and I want to set you free and make you feel better, not like you have to do things just to keep me happy. So what do you say? Can you forgive me and can we start all over? Thanks for your time.

Justin Feinberg

P.S. Please don't be mad at Anna. I wanted advice and she told me all of that stuff that you (with perhaps a reasonable reason) hid from me. The only way I could ever forgive myself is to apologize to you and ask for forgiveness from you (as weird as it sounds it makes perfect sense in my mind), whether I get it or not is irrelevant.

P.P.S. Yes, I think I am finally over my obsession of you. Thanks for trying to keep me happy, but if I ever bother you again, please let me know so I can look at myself and my actions like Anna made me do today.
That felt better. And so she was not left entirely out of the dark, I told Anna what I had sent to Alura. My punishment was to forward the above email to her so she could see what I said. I learned my lesson well.

After a long night of sleeping on everything, Alura got back to me the next day.

It's fun when you and me and Anna are just e-chatting with each other, but yeah, sometimes it gets a little weird. I know you like me, rather obviously, and I know that I probably will never feel the same way because actually, I like someone else. (don't ask me who; he doesn't go to Windy Hill.) I do feel kind of bad that I don't like you in that way and it doesn't really help if you mention it or whatever, even if it is only in fun. It's good that you're getting over me, and I think we can keep e-mailing, probably, but maybe it should be less frequent.
While it did not take away all the pain of harming an innocent person, her response definitely put me to ease.

Alura had deemed that we could keep emailing, just a little less frequently. Alura’s wish would become a reality, at least in the very near future. I may have been in the process of getting over the crush, but the fun of the whole ordeal was just about to begin….

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