He drops his ink pen on the table as he scraps yet another sheet of paper
He still can’t focus on his writing
He takes a deep breath
Calls it a night
And slowly stumbles into the safe haven of his bed sheets
It’s 11:30pm and while everyone is sleeping,
The Poet lays restless looking at his opaque room walls
“She looked beautiful today”
It’s the third night this week he’s stayed up thinking about her
Thinking about her smile
Her overall distinction from any girl he’s ever met
And as his fondness grows, so do his fears
His fears of her choosing a new guy
And sliding him to second place and afterthoughts
His fears of not being good enough
And driving her away from him because he did something wrong
It is both tranquil memories and forbidding nightmares that keep him awake on these nights…
All in all,
He just wishes he had five minutes of insane courage
In those five minutes, everything would be shared
He could tell her how every time he sees her
His heart would skip two beats exactly
His stomach would all of a sudden tighten up
And his thoughts would scramble in his head
All while his lips struggled to say “Hello”
He could tell her how beautiful she was
And how he is so surprised that she hasn’t yet found the right guy
The guy who’s going to treat her as their everything
And how much he dreams about being that guy
He could tell her just how much he enjoys her company
And how he looks forward every day to their conversations
Which eventually turn into debates
Which eventually turn into victory laps for her because he never wins
Even when he’s right, he never wins
He could tell her that he’s not going to leave
And when she needs him most, he’ll be right there to hold her
To tell her that everything will be okay
To promise her that everything will be okay
He could tell her just how much he values their friendship
How much he loves how they could be fairly intimate today
And go back to being best friends tomorrow
In five minutes, all of his deepest fears would be no more
For hiding would no longer be necessary
He could get the weight off his chest
And continue living life as he moved on to the next step
So, at 2:00 in the morning
The Poet gets out of bed
He drops to his knees
Claps his hands
And closes his eyes as he begs for courage… Again…
Not even full-fledged courage
Just five minutes to tell her how astonishing she really is
– “Five Minutes”
If you noticed, this isn’t like my other posts where I place a tidbit of a poem as the opener. Nope, today you guys get a full poem? Why? Because this is a pretty big story. Plus, I couldn’t decide which part of this poem I wanted to sample so I just put the whole thing in.
But this is the story of my first REAL girlfriend. In an earlier post, I mentioned I had a relationship that lasted three weeks with a girl with racist parents. This isn’t that relationship. On paper, that was my first girlfriend and the girl of this story is “technically” my second. But this was the first girl I ever felt pretty attached to so I count this as my first actual attempt at a relationship. And because this girl is so important, we’re going to call her Valerie (“Valerie” is my favorite song by The Weeknd and is also the name of my beloved car so it works).
For Part One of this two-part series, I’m going to talk about everything before Val and I got together since that’s almost as special to me as the actual relationship. So here we go.
Val was ironically the best friend of my first girlfriend. Well, former. They had a fight the summer after the first girl (who we’re going to call Disney because I feel bad for not giving her a name) and I dated so when Val and I started talking, Disney was not in the immediate picture. Val for the most part kept to herself. My homeboy at the time Jacob tried to get with her when I was with Disney and for a bit it was running smooth but when he tried to push the situation further, Val cut it off because she wasn’t comfortable being anyone’s “girlfriend”. In hindsight, I’m realizing what a complicated spiderweb this entire situation was… But it was high school and what’s high school without a complicated string of emotions, drama, and emotional drama?
Anyway, Val and I had fourth period together sophomore year. Up to that point, I had only known her in passing from my days of dating Disney so we didn’t really have a close relationship or anything like that. But we did have mutual friends in that class so we all sat together in class. Most of our conversations in class revolved around deciding what snacks I’d share because I was the food plug which was a surprisingly good starting point to transition into other topics of discussion. When class would end, Val and I would walk in the hall and I’d walk her to her locker where her boyfriend would be, ready to pick her up. Now I know what you’re thinking. “OOH Chris! What are you doing trying to steal Val away when she has a mans???” Hold on. Pause. Timeout. I was not trying anything. At that point, Val and I were just friends and I was okay with that. I was platonically walking her to her locker, I swear. Her boyfriend didn’t think so though, so he would ALWAYS make sure he was at her locker before we got there to make sure no funny business was going on.
That is, until he stopped coming to the locker.
I guess he got lazy because he just started meeting Valerie and her classroom instead of her locker. No big deal. I didn’t look too far into it because it wasn’t my business. But then he stopped coming to her class. And soon, he was nowhere to be found. It was around that time that I learned that Val and her boyfriend broke up (plot twist, he actually had a crush on one of my homegirls for the longest time and was pretty much using Val to build up his confidence). You’d think this would be the time for me to slide in, right? Nope. Val and I kept being cool. Only thing that changed was now I was allowed to walk her to class with no problems.
As the weeks passed, Val and I found common interests in music which was huge because I was still looking for new artists to listen to. She introduced me to a lot, but my two absolute favorite artists were Tyler, the Creator and Panic! At the Disco. By the time Christmas break rolled around, Val had given me a pretty extensive playlist to listen to and enjoy. It was also around this time I realized I was starting to like Val. Like, “like-like” Val. It really set in when we were watching the BCS National Championship Game from our respective homes. The entire football game, we were texting each other because our two favorite teams were playing. I, an avid Florida State fan, would blow up her phone every time we made Auburn, her dream school, look stupid and vice versa. I remember telling her that if my team won, she had to go to a basketball game with me and she surprisingly took me up on my bet. Well, I won. Did we go to that basketball game? Yep. Did anything happen? I held her hand for the first time. I know that sounds pretty lame but keep in mind, Disney and I didn’t really do anything, and when we did do something like hug or hold hands, it was more because we had to as a couple than because we wanted to. So this was the first time I held a girl’s hand because I wanted to.
Three years later, I can still remember every goosebump I felt climbing my arm, every cramp my lungs had trying to stay calm, every thought I had shifting into fifth gear and racing in my mind. I can’t stress enough how much I liked this girl. Every tiny thing about her was perfect to me and every “fault” she had made me like her even more because it proved to me that she was unique. It came to a point where I just couldn’t keep it in anymore, I had to say something. Problem was, I wasn’t much of a talker when it came to my emotions and I sure wasn’t about to start now and tell her straight up. So what did I do? I picked up my phone and started typing. That’s right. Valerie is also incredibly important to me because she’s the first thing that got me writing something outside of sad, depressing poetry. That poem you see at the top was the very first poem I ever wrote about her.
And it is here that I think we’ll stop. Part Two will be on next week. Till next time!