By the time Steve and I reached eighth grade, he had had his growth spurt, and he caught my attention again. Though I hadn't had a single boyfriend since the third grade, I was still plenty boy-crazy, and was always in "love" with someone. On April 2, 1996, I wrote in my diary, "I am starting to get the very beginnings of a small crush on Steve."
Steve got chosen to sing a duet of "Someday My Prince Will Come" in our junior high spring choir concert, and I remember feeling so upset that I didn't get picked to sing (and waltz!) with him. In my fourteen-year-old mind, Steve Kannel as Prince Charming was typecasting for sure.
"If he would just give me a chance, I know we would click. Everyone is right--we would make a great pair! It's fate--we've had to stand together in line since the third grade! Steve & Amy--the class brains, great in choir (that sounds conceited, whoops), I mean, we just fit. It makes so much sense!"The next day, the agony continued:
"I hate the suspense! I keep thinking this can't be a good sign (he's had since Friday night!) but [my best friend] says, 'Give him time! Good things are worth waiting for.' She has a point; Steve is a great guy, worth waiting for, but he's had four days--surely plenty of time."HA! Little did I know I'd be waiting a whole lot longer than that...
After a week or so, I enlisted Kaleb in the cause. He, too, thought Steve and I would make a cute couple, so he did his best, but fourteen-year-old Steve just had no interest. Wise soul that he was even then, he somehow understood the pointlessness of junior-high "relationships" and didn't have any desire to get tangled up in one. He remembers my best friend annoying him to death about it, and thinks he put off answering because he didn't want to be mean--it wasn't personal, he just thought it was dumb to have a girlfriend at age 14. And to think that I thought he wasn't "mature enough to like girls"...!
Anyway, as time passed, I started to give up on Steve. And as Kaleb and I passed notes back and forth about the whole situation, I began to notice that Kaleb's notes were awfully sweet. He said some really nice things about what a great girl I was, how Steve was dumb and if he was Steve, he would be "jumping for joy."
At that point I had to ask: Kaleb, what are you saying here? Because it seems like YOU are interested in me. So I mustered up all the guts I'd ever had...and wrote him a note asking if I was reading too much into it, or if he liked me.
Well, as a matter of fact, he did. So when Steve proved uninterested, I started going out with his best friend instead. Here we are at eighth grade graduation:
Kaleb was my boyfriend for about two months--a good four weeks of which I spent out of town--before I admitted to myself that however badly I had wanted a boyfriend, this was just not going to work. He was a fantastic friend, but we were definitely not meant to be anything more. We broke up the summer before high school, and unfortunately, it took a couple of years before we regained the friendship we'd started in eighth grade.
Meanwhile, Steve dropped off my radar again. As a freshman, I developed crushes on various other boys, and while Steve and I were in show choir together and had classes together, we didn't interact a whole lot. In fact, I would eventually try to set him up with someone else.
[to be continued...]