Since neither of these relationships lasted for longer than a month, i'm combining them into one entry.
"Ford" was first. When i was fourteen, my friends and i started inexplicably taking late-night trips to Acme (grocery store). Looking back, i'm sure these trips really only happened half a dozen times, but it seemed like we were there once a week, usually to stock up on chips and soda for a sleepover.
There was one bag boy who was HOT. And i don't mean that we were fourteen and thought he was cute but really he was dorky. I mean he looked like an Abercrombie model. He was clearly older than we were, but no one was sure how much older. He always seemed to be there when we were, and always seemed to be looking at me. I actually didn't notice his attention until one of my friends pointed it out.
"Acme Boy is staring at you!" she whispered piercingly.
"What? No. I'm sure he's looking at all of us," i whispered back.
But the other girls soon confirmed it: Acme Boy had eyes only for me. Many months went by of awkward staring and smiling. When i was there with my mom, he'd check me out. When i was there with my friends, he'd check me out. Finally, one day, i was there with my uncle. As we were in the checkout line, Acme Boy was bagging groceries two lanes away. A few minutes later, he found a reason to move to the very next line. We continued staring and grinning until i was distracted by my uncle. Suddenly, Acme Boy was standing right next to me, and he slipped me a piece of paper, whispering, "Call me." On it was his name and number.
My friends and i were speechless with giggles. (What? We were fourteen. The stereotype is true: teenage girls giggle a lot.) My mom encouraged me to call, which i did the next day.
As it turned out, Ford was seventeen. He had just turned seventeen, and i was two months away from my fifteenth birthday, so it wasn't that significant a gap. As it further turned out, Ford had not realized that i was fourteen. He had thought i was twelve.
We continued chatting (and made out a few times) over the next few weeks, until Ford learned that i didn't want to have sex until i was married. I never heard from him again, though my sisters have since spotted him waiting tables at a sports bar. They say he has put on weight, and they are pretty sure he's gay.
"Victor", oddly enough, was an old friend of Fusco. I met him when my brother started taking Tae Kwon Do in town. Victor was in his class. He looked like a Hollister model, combining skater-boy edge with big blue eyes, dimples, and golden curls. I fell for him instantly and kept crushing on him for an entire year, even during the whole Ford fiasco. But he had a girlfriend.
Eventually, however, they broke up, he noticed me, and we started texting. I was nearly heartbroken when i learned that he was interested in a girl from my youth group, and tried to dissuade him by persuading him of her craziness (which was true, by the way. She was crazy.) The next day, he asked me out. Obviously i should have turned him down, but i was fifteen and he was really cute.
We dated for nearly three months before he broke it off because he was "going through some stuff" and needed to face it alone, like a "lone wolf". It wasn't until a few months after that that i learned he'd been cheating on me with the crazy girl from my youth group. Or maybe he was cheating on her with me. I never found out enough about the timeline to be sure, and i never wanted to. I did find out that he had been basically molesting her for their entire relationship. She was two years younger than we were (thirteen), and way too young and sheltered to be dating an older boy or to be making mature decisions about her sexuality. He'd pressured her into all kinds of things, and i am just selfish enough to still be glad that, for whatever reason, i had managed to escape that part of his character.