<b>CHAPTER I MARIANNE BACK</b>
<b><i> How we Met</b></i> I don t recall much of how 7th grade began, which explains the lack of Lead Up . The four of us were split into different classes though. Nate moved to a different part of town and didn t share any classes with me except Chorus, Rusty got into football at the beginning of the year, and Bobby and I became best friends considering we had more classes together and found more and more in common. As far back as I can try to conceive how things began with Marianne. My best guess was Science Class. I d known her before that the previous year. She was a just face in the crowd in Chorus and I actually didn t find her very attractive, but I wasn t really looking, or more so, didn t know what looking was. It all started in Science class the first week .
Based on the fact that I felt like the school outcast, the first day in a new class is the hardest. I actually became quite fond on assigned seating. It meant I wouldn t be forced to look at a sea of enemies with that look in their eyes- Is he going to sit next to me? Science class (could ve been chemistry but I wasn t keeping track) was a rare gem, we could sit anywhere. So when I saw Bobby at a table near the corner, I knew where I was headed instantly. By the end of the second week however, we were split up because we talked too much. (I know crazy .right). So, I was placed at a new table with new people including Marianne. At the time I was writing my first novel. It was called Street Kids and it was based on a dream I had about a bunch of orphans with special abilities that banned together against a government trying to catch them. I d started it over the summer, and when I was done with my first assignment in class, I started writing in it. Marianne looked at me and asked me what I was writing. I looked at her puzzled. Was she talking to me? Was she going to turn it into some kind of joke? (Stop me if this has ever happened to you btw, but if you were picked on in school, did kids come up to you and think it was funny to tell you hey by the way, that girl over there thinks you re really hot? I had it happen on occasion and for the record I never got it. Of course nowadays, I d be all over that shit and probably walk away with the chick while the douchbag is standing open mouthed like he s about to have a dick sandwich shoved in- but I digress) I couldn t understand what was going on. I looked at her and said the first thing that came to mind I m a writer. She liked this I could tell because she leaned in and asked me What are you writing? A book about a dream I had I replied. Then, Can I read it? I have no idea what I looked like just then but I actually played it cool, eventually maybe . As time went on, we started to talk more and sometimes she would flirt with me in class by hiding by book bag, and we also would exchange glances in Chorus. I started to like her but I didn t know what that meant. The weirdest thing about it was I realized that last year I didn t find her attractive at all, and once I started to like her, it didn t matter. This was a gift of mine that I ve carried since that day. I could see people for what was on the inside, not the outside. The problem was I didn t know what to say. I didn t know how to tell her anything. In fact after being backstabbed so many times by people I thought would be friends, I once asked my dad what s the problem with me? He told me Don t call them your friend, unless they initiate it first I know that sounds funny, but I wasn t laughing. Once I used the F
word, they bolted and became an enemy just to save face. Rusty actually told me when we first started hanging out that we weren t friends yet. Then at the end of the year he d signed my yearbook best friends SO, of course I didn t want to assume anything, and I just let things play out. It stayed that way for a few months until our very first Chorus concert; I made a slip up . I don t remember the songs that were played, I don t even remember singing. I know I had a solo part in one of them, but that could ve been sixth grade. What I do remember is chasing her in the hallway afterward until my parents came to pick me up. When they showed up I asked her over and introduced her to them, without even thinking about it. The next day after chorus, the last class of the day, she gave me a letter and walked swiftly away. I got on the bus and opened it up. It read: <i>Why did you have me meet your parents last night? Did you tell them about me? Do you like me or something? Please write me back.</i> I had the deer in the headlights look I m sure. What could I say? I went home and thought about it for a long while. I rationalized the possibilities, until I came to a conclusion: If I tell her I like her as a girlfriend she might freak. I f I tell her as a friend, I have nothing to lose that I haven t with people before. So I wrote her back and told her <i>I m sorry about the parent s thing. It seemed like the polite thing to do. I did tell them about you because I think you re really cool, and I do kinda like you, as a friend. If I bugged you, or anything I apologize and I ll back off.</i> The next day I gave it to her in Science class, and at the end of class I had another note<i>That s okay, I was just wondering. We can be friends, that would be cool, and you can bug me all you want.<i> She wrote her phone number and the times I could call her and signed it. I had the biggest smile on my face and I couldn t keep from letting those words you can bug me all you want just invade my thoughts. This girl liked me. I was scrawny, I had glasses, I didn t talk much, and had a handful of friends literally, and this girl liked me! More time went by, and we talked on the phone once a week or so (since that was the rules in hell house) More often though, we passed letters back and forth all day in the hallways. Sometimes 4-5 a day! We learned more about each other that way then talking on the phone. Soon enough I got a weird letter, I don t remember what it all said, but it had a request: <i>Tara s going to ask you a question, I hope you say yes</i> Tara was her best friend; Marianne was tall and blonde with wavy hair. Tara was about the same height but with long flowing brown hair and a sophisticated look that men found attractive, but seemed to bounce off me all because I only had eyes for one. I don t remember when the question was posed, or how it came about but it was simple Would you go out with Marianne? I don t remember how I felt, aside from GOOD. All I do remember is once they opened the doors of the school the next day and the heat from the locker bay ignited with the November frost against our backs, I saw her as we were all pushing ourselves into the establishment and I yelled out Marianne! My answer is yes!
<b><i>About Her</b></i> Marianne was about my height, and she had shoulder length blond hair what was usually in waves, sometimes curly. I don t remember the color of her eyes but I believe they were blue since I seemed to be attracted to that color the most. She lived with her grandmother on Birch St in Chippewa Falls, the ending result of a constant struggle with her own family. Her parents were still together but her father owned her mother and acted like he was still 16. He would sexually harass Marianne, and threaten to put her down. She decided to finally move in with her grandparents. Her grandma was almost the perfect reflection of the grandmother in Dawson s Creek; a Christian woman who tried to instill good morals on her granddaughter, but at that age were usually lost and ignored. Her favorite colors were black, blue, and Pink. Her favorite music was anything off I94 at the time which was newer pop music. Most of these consisted of Boy II Men, Green Day, and All 4 One. Her grammar was horrible in her letters and she had a slight hick accent when she spoke. Between the 7th and 8th grade her grammar and penmanship improved greatly. She was also a typical teenage girl, she would whisper to her friends when I was around but never let me know what it was about. And she kept most things to herself. She liked to cheat on tests as well, and most of our letters back and forth (which were 4-5), were asking questions about homework and assignments, or telling me her test scores. We had been in French class together before we started dating as well, so our letters were written as our French names. Mine was Jason, and hers was Laure. They always started out the same way Como Tally Vu? (That s how she spelled it) Comme se comme sa They also ended the same way while we were friends Ton Amis (your friend)Even though it seemed to me that she knew what she wanted in life, the reality was she was very confused about her sexuality. Within the span of 7th grade, she jumped from me, to Ben, to Kelly. One was always on the side lines, and she wasn t single for more than 3 days before moving to the next one. Even though she made the first move to ask me out, it was up to the guys to do the rest and if they didn t get the hints, they were gone. That s how it was back then and eventually that was my downfall; the inexperienced broken home kid that I was back then. Eventually I figured it out, but that s still to come. <b><i>The Relationship</b></i> Our relationship only consisted of a little over a month, but considering this girl would become the downfall of what I would eventually base future relationships on, it s important. Within the month of dating, I was not allowed to tell anybody we were dating. (For the record, I didn t realize this was a bad thing at the time) Of course I told my friends and the only one that really mattered at the time was Bobby, since he and I were both on the search for women at that time. Nate was in the thought process that Chippewa was not the place to find women, and like most things he was right. The fact that I wasn t allowed to tell people made things really confusing for me, I mean I ve never kissed a girl before not to mention even held hands. So as we walked through the halls we looked just like friends, and knowing now what I didn t know then-that was a problem for her. Again I m getting ahead of myself. Our relationship was a Christmas thing, so as you can imagine we spent half of it on vacation and not seeing each other but writing back and forth in the mail. I did my first romantic thing for a girl with those letters, I discovered what the word love was in French and changed my signature at the end of a letter where I d written her a poem. By this time I started writing poems and songs a lot! Most of them were
all about love and meeting people and protecting them. She loved to read them, even when we were just friends. As Christmas break continued we hardly ever talked on the phone unless John was at work. And even when he was, my mom was still under his trance and wouldn t let me do much anyways. We had moved from living in the house with his mother, to our own place built on top of wooden stilts that connected to her house. I had my own room that was still divided by a dresser and wall from my older step-sister. During the winter months we weren t forced to go outside, but instead were contained in a playroom John had built for us. We had a couch and a TV and our toys but there was one rule- NO TALKING. So you can imagine how much silence was destroying me back then. I yearned for human contact, for conversation, but silence was turning me into a shy and fearful shadow of who I used to be. Even if it became so unbearable and I did speak up I was put at the table for 20 minutes in time out. We couldn t talk in that house unless we were outside basically or on the phone. Even at the dinner table we had to keep one hand under the table at all times and not speak a word, I should also mention that if I was the last person eating at the table during supper (I m sorry if I like to enjoy my food!) I would be made to do dishes. I became a slave in that house and things only kept getting worse. So when Christmas Eve 1995 came along, we all went to church at Zion United Methodist for the evening service. I couldn t believe me eyes when I saw Marianne sitting with her grandma three rows to the right of me. As the service continued, we kept looking at each other and smiling. I d put my hand to my head like a gun during the sermon (it was the only way I could keep from falling asleep), and we would just keep each other entertained. When the service ended we met up and she met my brother and sister for the first time in the hallway. Matt was the type at that time to flirt with anybody and since he was better at it somehow than I was, girls liked it. He started chasing Marianne outside and I kept protecting her by getting between the two. Melissa was eager to meet and get to know everybody, and she and Marianne got along great. Eventually they started writing letters to each other as well. As Christmas break was coming to a close, it was time for me to visit my dad for the weekend. At this time he had divorced Penny due to her dead beat nature as a mother to her children and the way she treated us. (She and John would ve been a great couple) He had introduced us a woman named Lori and her son Matthew. Matthew was Melissa s age and very spoiled. He was an only child and even though he enjoyed our company, he hated anybody touching his toys unless he wasn t playing with them. We were staying at their house on the weekends more and more by this time, and Dad decided to take me and Marianne out for our first date. The plan was to pick her up at her grandma s place and we would go to the Falls Theatre and see The Santa Claus followed by Mc Donald s. (I know what you re thinking- where can I find a Casanova like this, damn!) I walked to a girl s door for the first time in my life. My heart was racing, my hands were clammy, and my breath was irregular. When I saw her I wanted to say the line I d heard in movies all the time when a girl descends down the stairs in slow motion before a dance, you look beautiful (or pretty) . However, those words weren t in my vocabulary yet, and I was too shy to give a girl I was dating a compliment. So I said instead hi and that was it. We got in the car and went downtown headed to the movie theatre. It was Dad in front and me and Marianne in the back, both against the windows. We were meeting Matthew and Lori there, since the date had to be supervised in my Dad s eyes. The seating arrangements were negotiated in a very fair manner. Marianne and I would have the
two seats two rows behind the family all to ourselves. It was the best way for us to have a date and yet still have the parents close by. None of that mattered though, because as I stated before I was inexperienced and nervous and even though I thought I loved this girl after only a week, I was scared to death to even touch her shoulder with mine!! SO throughout the entire movie I was huddled (literally) against the far arm rest of the seat while she sat comfortably in the middle of hers. Did I want to grab her hand? OF COURSE, I thought about it the entire movie, but I don t know if I thought it was too soon, or I was too scared. The movie ended and we had some food at McDonalds before taking her home that night. My dad told me before the date started, to walk her to her door. I walked up the icy sidewalk and ascended her 3 stairs until we reached her door. I looked at her the best I could (I couldn t stare a girl in the eyes at the time either), and she hugged me! I wrapped my arms around her as well and took in the smell of perfume as it invaded every part of my being. This was heaven to me at that time, even though it only lasted a couple seconds. As she went inside, I thought I heard her say I love you , but to this day I m not sure. I went back to Lori s that night with a splitting headache and laid down on Matthew s bed drifting to sleep in the dark replaying that hug over and over again and wondering if this was the first time a girl had told me she loved me. When Christmas break ended and things seemed to be going great I received a letter that scared the hell out of me. <i>If I dumped you, could we still be friends, I m not dumping you</i> I didn t know how to take it. If she s not dumping me then why is she asking? I was depressed and yet angry for the first time towards a girl. I don t remember how I replied or what I did, but I do know she spent two or three letters telling me she wasn t dumping me and would never dump me unless she had good reason too. Once she had calmed me down, she pulled a 180 on me within that same week right before the weekend started and I lost my first girlfriend.
<b><i>The End</b></i> What s worse than being dumped through a letter by the first girlfriend you ve ever had, therefore have never experienced what a break up is like before? How about realizing you re dumped through a letter that was actually written to her best friend and accidentally given to you? I m dead serious by the way, that s exactly what happened. After gym class that week we passed notes through the hallways like we normally did and I went to my locker to drop off my books and go to lunch. I read the note and it was addressed to Tara. I don t remember what the letter said except I broke up with Josh Of course my first thought was who s Josh? As I read the letter nothing was making sense until I looked at the name it was addressed to and a light bulb went off in my head. DING DING DING what has he won JOSHY! I went to lunch and Marianne walks up to me with a look of embarrassment on her face and hands me the letter I was supposed to read as I just let the other letter pass from my hand to hers and watch her swiftly walk away. I open it and aside from saying I m dumping you it also adds don t ask me why, I won t tell you AND Please don t write back soon.
Now think about this from my point of view for a second. I was in 7th grade, had two girlfriends before. Now none of those were real relationships, but none of them ended either. I was in the mind set that once you got a girl that s it. I d never even heard of breakups or the most evil word in the English language DUMPING If that s not enough for a young kid to take in, then pour some salt in that wound by telling me not to ask why. The mind is a fragile thing when you re younger and words are the most powerful weapon in this world. This letter became a bane to my very existence and created something inside me that even present women have hated about me- ANALYZING! How can you blame me? MY first relationship wouldn t tell me why it ended and I NEEDED to know. As the year went on Marianne dated guy after guy and her letters wouldn t say anything about us, or what happened. At first I asked her constantly but to no avail. Soon enough I actually had a crush on Tara, and as soon as that happened, the wonder and worries went away. I realized that if I could find another girl immediately, the last one would become a distant memory. This also makes me realize now that I had a taste of a drug I didn t want to let go of. I was a carefree, poetic kid with a group of friends and geeky hobbies. I had everything I thought I would ever need, but once I had a woman in my life it all changed. Women had officially become an addiction. Tara and I never dated; we did become friends though all through middle school, but never hung out. The only reason I mention this is because she becomes a key point later on in this story. Marianne and I slowly became friends as the year went by. I even became friends with all her boyfriends. We gained another member of the group that year named Craig. Craig was a rebel; he didn t care what kind of dangerous things he did as long as he had fun. He discovered that he and Nate were actually cousins and was adopted into our group and our table. Craig eventually dated Marianne in 8th grade and became the longest relationship she had in middle school. She also dated Bobby twice throughout those years as well. (It was a great trapezoid of love going on there, don t you think) More happened with Marianne as the years went by, but only after I was able to reflect and gain time to understand.
<b><i>Reflections</b></i> As I was paging through these letters and opening this door, tons of other realizations have hit me. Most of these are actually from current relationships and this is just the first door! Those will all be revealed later, but for now I ask myself what I have learned from this door? For one I started to realize that women really never change from Middle School to now. They re more mature and intelligent, but the thinking process seems to stay the same. The emotional roller coaster and the way they move from guy to guy(That s not meant as instantaneous, they don t move from guy to guy that quickly, or most don t.) hasn t really changed. Their still looking for the yin to their yang, a man who can complete the puzzle that they have developed in their own past and present combined. If the guy can t fit that puzzle, it s adios without conceivable notion that nothing is perfect and the only person that can fill that void is themselves; most women but not all, or more accurately- most of the women that find me. I became this girl s lapdog. Whatever she told me or didn t tell me to do I made happen. I kept trying to analyze as more guys came and went from her life, but she d never give me the answers. She wouldn t tell me
anything. If I ever upset her, I d have to get on my hands and knees to ask for her forgiveness. Then in 8th grade it all changed. Before she introduced me to the next chapter of this story, I actually grew enough balls one day after hearing her talk about Kelly and how she wanted to sleep with him. I wrote her a letter telling her she s a bad influence on me, and I can t have people like her in my life. She was pissed and wrote me a letter back just like the rest. It told me to go fuck myself and we re never going to be friends again. However, this time I tried a different approach and it wasn t the begging for her forgiveness. I wrote her back saying that whatever she wants to do is fine with me, but I also put in there that I thought she was a great girl and I had so many sweet things I could never say to her anymore, IT WORKED!!!!! She begged for me back in the next letter and I realized that I was now in control of this friendship and any future endeavors. We actually became better friends and her notes went through a strange transformation in a matter of a year. They were longer, more detailed, and more legible. The biggest reflection on this door was the fact that she was the first, and I was wrapped around my first s finger. I was also a kid back then, and so was she, so it doesn t even matter. My analyzing finally allowed me to see why we broke up and after the next chapter, my realization allowed me to get a second chance. It was too simple, but I was too young to understand it. She wanted me to make the moves. I didn t hold her hand in the hallway. I couldn t even sit beside her in a movie theater. We had the label of boyfriend and girlfriend, but we were just like Lindsey and Andrea. Not only that, but the mixed signals of telling me to keep quiet about this relationship, and being upset I wasn t holding her hand wouldn t make sense to anyone. The next chapter broke me free of one of those fears and when she saw that I was free and that I figured it all out, she was open to another chance and I was smooth enough and my timing was perfect to get it. I was even considerate enough to tell her to go out with Bobby first and she did. Then broke up with him and asked me out the same night at my apartment complex(which will be explained in the next chapter) We didn t last long though, only a couple weeks because she still had feelings for Craig(Bobby was afterward). We decided we were better off as friends and that was it. The problem I wasn t able to look in the face was the fact that even if analyzing worked then, there were other factors involved. First of all we were forced to see each other every day and get along somehow because of our friend circles. Closure is easier when you re forced like that. Nowadays I still take that time and try to apply it to this present and it doesn t work because we re not forced to see each other, but time still heals no matter what and by holding on to that concept in the past created impatience in me at present. Secondly, we were young and we didn t know what we wanted or what we didn t. Now we all have lives to live, time to ourselves and that s what we need to reflect on our own break ups and break downs. Back then it was okay to keep writing letters and asking questions. Now, even though I believe every breakup SHOULD have an explanation, it takes time for both people to reflect and reach that point where they can start over. They have to do it alone, and for themselves. So I m taking this hammer and breaking this mirror, all impatience, and analyzing at stage 1 is going with it. I had to reflect on this layer to be able to reach the other layers. This was also the beginning of my need to SAVE women. The broken homes, and broken emotions that seemed to be an attractive yet damaging quality to me, all started here and in some ways still hasn t ended. So I need to break through that barrier as well and this chapter is almost complete except for one last question.
<b><i>Second Chances</b></i> After everything I ve learned and accomplished about myself and my life, would I ever give Marianne Back another chance? The answer is actually pretty simple ..no. First of all she s now married to a guy she met at prom freshman year where she asked me to go as her date (friends). They have a beautiful daughter but Marianne herself has let herself go as many Chippewa women I knew have done. Her teeth are rotting and she never was really any smart or attractive anyway. She wasn t honest, she wasn t trustworthy, and she wasn t very intelligent. If anything she was the embodiment of the wrong things I would ever look for in a woman. We were friends for a long time though. She and her husband took me out to see Armageddon for my 19th birthday. We all got along and wrote letters every so often. Their numbers kept changing and eventually they would just pop back into my life again. This went on until 2006 when I started working for PLP Payday Loan Place. Her husband took out a payday loan with our company and never paid it back. That was the day my friendship with them ended. So once again, I think the answer is pretty obvious on second chances, Not in a million years It s time to open another door and this time, it s going be a wilder ride than the last. Because this is by far most irrational relationship I ve ever been in .