I called in sick because I wanted to hang out with my “boyfriend” (he wasn’t my boyfriend but I desperately wanted him to be, because if he wasn’t then I was just the friend with benefits he was sleeping with every week, and when it’s 2008 and you are only 16, you’re a slag for just having sex*, let alone having sex with someone who wasn’t your official boyfriend, and I wanted to mean more to him than that).
He had a free house, the house he had grown up in, the house I don’t think his parents will ever sell. I thought it was the most romantic evening ever – we had sex in his living room, he had brought the duvet downstairs because I was cold (I thought this was so adorable when really it’s bare minimum caring).
I had Facebook at the time, and decided this amazing evening with my “boyfriend” was worth telling my secondary school peers about. And so, I crafted a cringe-worthy, somewhat soppy and somewhat sexy Facebook post, posted it, and stayed around my “boyfriend’s” house until either of my parents came to pick me up.
On my next shift I sauntered into work, thinking I had committed a hot, clever crime and gotten away with it too. If only it hadn’t been for that mushy Facebook post I probably would have, but silly 16 year old me forgot that all my coworkers were my ‘friends’ on Facebook and most of them had seen it. The sous chef that I fancied had certainly read it, the chef I ended up dating a few months later definitely saw it, and I’m sure the manager of the restaurant probably saw it too – or at least, had heard about it.
I didn’t get in trouble, I was just embarrassed, and so the next time I was actually sick I came into work covered in a cold sweat, hiding my illness to the best of my ability. I actually managed to get through the shift just fine, the cold sweat and hot body temperature kinda keeping me in the middle ground of whatever battle my body was going through.
My “boyfriend” and I broke up a little while later, reason being that he wasn’t treating me how I wanted to be treated, and there was somebody else who I thought might, just might, see me as more than just the young body I was living inside of. I immediately started dating that chef, who had apparently had a bit of a crush on me before, but was waiting for me to turn 17 to ask me out (red flag here am I right). My friends turned against me a bit (my “boyfriend” and I were in the same friendship group), and I happily isolated myself from them, running away with my new 24 year old boyfriend who had a car and a job (and a kid), someone who made me feel grown up and wanted.
My overly romantic mind and hyper-active sexuality have always gotten me into trouble. I’m head-first not quite falling in love but falling for the idea of that person and what happiness they could bring me. I’m also a gosh darn sucker for semi-attractive people being open about how they find me attractive, for other people wanting me.
I think that’s human nature though, to be wanted. I also think it’s fair to leave somebody if they’re not treating you as a fully-fledged human and try somebody else. It’s probably also not unheard of to skive off your job at the local restaurant to have sex with the boy you’ve had a crush on since you were both 10 years old.
I just wish I had got with that sous chef (as well).
*= some things never change