Being back at my Uncle’s house and around my cousins was great. My cousin, Jamie was eager to introduce me to her friends and hang out again. The first night we were there, we planned a trip to the mall. Jamie called up her best friend Kim, and my Mom drove the three of us to Alton. The mall wasn’t as big as the malls I remembered in Florida and Texas, but it was a mall. It had been years since I was in a mall. I wanted to go into every shop. I was in heaven at both music stores there. There was so much I wanted to buy, but if I remember right, I only had $10. $10 didn’t buy as much then, as it had when I was younger, so it was pretty much play money. Kim was pretty, and had a great personality. She told Jamie that she thought I was cute and by the end of the night, I had a girlfriend. From the ex girl to the next girl. Who would have thought that was possible? My self-esteem at that time was really low. I wanted Kim to be around and spend every minute with me. Even when Jamie was around, I wanted Kim all to myself. Jamie was in a beauty pageant and when we were there, for her, I wanted Kim to pay attention to me. That night, Kim and Jamie stayed over at my house. Jamie had a boyfriend named Jon at the time, and he stayed over too. Kim and I were attempting to have our “first time”. It was horrible, and didn’t work. I was very embarrassed. A week later Kim had her birthday party at her house and her dad left the house to her. Kim’s cousin was there and so were Jamie, Jon and I. I still wanted Kim to spend every minute with me. I was stupid, what can I say? Kim couldn’t divide her time very well, so I broke up with her a couple days later over the phone. The whole thing lasted one month and one week. Not to be single for long, I started to like a girl in my Health class named, Erica.
Erica was cute, short, and funny and seemed really cool. I played it calm for a while to find out as much as I could about Erica. As it turned out, Erica liked me also. The same night that my cousin Jamie was trying to help me find Erica’s number, Erica called Jamie and asked her how to get in touch with me. I was there at the time, so Jamie handed me the phone. Erica and I hit it off immediately. We did spend every waking moment together, on the phone and at lunch. We would talk and make-out. When teen-agers date, there isn’t much they do, but talk and make out. We went to my cousin’s birthday party and spent the whole evening making out. We would go the movies, and sit in the back row and make out. Erica lived in Rosewood Heights, which was a mile or 2 from where I lived, but I would walk up there just to hang out with her when we didn’t have school. My self-esteem would ruin this relationship too, as Erica got to be in a high school play and instead of being happy for her, I was jealous of the time it took from me. Erica also said that she thought one of the lead guys; Evan was cute. That shook me, I almost immediately assumed she wanted to be with him and not me. So I said something stupid and wrote her a retarded letter, and that was the end of that. Care to guess how long that lasted? You’re right, one month and one week. Erica never got over the fact that I had been so hurtful, and I never really did either. I tried to apologize a couple years later, but it didn’t wash. I wanted to mend the fence, no luck. To this day, Erica probably still hates me, and who could blame her. My next girlfriend was actually a friend of Erica’s, Michelle. Michelle and I began talking on the phone and we clicked. Michelle was a thicker girl but had an awesome personality. Michelle could talk about as much as I could and we would talk for hours. I found out, that as the year came to a close, I would be going to a different school because I lived outside the Roxana district. Michelle said she would introduce me to her cousin, Jessica, and maybe Jessica could introduce me to some people to make the new school not seem so bad. Jessica was stuck up. She thought she was the prettiest thing ever and didn’t have time for anyone or anything. Michelle and I didn’t “go out” for very long, we were much better off as friends because we didn’t see each other that much. Erica and Michelle remained friends as well. I took a summer school computer class after eighth grade graduation. I met a girl there named Dana.
Dana and I would become friends and hang out a lot, but we never dated. Dana was always taken when I was free, and I was taken when she was free. That trend would continue all through high school. Dana lived close to my Uncle Dave’s house, so when I got out of summer school, I would go to Dana’s and hang out there until It got dark. Then I would ride my bike home. I would spend almost every day at school and then Dana’s. When summer school was over, I still spent time at Dana’s.
There was a dance club for teens called “the Penalty Box”. I was a fixture at the club every weekend. I met a lot of cool people there as well. One in particular was Brandi. I was dating a girl who was very overtly sexual and was mad that I wouldn’t do it with her at a school ground in plain view of everyone. Back at the club, I met Brandi. Brandi was a tall blonde and was quiet but very blunt. We hit it off, and started going out, I would say that out of all the girls I dated, Brandi was my second favorite. I would be at Brandi’s house as much as possible, and her parents liked me too. Brandi and I didn’t date for too long, because we were better as friends. Brandi was a good friend all the way through my senior year. I learned how to dance at the Penalty Box as well. I had no trouble being on the dance floor through all the songs. The Dj’s that they had there would always play the best songs, and I was dressed to impress, so the girls would ask me to dance. The penalty box closed after just a couple of years.
When summer came to a close, I had to get my nerves up to go to a different school. The only comfort was that I had another cousin who went to the new school. Jason wasn’t as popular as Jamie, but I had thought that since everyone liked everyone no matter of class or stature, I thought the new school would be the same. The people I met at East Alton Wood River High would change my life. One of the first people I met was Brandon Conrad and Steve Wheeler. Those guys were in the band and played drums with me. They were really cool and became great friends. There was one guy in there that was a real jerk, Kyle Shirley. Kyle would always try to steal my thunder. One instance was with a girl in the band, Tammy. I wrote Tammy a note one night, and made it from a secret admirer and Tammy really liked it. When I was ready to tell her it was me, Kyle told her it was him, and he ended up getting the girl. L. Brandon and Steve were older than me, but included me in almost everything. Brandon and I would walk around after school and hang out with girls that I knew from Roxana and just talk and listen to music. Steve bowled so; we would go to the bowling alley to hang out with him while he bowled. It was through Brandon, that I met Kathy Peuterbaugh. Kathy was just someone that I knew of, but didn’t know that well. One day in P.E. we were bowling and I saw a girl walk in, and for some reason I thought to myself that I would marry her. I told Brandon about it, and he helped me try to figure out who this girl was. I saw her again a while later with Kathy, and Brandon asked Kathy who she was. Somehow I got Kathy’s number and talked to her about this girl, and Kathy called her and gave her my number. The girl called me, and we talked for a long time on the phone and decided we would go out. That girl was Brooke.