When I was 15 I thought the first rejection would kill me but it didn’t stop me. Instead it was a drug. I sent Valentine’s to Aaron, Peter and Paul. I slipped handwritten notes to Mark and Rob in Maths. I hedged bets.
I dated Ken three times blind, each time enjoying excuses dissolving like a sherbet lolly, his spit running down my chin. I’d suck it like a spilt drink, wipe my mouth like demolishing bolognese.
The third time we dated he said, “Don’t tell anyone.” His mum made us keep the door open even though, technically friends, there wasn’t a finger or fuck. On course to becoming worship leader, youth leader, minister, Ken said when we first held hands, “No sex before marriage,” as if the thing on a Sunday school kid’s mind is sex. Maybe it is. Maybe I’m weird, was weird.
We broke up a week after the pledge. I’m not sure what the point of saying it was. Second time we broke up on my birthday. Someone in his band was uncomfortable with us dating. Third time was secret, kissing in my bedroom as my mum let doors close, lock even.
The last break-up was New Year, 1999. Ken asked, “Who have you told about us?” hoping we’d implode silently and not spoil church training, band practice. I ran from his house, and he chased like any good ex, friend, serial killer.
Daughters, only date men twice that tell their mothers about you. And don’t be naive. When it’s a three-time thing, he’s an indecisive fuck. Get yourself to Bible study, Thursday night hang out, camp, and find a man with a bit more pizazz. And, god forbid, a bit less Jesus.