I think the first time I really cared about someone was during high school. A new boy had moved into the neighborhood, along with his single mother and elder sister.
He started hanging out with my group of friends. At first I resented him being there because I felt like maybe he was taking my spot in the group. His mom was fairly hands off, so he was able to get away with a lot of stuff that I probably couldn’t have. But eventually we started doing things together, hanging out and developed a relationship.
He was about two years younger to me, but he had been promoted a year because of his intelligence. We turned out to have a lot in common actually. We were both into military history, fantasy, and science fiction. We liked thinking deep thoughts, and we’d talk for hours about politics, about what we’d do to fix the world, and come up with schemes to start a business or develop a new game. He had this dopey cuteness about him along with a terrific smile.
We started spending more and more time together. My friend group used to play these military board games together, and would often play Dungeons and Dragons. We would often team up, and since we were much better players than the rest, we often won.
He would date quite often, so to hang out with him more, I found myself a girl-friend so that I could do some of the same things with him. I did feel bad for the girl, I’m sure I was incredibly boring in her eyes. Unfortunately though, she wasn’t the recipient of my attention.
We even got to the point where we planned to go to GenCon together, a huge convention of gamers sponsored by the makers of Dungeons & Dragons. I wasn’t sure if my parents would have approved, but I even thought about doing it in defiance. I wanted to go with him so bad, I could feel it.
One day we tried a stunt where we put a string across the road into our neighborhood, with the idea of a car coming through and hitting it and pulling out the mailboxes. it was something of the sort, I’m not sure what the ultimate goal was to be honest. Unfortunately the next car had some kids from the local gang in it. The trap had failed, sowe took off running. The kids in the car saw him however, and threatened to kill him.
This spooked him enough to decide to get his mother’s gun to protect himself. It was a 38. Special revolver. We started taking it out to the woods with other friends to practice shooting it. We fired it into unfinished drainage pipes and into trees. It’s amazing that none of us really thought any of this through.
January 18 of 1983, was the day before my mid-term exams. He had come over to my house, and when I answered the door he showed me the gun. I insisted that he emptied the bullets, which I certainly recall him doing. t.
He came into my room where I showed him the game I was setting up. I should have been studying, but I’d have done anything for him.
The next thing I remembered was the world going black. I remember walking out of my bedroom, and it felt like my arm was hanging like a purse. My mom asked me what happened, and I apparently told her that I had been shot. I remember laying down on the floor, not being able to breathe.
Apparently one of the bullets was still stuck in the revolver. He started clicking the gun, and one discharged. It went through my shoulder, collapsed my lung, hit a rib and went out the back. I was extremely fortunate, the rib prevented more vital organs from being damaged.
I was in the hospital for eight days. He had only visited me once. I was alright with that though, and I would have probably forgiven him for what happened. But when he came to see me he brought a girl from the neighborhood with him. I remember seeing them and feeling so betrayed.
Once I came home, he came over to visit once, but it just didn’t work for me. I never saw him again after that. A few years later I would start having dreams about him. In at least a couple of them we were married and I was his wife. The dreams were beautiful and painful at the same time. After my first divorce, a friend tried to get me to look him up on Facebook, but I just couldn’t.