Friendship is number one (“Alone and Together,” continued)

During much of high school, I was miserable. I had depression, and to make matters worse: I really, really wanted a boyfriend. I told myself to stop wanting to be with someone, but I could never do it. I spent all of my high school years and most of my college ones, too, craving something I knew I couldn’t have and wasn’t ready for.

Still, I needed it. I wanted it so much. I wanted affection, but even more than that: I wanted a friend.

My sophomore year in high school I went on a date with an intelligent boy named Cory.
It wasn’t an official date. We just went to the library after school in his car and didn’t study at all. We talked about a lot of things that sounded smart like history and politics. He said that he was reading a book about Abraham Lincoln, and I told him that he was overrated. (I think I got that one from my dad.)

It was a great, real conversation. And for me, at that time and maybe still, great real conversations were the best thing in the world, and the most rare, too.

I don’t know how rare it was for Cory, though; he  never called me again after that night. Of course, I should be glad he didn’t—eventually I would have made a fool of myself and it probably wouldn’t have lasted anyway.

Still, I am jealous of anyone who can walk away from the chance to have more of what we had that day.

I don’t think I ever have since.

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