A Short Story.
I moved from Tyler to Laredo the summer before my freshman year of high school.
Thankfully, my cousin lived there and introduced me to a friend’s sibling, who was right around my age, so I had the entire summer to get to know some new classmates.
And by get to know I mean get really drunk on Boone’s Strawberry Hill and wine coolers and cruise around in a white mustang convertible with someone who probably didn’t have a license.
It was that same summer that my cousin taught me some valuable advice. The Dangle Technique: When the room spins, dangle one leg off the bed and put your foot on the floor. Or just throw-up on yourself. Whichever comes first. Something like that, anyway.
I spent all summer hanging out, meeting new people, and talking on three-way.
To my younger generation readers – this is not the same thing as having a three-way.
It was all so perfect. I had an awesome summer and didn’t have to start school as a huge loser.
I even had a boyfriend well before the first day of school. So what that I’d never actually met him face to face. We were introduced over a three-way call and it was love at first hear. I mean, who wouldn’t fall head over heels in love upon hearing a prepubescent, squeaky, boy voice?
But then, just as everything was falling into place, it happened.
Two days before the first day of high school, at a new school, in a new town, I felt it. That familiar twinge in my eye…the beginning stage of a stye.
Which, at the time, I thought was pretty much the same thing as herpes of the eye. And this totally confused me, because I’d never even seen a penis, much less put one in my eye. Especially not one with herpes.
But, there it was. And I knew from past experience that it was only going to get worse, that the bump on my eyelid was going to get bigger and more pus-filled by the minute. (side note: I was initially going to go with, “more pussier by the minute,” and then I remembered that my eye was not a vagina.)
After doing some super complex eye-herpes math, I estimated my eye would be at peak grossness just in time for the first day of school.
How would my boyfriend I’d never met react when he found out his girlfriend had herpes in her eye? He would either break-up with me, or assume I was that kind of girl and try to stick his penis in my eye. And I was certainly not that kind of girl….at least not for like another year anyway.
More concerning than being dumped by someone I had never met, though, was the fear that I’d forever be branded as herpe girl among my new classmates.
So, I had to think fast.
I mean, my boobs were awkwardly huge for a 14 year old and all (thanks, puberty), but certainly not big enough to hide my monster eye. Just maybe distract from it a little.
But, it wasn’t long before I came up with my brilliant master plan.
I called my new pal, Kim, and asked her if she’d be in on it. And, you guys, she not only said yes, but she agreed to still hang out with me even though I had herpes in my eye.
Now that, my friends, is a true friend.
The night before school, I told my boyfriend I’d never met all about the terrible accident that happened earlier in the day.
All about how Kim had accidentally punched me in the eye, leaving it red, swollen, and with a pimple-like bump on it.
Shut up. It made much more sense in my head at the time and I never claimed to be in the gifted and talented program.
At school the next day I proceeded to tell that same story over and over again to everyone I met.
And it totally worked!
Or people just felt sorry for me, and immediately ran away and washed their hands after coming into contact.
One or the other.
Also, my boyfriend and I stayed strong for like a whole ‘nother week.
Moral of the story: Just lie when you don’t know what else to do.
Because without eye herpes, I wasn’t awkward at all.