Way back in my second post I wrote about my slow start to dating and interacting with girls/women in general, and I briefly mentioned the one girl whom I'd sat next to in school for any length of time - but to me at that time she was so much more than that. My imagination for blog nicknames must be faltering because I'm going to call her My School Crush.
I'd had other crushes at school, generally one per year. For the most part it was an enjoyable experience - I would feel a rush of excitement when I saw them and even more so if we had any kind of interaction. They would brighten up the day. My mind may have invented my attraction to them for exactly that purpose. I never told them or tried to get closer to them - I'm really not sure what I would have done had one tried to get closer to me.
My School Crush was the last of the lineage and started out in much the same way. I admired her from afar and assumed that this would be the extent of her involvement in my life. But times were changing. I was gradually changing - rather than being 11 or 12 I was 15 and starting to learn (later than most) that talking with girls wasn't such a strange thing to do. My School Crush happened to be in three of my classes - Maths, Science and Economics. I can't quite remember how it happened, but occasionally I must have actually talked with her and got to know her a bit. It probably helped that we had a Mutual Friend in the Economics class - a guy who was much more adept at socialising than I was.
But the big development was to come in our Maths class. Maths had always come quickly and naturally to me and I'd flown through it all the way through school. For the last few months of our two years together as a class, the teacher (who was very keen on maximising the exam marks of his classes) split the class into the Nine top-achieving-kids-to-push-even-more and Twenty-odd kids-who-would-do-OK-but-weren't-worth-bothering-with-too-much (maybe I'm doing him a disservice but it did seem a bit like that, particularly to a friend of mine in the Twenty section.) I was in the Nine and so was My School Crush. Before long I ended up sitting next to her and she would ask me questions about our work. Finally it was paying off to be good at Maths! Test scores and praises and prizes are one thing, but an attractive girl being interested in me (in some way at least) seemed rather more valuable at that point!
I wasn't normally a massive fan of school or of organised learning in general, but funnily enough I really looked forward to those lessons. I was lucky enough to be at a point where I didn't need to worry too much about the actual work and I could concentrate on soaking up this intoxicating new experience. The more time I spent with her, the more I liked her. This was uncharted territory for me - my distant crush was suddenly right up close and even more attractive than before. I had no idea what to do next. I needed more time. I really didn't want those last few months of Maths classes to come to an end. But, of course, they did.
The summer holiday came and went. I knew that our classes would be changing around completely on our return in September. I would be going into some kind of even-more-Maths class and I hadn't seen her at the induction for that. But as far as I knew we would both be taking Economics again (as would our Mutual Friend) and there were only to be two different Economics groups.
I bumped into My School Crush on our first day back and we compared timetables. Bad news - she and our Mutual Friend were in one class and I was in the other. I couldn't switch without changing my other subjects drastically. I still remember that moment of sinking realisation. She said "Well then, I guess I'll see you around." All I could think of to say in reply was "Yeah, see you around."
I did see her around occasionally, but less and less. I made an effort to speak with her at those times - it may have been obvious that I was trying a bit too hard to keep some kind of connection. It never really looked likely to work. I debated whether to tell her - without being quite sure what to say - but often she had a boyfriend, which made it seem inappropriate, and at other times I came up with other ways to talk myself out of it.
...but one day she and I were walking, just the two of us. We were walking through some kind of forest and we came to a clearing and I thought: I should tell her how I feel. Here and now. As we faced each other I started to speak but she simply put her finger up to my lips and said "I know." And then she kissed me. It was wonderful and I felt so full of happiness...
And then I woke up. Waking from that dream and realising that it hadn't actually happened left me in a bad mood for most of the following day. These days I like the idea of trying to enjoy having had the dream rather than begrudging reality, but at that time it felt like I'd just had my greatest wish granted and then almost instantly snatched away.
As time went by and I saw her less and less, the Out Of Sight Out Of Mind effect gradually took my thoughts away from her and readied me for the fact that we wouldn't be walking around the same school forever. By the time school finished I was ready to let go of My School Crush and free my attention for my impending move to university. Apart from a fleeting glimpse in a local shopping mall the following summer, I never saw her again.
...Well, I've never seen her in person again. But now it's 2010 and Facebook has firmly established itself as the way to sneak a peek at people from one's past. About six months ago I finally started to enter her name into the search box and was briefly shocked when Facebook flashed up her photo to me before I'd even finished! She doesn't have an unusual name - how on earth could Facebook know that out of all the possibilities in the world I was looking for her? Then I realised why it had given her priority: we've got a mutual friend - a different guy from our old Economics class. I haven't seen him since school either and I wouldn't claim to know him at this stage, but he sent me a friend request two years ago and I accepted (I had decided to accept any requests from people I'd known at some point even if we hadn't stayed in touch.) So that's how Facebook knew. I think I preferred the magical mystery actually.
So, here's what I'm wondering: I'm tempted to write to her and let her know that fifteen years ago I had a big crush on her and that she brightened my Maths lessons to the point where I wanted them to keep going. Would this come across as a nice thing to hear, or would it seem creepy? Of course, I could contact her and not mention any of this, at least at first, but that option doesn't appeal to me. I like the idea of using Facebook to say the things I never said to people in the past - I've already used it in that way several times (not in terms of confessing to crushes though.) I wouldn't be expecting great things to come from writing to her - I guess ideally I would be hoping for an acknowledgement of my message, and that would be fine. But I wouldn't want my message to be uncomfortable or worrying to read. What do you think? Nice message to receive or creepy guy giving too much information?