First off. If you know me personally, you've probably already heard most of this. Also, try to look at this as a work of fiction. And as for comments. I'm finally ready to talk about this story. Please let me know if you read it...If you have any questions about something I said just ask.

Victim of the Game

I've heard it said that it's best to write out what you're feeling. I guess it's supposed to be able help you express yourself better, or something like that. I don't know it that's true or not but it certainly can't hurt anything. Right? I could always write some happy hippie shit, but I don't feel that way. I figure right now my life sucks is a big way. I guess I should tell my little depressing story. Although now that I think about it, it's not all that bad. One could use my story as an example to learn by, or as a cheap way to entertain themselves. I don't really care how it's read, but I have to write something or my head will explode. Just to get it out in the open this a little overview of one of the greatest women to ever live. At least that's my opinion, and I think most people that have met her would agree to some degree. Perhaps that is why I'm writing this. This is my time to rant and rave. Maybe, in some way, I hope she'll see this someday and be able to figure out, to a degree, how I really feel about her. Most likely not. I'm not even sure if I know how I feel about her but maybe by the time I'm done I'll have better understanding. I also know in all actuality, that she'll probably never see this. I don't know if I'll ever get the guts to allow her to read it. I guess only time will tell. A question is brought up by all of this. Why should I have to write down how I feel instead of saying it, or at least trying to show it. Well, it's because I have trouble, perhaps more than I should, expressing emotions. It's not that I'm an emotionless person. In fact, I might venture to say that I'm an over-emotional person. Therefore, in order to cover up my wide swings in emotion I've had to develop a facade of complete indifference. This way no one ever has to see me depressed or manic. I've always wanted to help people feel their best. So, if I'm depressed (or even manic when I shouldn't be) then I find it hard to think that I could help them to feel better. So if I play the part of the rock for them to lean on I feel better, hopefully they feel better, and I have no outward emotions. I guess the bad side is that I appear to be a cold, distant person. So to tie this all back together. I want her to be able to feel like she can always depend on me. And she can. But the side-effect is that I can't show her how I feel for her, or anyone else for that matter. This kills me inside. I guess I'm stuck between a rock and myself. On one hand I want to be able to loosen up and let her and everyone else know how I feel, but on the other I keep telling myself that I can't let emotions take me away. So I remain as my little rock silent, but always thinking.

Rebecca has been the main focus of my thoughts for over a year now. I don't know how it began, I only know that it hasn't even slowed down yet, and so far, no matter what has happened, it doesn't seem to be slowing in the least. When it all started I thought it was one of those fleeting little romance-lust-fantasies. I'm not so sure anymore. I've had several crushes in my life, who hasn't? But this one is different. The longest I've ever felt like I was in love with anyone has been 6 months and that was with a friend of mine from when I was really young. That one was not a good idea for anyone. However, my obsession over Rebecca could be good for everyone if it were given the proper attention.

I mentioned earlier about a friend of mine from when I was younger. I never thought much about it but I guess this writing is also about figuring myself out. In that spirit I thought I'd give some background first. As I work through this paper and re-write, edit, and re-write again, it came to me that she may have something to do with my current behavior. Anyone who has taken an even basic psychology class will have been thought that ones past experiences can have a deep impact on their future. Again my writing comes up. This is cheaper than a therapy session and I still get to figure out what's going on inside my head. So how does this past girl figure into my current situation? Well let me tell a little story. She had been a friend of mine since before I can remember. Her mother married my fathers best friend. So we grew up knowing each other. Growing up I used to slip between feeling completely indifferent towards her, and thinking I was in love with her. But I was really too young to even grasp the slightest concept of love. We also used to go back-and-forth between seeing each other a lot and then not seeing each other for months. Not to lose anyone reading this, now is a time shift to the time I was 16 going on 17. It was around July when we started back on one of our cycles of seeing each other. I saw her several times within a month or so. My feelings started to come back to me and I wondered if she might be someone I could end up with for bit. We had always been friends and horsed around together, but the last few times we saw each other it was more like extremely active flirting on both parts. The fourth of July was one of those days. She had come over with her step-father. He and my dad were supposed to go participate in some holiday fun together. During this visit she was laying it on me pretty strong. This all came to an end when I had to leave to go to work, but we agreed that we would see each other that night at the fireworks. Another time shift forward to that evening. Our families were supposed to get together that night for the fireworks, but my dad wasn't feeling well. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get him to take us down to met with them. So I missed her that night. Later that night though we met on the computer. Computers have always been big in my life I guess. At first I was talking with her mother. Her mom kept interjecting with things like "Love is in the air" and other sayings like that. Then she told me that her daughter wanted to talk to me. As we talked she told me she missed me earlier, and I explained why I wasn't there. Then the conversation shifted. I don't remember exactly what was said, so I'm not going to attempt to quote her. The conversation boiled down to this. She asked me out. And of course I said yes. We talked some more that night then called it an evening. Now things take a twist for the worse...or on second thought I guess it was for the better. I didn't hear from her for three days. The next thing I know I get an e-mail from her saying that she doesn't think we should go out. I tried to get some sort of reasoning from her, but I wasn't successful. That was the end of all things between us. In present day, she has turned out to be a horrible person. She has become very strange, perhaps as a form of rebellion, or what-not. Basically we're not really even friends anymore. So how does all of this fit into my current state of mind. Several of my behaviors have stemmed from her. First off, I no longer accept any relationship over the computer. I don't even consider trying to start a relationship through the computer. It all has to be done in person, or not at all. That will show up later, trust me. I also started a pattern of looking at my friends for potential girl-friends. I guess I figure if I can be friends with a girl for a while and get to know her, then I'll be able to figure out if we have any chance for a relationship before I go for it. I did break that rule once, but I was desperate that time. I also worry about asking friends out. That why I stay friends with them for a good length of time first. The third pattern that has developed in me because of her is that I always feel like the girl should ask me out because that's the way it worked with her (and partly because I'm shy). After this weak attempt with my friend, and then the subsequent loss of friendship, I have decided I must make sure the friendship will last even if the romance doesn't. If this all makes sense good, if not, don't worry it's hard for me to explain it clearly. Just trust me. Also I should add, due to the fact that we never saw each other in the three days that we were supposed to be going out, I now refuse to admit to going out with her. And in all actuality it may as well be true. Now on to Rebecca.

I met Rebecca sometime around the winter of 1998. I don't know who started talking first but I also don't care. We met through Muscatine Public Network (MPN), a local computer Bulletin Board Service (BBS). I might mention that this is how I communicated with my friend I talked about earlier. Soon it became a routine with Rebecca. Every time we were on-line together we would talk, and then we got started sending each other messages even when the other wasn't on-line, so that we could keep up conversations even if we didn't happen to be on at the same time. It hit a high point with our goal to hit 1000 messages before the end of the year. We didn't make it but oh well. We still gave it a try and I had fun doing it. It was during our first messages, and chats that my first thoughts of romance came up. I had never seen Rebecca before in person, but in my mind she was the greatest person I'd ever met. We usually didn't talk about anything too high-powered and that made it all the more fun. We never had an arguments, and all our talking was about casual topics, so I started to feel very comfortable talking to her. When I started thinking about how wonderful she was, I passed it off as one of those school-boy crushes. Just some hazy fog of lustful passion that would pass from my mind when the light came up and melted it away. After all I'd never seen her before. I figured her looks were still important. As the time passed I thought it would be great if I could ask her out...or even at least see her in person once. But I still felt she was more of a friend than anything else, and I had no clue how she felt. So I let time float by like the great river it's said to be.

Now we drift up to a time close to the present. The first time I saw her. It was a strange encounter to say the least. It was at school. Through our talks I had learned that she was in Mr. Shaw's third hour Biology class. I knew Shaw well from my prior two years in his classes. He liked my sauerkraut. So one day I took him a jar and in the class room were two people. A blonde girl in one back corner, and a red-headed girl in the other. I didn't really look at either of them, I just set my jar down on his table, asked them to tell Mr. Shaw that I'd left it for him then I went to class. Later she told me she had seen me and asked if I saw her. I asked her which one she was, and it turns out she was the red-head. I lied to her when I told her I had seen her. That has been the only time I have ever lied to her at all. I didn't have the guts to look her in the face. I knew one of the two had to be her, but as for which one, and what she looked like I didn't know. I saw that she was there, but nothing more. I am a terribly self-conscious person, so I couldn't look at her, because I figured she wouldn't like me. It's crazy I know, but that's how I felt then. And to an extent even now.

My encounter with her left me wanting to see her again. I used to walk down the hall everyday looking for her, and somedays I would see her, sometimes not. I even remember the first conversation we had. I said "hi" and she said "hi" back, that was it. To me it was great.

Not long after that she came to work at Hy-Vee, which is where I worked at the time. That was the greatest time for me up until that point. The new employee pictures were posted upstairs so that we could all get to know there faces. I sure got to know her face. I never had the guts to look her straight on. I guess I was afraid that if I got close enough to see her face then she could see my face. I knew in my mind that she wouldn't like what she saw. So that picture became my favorite sight. I didn't have to deal with the intimidation of looking at her in person, but I could learn what she looked like. It was strange though. I would see her at work, and pass by her, but I could never come up with anything to say, then at night on the computer we could talk for hours or at least until one of us decided to go to bed. When I was at work though, I would fill the front tables all the time, just so I could be up front and look across the row of registers to get a glimpse of her. I loved looking at her, even if it was only for a few seconds at work. That was one of the things that made it hard to leave the store. But soon I'd have reason to go back.

Several of my friends used to tease me about liking her. They had no idea if I really did like her that much, but she was basically on thing that I was guaranteed to talk about at least once a day. My friends used to joke that they would ask her out for me. I would act like I didn't care, but the whole time I kept hoping they would actually do it. And again, my shy-insecure-self stepped in and told me she wouldn't like me...even though I felt like I liked her enough for the both of us. This went on for a long time until I finally found a string to pull to get my friend Russ to act on his words. There was a girl I worked with at Hy-Vee that Russ had found quite attractive. Because I worked closely with her, I told him I'd talk to her for him. I told Russ this in a joking fashion, and he came back with the bit about asking Rebecca out for me. So one day when we were in the store, I told my co-worker about Russ, and of course he went nuts, because he thought I had been joking. The next time we came in the store both Rebecca and my co-worker were there, so I told Russ I was going to go talk to her, and he said he was going to talk to Rebecca. I really wanted him too, but I told him I didn't care what he did. I think he took that as a challenge so we left each other. I went to the back, and Russ went to the front to talk with Rebecca. Russ told me he had asked Rebecca what she would do if I asked her out. He told me she said something along the lines of probably yes. I don't remember exactly how he worded it, and I'm not even sure he had talked to her at all. But it didn't matter, I now had his full encouragement to go for it, without ever having to directly ask for it. I was able to play my card correctly that time. Perhaps I should teach a class on how to use your friends for your own personal gain, without hurting anyone else.

I went to Hy-Vee several times to talk to her, each time I kept telling myself when I went in that I'd ask her out, and when I left I told myself, I'd do it next time. This went on for about two months. The problem was that every time we got talking I would have so much fun. I figured that if I asked her out then perhaps we'd find something to disagree about, and she would no longer want to talk to me at all. I didn't want to lose her as a friend, even if it meant never knowing if we could be more. Each time I forgot to ask her Russ got a little more impatient with me. Finally I figured it was now or never, once more I made up my mind to ask her, and this time I couldn't fail. I couldn't stand not know if we could be just that much happier with each other. Or as that song goes, "Would I lose a friend, or find a love that would never end?" I had to find out, and my money was on love.

We had arranged to met at the High School parking lot. She was in a play, but she had agreed to skip out during the break and meet me. I felt bad about making her do that. I figured the play would be important to her and I didn't want to pull her away from it, but she assured me that it would be ok. This help to get me to ask her what it was I wanted to know. If she was going to miss part of practice to be with me, I was going to make it something worth coming to. So we finally met. And like normal we got to talking. For some reason despite how we started out, I had been able to talk very easily with her over that past few months. Once we talked for 3 hours outside of Hy-Vee. And this day proved to be no different. We talked for about 2 hours or so. and finally around 6 o'clock she said she needed to be getting home. I was already sitting in my car and she was just going around the front of her's when it hit me. I came up with my fool-proof pick-up-line. I gathered my energy and said "You know, Russ is going to be mad at me, I forgot to ask you out again." She stopped and turned around and started to walk slowly back towards me. She said "Well, I'm still here." So like the smooth man I am. I said "So when are we going out?" I made sure to leave no chance for her to say no. I didn't really think she would, but I was completely sure that Russ had ever talked to her. After a bit of talking we decided that we had no idea when, but we agreed to talk about it over the computer. This was on the 5th of October 1999.

I have finally figured out why I said things the way I did. If she had said no to me, I could blame it all on Russ for making me ask her, although I was the one who pushed him to do it. But I was done now, and all we had to do now was talk on the computer. I always have found the computer easier. That way she doesn't have to look at me..I always feel ugly and fat. I sound like some bitchy old woman, but I get that way sometimes. Anyway, we finally set a date. Our first date. It was the 10th of October. We met at the Family Restaurant. I remember that day very well too. She ordered coffee. Her first glass had 8 sugar and two cream. later she started drinking her coffee with less. Three glasses total that night. We talked for a long time. Again I could hardly look at her. I was just so happy to be with her it didn't matter what she looked like. And I didn't want her to be looking at me. Looks have always been my downfall, so I figured the more like the computer it was, the better. But talking is so much quicker and easier. After she'd finished her coffee, we left to go home. Her Birthday was the day before and I had attended a suprise party for her, which is another story all to itself. But I gave her a card in the parking lot of the restaurant. The card was one I had Russ buy for me, I have trouble shopping...I don't like the clerks and I have trouble making the transactions...another one of my little problems.

Like I mentioned earlier her party was another story unto itself. I got invited my her friend Anna, and I figured what the hell, so I went. Rebecca's birthday is on the 9th of October. The party was nice. She told me I was the suprise of the evening. I guess she didn't expect me to be there with the rest of her friends. The whole time I was there, which again was several hours. I just kept looking at her. She looked so great and I couldn't keep my mind off her. I hated leaving that night. I still can remember almost everything that went on. We had a ritualistic killing of a duck (or rather a piņata). We took a trip to the cemetery and played a bit of hide-and-seek. Later we all sat under a large bit of felt that was in the front yard. We all sat around and talked and laughed. Toward the end of the night as I was getting ready to leave some guys were getting into a home-made hot-tub. Rebecca had taken off her shoes, and for some reason didn't want to put them back on. So I gave her a piggy-back ride to the tub. There was also a lot of time in between and great deal of conversations that I don't remember to the fullest detail. I wont even try to recount them all right now.

The only hard part about our relationship was that we never had enough time to see each other. I thought about her all the time, but thoughts aren't' always enough. Perhaps that's what caused our first little problem. We had tried for a while to set a date to get together. Finally one Thursday night she showed up just after I had finished supper. She brought me a pink carnation. The dried-up remains of that flower still sit on my computer reminding me of her. As we drove to Arbys she said we needed to talk and that I wasn't going to like what she had to say. For the time leading up to this date, I felt like she hated me..and I was afraid she was going to break-up with me. I figured I wasn't going to like what she had to say, but I didn't have much of a choice. We went to Arbys and fell into the normal talking mode. After a while she said she had to say what we came there to talk about. She had cheated on me. That's basically how she broke it to me. It's hard to describe what her reactions were once she told me. It's even harder to say what mine were. It's even hard to say what I felt because I don't know myself. I was trying so hard again to be that rock. I wanted her to know that I was glad she had told me. I wasn't happy by any means, but I wasn't mad either. I know she's only human, and we didn't exactly have a strong relationship. I also wanted her to know that disspite the events, I was still in love with her, especially since she told me and I didn't have to find out second hand. I also just kept thinking that she didn't break-up with me. I was almost happy. For once though, she was having trouble looking me in the eye. All I could think about was making sure she was alright. I didn't want her feeling bad. But she did look cute sitting there. I just wanted to hold her, but I wasn't sure if it was proper to do, so I did nothing. Once things calmed down, we went back to talking and finally she took me home. When we got to my house she said she was sorry again, and I just wanted to lean across the seat and kiss her, but I couldn't do it. So I took my flower and went inside. To this day I don't know what the right thing to do was. By now that cold-hearted side of me had set in. I turned rock hard so that I couldn't show the pain inside. I don't know why I did that. At this point in my life this reaction is now second nature to me.

All I got from that night was that she had cheated on me (although we hadn't been that close) and that she didn't want to break-up. The last point is all I cared about. I didn't want our relationship to be over before it had a chance to begin.

We didn't see much of each other after that. but then again we didn't see much of each other before that. Again I felt like she hated me. I knew better than that though. I didn't think she'd agree to stay with me if she didn't like something about me. She was the type of girl who didn't have to stay single (or with me, for that matter) if she didn't want to. Almost any guy alive would kill to be with her. I guess I wouldn't kill, but I would do some serious harm. And even thought she looks so hot, I just enjoy talking to her. But...

My friends were a bit upset with me. I had been, in a way, dating Rebecca for three months and I hadn't even kissed her yet. I don't know if I'm supposed to or not. I certainly wanted to, but I didn't want Rebecca thinking I wanted her for her great body instead of her person. I liked talking to her, looking at her was great too, but nothing compared to our talks. People always tell you that it's not the looks but their personality that mattered. I figured it would take an "ugly" person to change my mind. Someone with out looks but a great personality. But I haven't found any to change my mind yet. I never thought an attractive person could make me think that looks didn't matter. But somehow it happened. I find Rebecca very attractive, as does almost any other heterosexual male. Despite this fact, I still found that it was more or less her mind, or personality, that I found myself most attracted to. I don't know if that makes me different that any so called normal guy. I always figured I should be trying to get into her pants like most guys seem to act. I could never bring myself to act that way, in part because I'm to shy, and also because I didn't want her to think that sex was all that was on my mind.

I did tell her my idea of kissing her though. I think she understood how shy I really am. She told me to lay one on her the next time I saw her, and I was determined to do so. This is where the story turns. It's not a favorite time of mine. She was supposed to stop by one day, but through a mix-up. She thought I wasn't home. So it came to the computer. This time through ICQ. I had installed ICQ because I was told she was on it. I thought this way we could talk. It did work too. We still don't talk as much as I'd like, but I know she's a busy person. As am I, so when we do talk I try to let it last as long as possible.

Anyway, she never came to my house so it came down to ICQ. To cut it short, She broke up with me. It didn't shock me in the greatest sense. Well, perhaps it did, but again I masked my emotions behind my cold stone heart. I don't blame her..I guess I blame myself more than anything. I never had much time for her, even though I wanted to be with her. A friend, Dan, had even told me two weeks before this to break up with her because we never see each other. I feel horrible for making her waste her time with me. And as some friends were only too happy to point out, I didn't even get to kiss her. Perhaps it was for the better. Her part at least. I've never had a girl-friend besides her. Well not technically. It may help to understand that too. I'll talk about her later. But as for Rebecca, I didn't know what to do. Maybe now she can find someone to give her the attention she deserves. She did leave me with the one little hope that maybe we could get back together once our lives slowed down a bit, to allow us more time to be together. I guess I can't really finish this story until I know how it ends. Either we'll be happy together, or she'll find someone new, and perhaps I could find a way to get over her. Take your pick. As for me, I'm gonna wait this one out and see where we end up.

I started out this writing by saying how it was a way for me to self-analyze my behavior. A type of free psychological help. I also said that one's past does effect their future. So once again I have continued to look at my past relations and tried to see how they apply to the way I've treated, and acted towards, Rebecca. This is a little harder than it seems at times. Especially given the fact that I've only had two romantic relationships in my life other than Rebecca, and Rebecca is the first I'll even talk about. But still, I lie in bed every night thinking. I also think all day at work, I think about why I act the way I do. I'm not a psychologist and I've only had two basic classes on the subject. However, it doesn't take a whole lot to figure some of this out.

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