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Worldwide Ace » Dealing with Rejection – Part III

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Dealing with Rejection – Part III

3 February, 2009 (15:52) | Unlucky 13, Women

For context, read
Dealing with Rejection – Part I

and Dealing with Rejection – Part II.


In sports you can have a lucky bounce, lucky call or a lucky shot. There are lucky horseshoes, lucky clovers, and lucky rabbit’s feet. You can find lucky pennies, eat lucky charms, and just plain feel lucky. For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people use the term “getting lucky” almost exclusively in regards to sex.

To me, though, getting lucky has always been about dating and romance and rarely about sex. Finding that girl that I simply click with when I least expect it is getting lucky. Asking someone out who is so clearly out of my league and having her accept is getting lucky. Even randomly meeting a wonderful girl in some chance encounter and not having it lead anywhere is still getting lucky.

Despite every wonderful thing that’s happened to me over the course of my life, I have never gotten luckier than finding myself a high school freshman wandering Harvard Square with a lovely college girl.

I’m not sure how it worked out that my parents gave me the freedom of the city at 14, but I had somehow secured their trust. The school provided students MBTA passes, so we had free reign of the busses and trolleys. My parents had given me a pager that we got cheap from a deal on the back of a Mountain Dew box. If they wondered where I was or why I was late, they’d page me and I’d call them from the nearest pay phone. I felt it was a sweet deal. And because they trusted me I don’t remember ever lying to them about what I was up to or where I was.

Except once.

I told my parents I was catching a movie with my friend Morgan, a classmate of mine and the closest thing BUA had to a rebel or bad girl. The two of us often spent time hanging out downtown or in Cambridge, since she lived in Somerville.

Morgan had an older boyfriend her parents didn’t approve of and would occasionally have me cover for her. I didn’t approve of him either. He was creepy and she was creepy when he was around, but after two years at an all-boys boarding school, I wasn’t exactly rolling in female friends. For the first time, Morgan was covering for me.

I stashed my bag at Vincent’s house, changed clothes to something nicer, and booked it over to the GSU where I met the red headed Virginian for an evening on the town.

Her name was Nikki. She had two brothers and a sister, all older and all back in her small town in Virginia. She had three dogs, her favorite a very sweet Dalmatian named Daisy whom she swore was retarded. She was open option and couldn’t decide between studying biology to become pre-med, communications, or education.

All those facts have stuck with me over the years, but the most important fact to me was that she thought I was funny. I’m sure my humor was immature, but apparently it was up her alley.

We grabbed the T across to Harvard Square and shopped for a little. We ate pizza at the little parlor tucked above the entry to the Garage. Nikki rolled her eyes when I took her into a comic book store for a few minutes, but even she could appreciate the sculpting of the figures and the artwork on the walls. She even professed a secret love of MTV’s Liquid Television and some of the stranger animation out there. It felt like heaven.

Harvard Square
Image by Rose Lincoln.

We went to Harrell’s Ice Cream, and shared a cup (I don’t even like ice cream and she said she wasn’t hungry enough for her own). I told her about some of the history of the city, spouted a few random facts, and tried to teach her how to do a Boston accent. She told me about her family, explained the lymphatic system, which she was studying at the time, and tried to teach me to speak with a drawl.

Soon, the sun was down and it was getting chilly. We cinched our coats tightly and slowly meandered through Harvard Yard, watching the people flit every which way, a pick-up game of touch football happening in the midst of one of the open fields.

I felt Nikki’s hand slip into mine and had to concentrate to keep from shaking. I had never even been on a date with a girl my own age, let alone a gorgeous college girl who was clearly way out of my league. This was utterly clear to me in the moment. If she noticed me shaking, she didn’t say anything.

“So what are you studying? Have you picked a major?” she asked.

“Um, a little bit of everything right now. I’ve got time before I need to choose a degree,” I told her. It was as honest an answer as I could give without giving my age away. “I’m taking physics right now and a math class that’s as much about the history of math as it is about the math itself.”

“That sounds cool.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty neat.” I felt the telltale buzz in my pocket. “Excuse me,” I said, separating our hands and digging into my pocket for the pager.

“Is that a pager?”

“Yeah,” I acknowledged glancing at the screen. It was my parents. “I gotta find a pay phone and give a call. It’s my parents.”

“Ok,” she said.

We headed back to Harvard Square proper and found a payphone. I pulled out the little tape recorder Vincent had loaned me. Nikki looked quizzically as I played the coin tones into the phone. I held my index finger up to my mouth and shushed her with a smile.

“Hello,” came my mom’s voice.

“Hi mom. You beeped me?”

“Hi Ben. Just wondering when you’ll be home. I was just about to start cooking dinner.”

“I’ve already eaten, but thanks for asking,” I said.

“What time is the movie?” I had completely forgotten to check listings and times.

“Um, the movie is already over. We’re just hanging out now.”

“What?” I heard Nikki say in the background.

“Oh. Well tell Morgan I say hi.”

“Will do, mom. Talk to you later.” I clicked the phone back into place as quickly as I could and turned back to Nikki. “Sorry about that. Wanna keep walking?”

“What movie?”

“No movie. Do you want to wander over by the Charles?” It was obvious that changing the subject was not covering my mistake.

“You told your mom the movie was over. What movie?”

I sighed. I didn’t like lying and the only thing to do was come clean. “I kind of told my mom I was catching a movie with a friend so she wouldn’t worry about where I was.”

“Your parents still keep track of you?” she scoffed. “That’s kind of lame.” I’m pretty sure I turned beet red with that deer in headlights look. Nikki’s eyes narrowed and she looked hard at me. “How old are you?”

I was done lying and avoiding the topic. “I’m 15,” I admitted.

She began to laugh. “Oh my god,” she said, her head lolling back. “So did you skip a few grades?”

“I’m a freshman.” I swallowed hard. “In high school.”

Her jaw dropped. I didn’t know what to say. I felt a chasm of silence despite cacophony of Harvard Square overriding everything.

She finally smiled angrily at me and snapped, “Have a nice night.” Before I had a chance to respond, she had turned and disappeared into the crowd.

To Be Concluded in
Dealing with Rejection – Part IV