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At the age of 15, one worry lingered on my mind as much as making my mortgage payments would today — when would I find my first girlfriend and who would she be?
It was a time when social media was not the great behemoth it is today and being a teenager, for the most part, was far more simple. I was a scrawny 130 pound kid that swam in medium-sized shirts. My braces became a tenant to my teeth and renewed their rent for the sixth year straight (and they weren’t cheap). My portfolio of friends consisted of a sad total of five and we were the ghosts of no girlfriends past.
My days were predominantly spent staying at home playing video games, meeting friends to play basketball, or chatting on MSN Messenger. I always had the house to myself. My mom was a single mother who worked two jobs and my two much older brothers were hardly home. It was a perfect arrangement for an independent and fun summer.
Then came the day — the day she appeared as a little grey box on my monitor awaiting my response to her friend request.
There were two things that I used to look forward to when I signed on to my MSN Live Messenger account: the first was when I would hear the double beep followed by a flashing orange box at the bottom of my screen. This indicated someone was sending an instant message. The second was what I saw below — a pending friend request:
Natasha has added you to her contact list.
This was unexpected and at the time, very surprising. Natasha was my high-school crush. She was very attractive, not exactly the nicest person at the time, but then again not a lot of the girls were. Natasha was the kind of person that if you spoke to her, she could figure you out instantly. The best way to describe her was that she had a personality that was clever and ahead of our age.
At the time, not many people knew I liked her. She herself would not have known because we were not friends and had no reason to ever speak, nor did we. So why did she add me?
The pending friend request waited patiently for my response. The decision was obvious. I double clicked the circle, just to make sure it was highlighted —
Before I could move the cursor to her name and stalk what her display picture was, the orange box lit up again. This time it was Henry, a close friend of mine who lived down the laneway parallel to my house.
Mike! You free for some basketball? Kurt is swinging by too.
Dude! Natasha added me!
Really??? What did she say?
I haven't opened the convo yet! I'm down for basketball though. What time?
A few minutes had passed since Natasha messaged me. That was a strategy I think a lot of guys used. Never respond too quickly, you don’t want to seem desperate or as if you have nothing better to do with your time.
I opened the message.
Hi Michael! How is your summer going? ☺