Lets see, where did we leave off…right, Redheaded Kid and I had just graduated high school. Redhead was off to San Diego to get a Bachelor’s degree at a top school, and I was staying here in our hometown to go to the local community college to find my own path.
Redhead had a girlfriend at the time, and I, in turn, had my own high school boyfriend. My relationship fizzled before we even hit midterms, and I spent the first year and a half of college single. I visited Fashionista a lot, and got to know her friends well – she went to college just 20 minutes north of where we grew up.
After an extended period of singlehood, I met a boy – we’ll call him Control Freak. Control Freak became my boyfriend before long (actually, like absurdly fast – red flag #1), and proceeded to turn in to the boyfriend I think most girls have one or two of in their past. He was controlling (hence the name), and mean, and didn’t bring much to the table; my relationship with him was one of those big mistakes you make while you’re growing up that just took you a little too long to realize.
Up until now, Redhead and I had all but completely lost contact. We didn’t talk, and I honestly didn’t know what he was up to at all. I knew he had moved to San Diego, but beyond that anyone’s guess was as good as mine. Months before the aforementioned relationship finally ended (much to almost everyone I knew at the time’s excitement), I got a random phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. On the other line was Smart-Ass Redheaded Kid. I was shocked and instantly got anxious (not a fan of being caught off-guard), but tried to play it cool. He said he was in town and wanted to hang out, and I promised him I’d call him later.
The truth is (and HH was sad to hear this when I finally told him), I was never going to call him back. Not only was I in a relationship with a controlling guy who I knew would not have been okay with that, but I was nervous to see the Redhead! I hadn’t seen him in years, and even with the amount of time that had gone by, I couldn’t help but remember the way I used to long for him to pay attention to me, and the rejection I felt when he didn’t.
Imagine my surprise then, when Redhead called me announcing his arrival and telling me to come outside – the kid was not easily deterred. I nervously went outside, and we sat on my front steps and, to my surprise, talked for hours. He told me how he had finally broken up with his high school girlfriend, and how he was playing soccer in San Diego. I lied and told him how happy I was in my relationship, and talked about my current job. When he left, we hugged goodbye and I was sad to let go because I knew that as long as I was in my current relationship, this would be the last time I saw or spoke to Redhead for a while, despite the promise I made him that I would “keep in touch”.
In what turned out to be a great decision – a month later, I broke up with Control Freak. And wouldn’t you know it, the first person I thought to call and tell about it (after going through my mental phone tree of my best girlfriends that is)…that Smart-Ass Redhead that hadn’t seemed to fully escape my mind since he gave me that impromptu visit just weeks earlier.
Next time…the Redhead goes from guy of the past to best friend, but doesn’t particularly love being in the friend zone.