Everybody hates Jr. High School. Even the kids who were popular or thought they had it all figured out hated Jr. High at one time or another.
I entered Jr. High shortly after my twelfth birthday and hated it immediately. I was shorter than a lot of the other boys, and pudgier. I did not really know anyone as most of my friends from elementary school were either at a different school or in a different town. The classes were boring and the teachers seemed determined to make me talk as much as possible, when I just wanted to be left alone in the bac of the class with a good book.
And then, there was Debbie. We were students together at a local martial arts school. She out-ranked me and could have kicked my butt pretty easily if she had ever decided she felt like it. We had a habit of hanging out with each other at tournaments and after class and I really liked her. However, I figured that she would never even be willing to talk to me at school. Where, you know, other kids could see us.
So, when she walked up to me with a folded up note during that first week of school, my first response was "Who's this for?" Figuring she wanted me to pass it on to someone else in my next class.
When she said "For you dummy," and rolled her eyes with that grin as she walked away, well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. Or just looked at me.
We kept passing notes for most of that year and I even worked up the guts to dance with her at the school dances a few times. But she moved at the end of the year, about sixty miles down the road, but, when you're twelve, 60 miles may as well be a thousand in a town with no public transportation and limited phone services. Of course, we kept up a correspondance that lasted, off and on through the end of high school when my family moved and a lot of forwarded mail never found us.
She was never girlfriend because I was too young and too shy and, well, yeah. But I have always felt that she could have been.
Or maybe just should have been.