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TODAY

Monday, July 23

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Detour

The Major League Relationships of my life are obviously the memorable ones. You use them to judge future relationships -- whether you're proceeding to first base as planned and can see the play that's about to be made so you can slide into second, make it to third and bring it all the way home. I have them all in my mind, replayed every once in a while in fits of nostalgia or remembrances triggered by the smallest of things.

My very first relationship was when I was 13. I was young, impressionable to some degree and very, very, very na�ve. Farah had just entered my school. She was cute and guys were talking about her. She looked familiar. Her mother who picked her up after school looked familiar. One afternoon after school had ended, I was standing around waiting to go home, talking to friends and fellow classmates, when I noticed her mother motioning to me. She called out my name. Not my full name, but the name that only my family ever really calls me. I was a little stunned. I went over there and then halfway there and when Farah's mother spoke and introduced herself, I already knew. Our families were friends.

Through the wonders of sisterly help, we started to date. It was completely innocent. I was shy, too shy almost and being around her was like tasting that very first bite of the very first slice of what you'd imagine a pie from Heaven would taste like. Absolutely delicious bites, in all the right places. We got to know each other every single day, spending large amounts of time on each other, to the chagrin of family who wanted to use the phone.

It should be noted that while this was happening, I was not the hottest guy in school, nor was I even considered all that hot. Jeffrey was the hottest guy in school, a year above us, and was half British and had the cockney accent to boot. Why England continues to play a large role in my life doesn't surprise me anymore, but back then it seemed to all revolve around it. I grew up there and so did Farah. I have a photo of her crying at my fifth birthday party when I wouldn't give her candy. Yes, so we have history. Eventually, after one semester, she went to London on vacation. For two weeks. I didn't hear from her and was eagerly awaiting her return. I heard she got back in town. I talked to her once. It was strange, distant. A friend called me and told me that she was breaking up with me. She started to date Jeffrey a week or so later.

My next relationship happened about two years later. I was 15 then in my senior year. This girl I knew, the best friend of my best friend, another girl, had a younger sister. Both of them were pretty, but I thought her younger sister was beautiful. She had that defiance of authority air about her, which history has shown I tend to be attracted to. She had a punk rock attitude before I even realized what the punk rock lifestyle was about. Anyway, Sara was her name. She was in love with Axl Rose and I wanted to be Axl Rose. It was a match seemingly made in heaven. Her sister told me to ask her out since I told her that I thought Sara was cute. And so I did. And we did.

I remember the Monday after the weekend I called and asked her, when Sara and I smiled at each other and winked in passing, Farah, the ex, saw. She looked at me strangely and all I could do was smile while the barrage of questions came on about what, who, how? Like I said, I was still na�ve. About four weeks later, after lots of French kissing in the television room of her parents' house, one disguised sleepover, touching, caressing, a flash of a nipple that was unintentional on her part, she ended it. She had been seeing another guy. He was a bad ass. I was the nice guy. I was devastated and pleaded with her while all the time trying to French kiss her one last time. Sure I was successful (in the "one for the road" making out department), but damn it if I wasn't heartbroken.

The next happened by chance and over the Internet. Oh, the online romance thing you know. I woo-ed her half way across the world and ensnared myself in her magic spell, while she packed up, getting ready to move from New Zealand to London. This was way nouveau to me at the time, considering I didn't have a website or anything back then, barely an e-mail address and had just arrived in Chicago. After months of sending letters, money spent supporting the phone company, thousands of e-mails and hours spent on IRC marveling at how much we had in common and cared for each other, I flew to London. We met. We spent time with each other. After a few days, in front of the Leicester Square tube station, she ended it by proclaiming and asking loudly, "What do we have in common apart from the sex?" I couldn't answer even though I had all those answers tucked away in a neat little drawer, arranged like you would your socks.

I returned to Chicago and subsequently had a brief, intense relationship with a woman. She happened to be married. It may be obvious how that ended.

And this last one, the last one of the Major Leagues. The National. It is certainly the most normal, the most sane, yet the most Magical™ of them so far. It had all the trappings of a romantic comedy that happened to be wildly sarcastic and challenging (at least to me). It had classic romance, beaches, shyness, understanding, tons of shagging, car crashes, police chases. Ahem. After a year and a half, it ended for reasons really unknown, and yet we manage to share one the best friendships I have ever had. We're wacky like that. People have been known to mention insane and our names in the same breath.

I have no regrets, no sadness, simply fond memories at the least and things to smile about at the most.

As for the future, well, the search and quest for undying love and an SUV continues.

Oh, a shameless plug right here would be perfect -- it is the Internet after all: If you're a girl and the above doesn't absolutely have you running for the hills, you're more than welcome to find out more.

;)

 

About the Author(s)

Nazarin Hamid is often an absenter, rarely an abstainer.

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