Chapter 1: Catalyst
For any female that I ever made feel special, flattered by a compliment, found comfort in a hug or appreciated how I treated them, a bit of that credit goes to Kara Kennedy. She was the first girl I hugged. The first girl I protected. The first girl I'd talk hours too. The first girl I gave a pet name too. She was the catalyst.
I was a really awkward chubby kid in my elementary school days. Huge cheeks, bad clothes, big glasses. I imagine that's what Kara saw when she first met me. But when I met her, something about her captivated me. Her big eyes, soft cheeks, wide smile. I immediately found her beautiful. We didn't begin a real friendship until middle school. We started to develop a friendship and eventually I started to develop a crush. One night, with the encouragement of my good friend Trevor, I decided to tell her my feelings. It just happened to be a very inconvenient night to do so. She was having a sleepover, so with 5 ruthless middle school girls giggling in the background and me on speakerphone, I stumbled over the words "will you go out with me?" The giggling grew, Kara remained quiet, more uncomfortable moments passed before Kara finally responded... a gentle rejection. Even at a young age I gotten use to the routine of rejection. Awkward and rushed hellos, never making eye contact, and an abandoned friendship. But Kara wasn't appalled by my feelings for her. She wasn't awkward around me. She didn't mock my feelings or ignored me. She was kind, sweet, and caring. It so something was different than what I was accustomed too. She was actually concerned about my feelings, she was actually paying more attention to me. I was officially wrapped around her finger.
Me and Kara started to spend more time together, our relationship becoming even closer. I was becoming her best friend. I was the guy who's shoulder she could cry on, the guy she could talk to for hours, the guy who would stand up to others who would be teasing her, I was the guy who tried to be there for her in every way. She would smile and hug me, tell me how much I met to her, that made it all worth it for me. I made her feel special, and with every smile, with every hug, with every show of appreciation, I melted a little bit more inside.
I'd bear witness to a lot of her relationships (we were in middle school after all). Each time the end results was me waiting to comfort her with open arms. Every start of a relationship would crush me, and every end would crush me even more. With the end of each relationship would come a list of things the other guy did wrong, I took it to be like an instruction manual. Everything those other guys did wrong, I wanted to do right. Her standards for men became the standard I held myself too.
Life continued into high school and with it came changes. Kara started to have more serious relationships and I was branching out on my own. We keep our friendship but it was a shadow of its former self. We both realized it, but their was nothing we could do dispite how much we cared for each other.... time goes on and people change. Typical high school drama started to decimate our relationship until one day during an argument I walked out on her. That instant I left her behind and it would take me well into college to get over all that happened between us. I remember a friend got a text from her asking if I would be coming back down to Tampa for Thanksgiving my freshman year. When my friend told me this the thought of confronting her again made me nauseous.
Sometime last year she found me on FaceBook. I always knew that day she'd pop up on FaceBook would come but it didn't make it any less surprising. But there wasn't any linger feelings of anger, just the feeling that it was nice to hear from an old friend.
She was the catalyst, the one who set everything in motion. Our relationship taught me about how I wanted to treat a female, specially the one that I fall in love with, and without it I could of never been ready for mine and Sara's.