If I don’t get in the habit, I’ll certainly never do anything.
The first time I saw him was at a carnival when I was fourteen. I had just moved to the area, knew no one, and was not at all happy to be in a new town and to be starting a new school. We moved over the summer before tenth grade, and I had ridden my bicycle into town. The sky was just darkening towards twilight and I was circling the small carnival. I was getting a lot of stares and lewd comments, but being fourteen and feeling out of place, I had no idea how to handle them and just kept walking.
I slowed in my circuit for a moment, debating on whether to leave or not, when I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and froze. The source of the attention looked a few years older than me. He was working one of the carnival rides, dressed in jeans, boots and leather, and I was immediately attracted to him. He stared at me with a strange intensity, leaning on the ride lever, one booted foot resting on the step. He was tall, with long, dirty blond hair and had a dangerous look to him that was what I really liked. Even at fourteen, I liked the bad boys. He nodded at me and I smiled, but then left the carnival, confused.
I saw him another day as we drove through town, on our way home, and he stared at me as our car passed him on the street. The third time I saw him was at the County Fair. I had met some of my friends there and hung out with them, while my stepmother had my brother and stepsister with her. The fair had carnival rides, games, barns full of livestock from the 4H club, and car shows complete with smash up derby on the weekends. It seemed huge to me and we were busy most of the night. Towards the end of the night, I was going to meet up with my stepmother, and looked up to find him again, passing me and talking with some friends, but staring at me. I only saw him for a moment, and was still registering that it was him, when he ran up behind me.
It was noisy at the fair, and so he leaned over and spoke in my ear, “I see you everywhere I go, but I still don’t know your name.” I turned and told him it was Julie, then asked him what his was. He said his name was Sonny. About this time, I saw my stepmother waiting for me to leave. I was disappointed and tried to stay for a few minutes longer. I don’t remember what else was said. I think he asked me where I lived before I had to go. He said he knew he’d see me again.
My stepmother asked about him and I brushed it off. He was a big guy, wearing leathers and biker patches, so I think she was a bit concerned. My fourteen year old self, however, thought this was the most romantic thing that had ever happened to me. I spent no little time daydreaming about him.
I didn’t see him again until the school year had started up. My art class was open to various grades, and he walked in and sat at my table. I found out he was sixteen and that his real name was George. He just wanted people to call him Sonny. “George” wasn’t quite as mysterious but that was not a big deal. We became friends…and I started hanging around with him and his friend Scott some nights. It was just friends, but there was always a tension between us.
This was the start of a long history, and I think I’ll write more about it tomorrow.