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The Hookup That Changed Everything


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For years, he was the neighborhood hottie, and I was just his little brother's gal pal. Then...

Over Christmas this year, I made a middle school dream come true. No, I didn't finally find that new 15-speed bicycle or belatedly get accepted into all-state band. It was so much better and something to enjoy at any age: I hooked up with my friend's older brother.

Context is crucial here so let me explain. There is a good chance you had a similar guy in your life. For the story's sake, let's call mine Jake Ryan. He's the older, within-your-extended-social-circle-but-for-all-purposes-out-of-your-league individual who helped define your concept of cool and attractiveness. My Jake Ryan is two years older, he lived down the street and wasn't a big deal until he suddenly was. Middle school hormones kicked in right as he went through a very productive puberty. He grew tall, bleached his hair and listened to music I had never heard. He paid absolutely no attention to his brother's female friends, no matter how starry-eyed we became. And why would he anyway? I wasn't ugly, but I still hadn't grown into my looks and had no game whatsoever. I never stood a chance.

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I ended up going to a different high school and did not see Jake at all. He lived on in second-hand accounts of parties, so I didn't actually see him for the entirety of high school or college. But I didn't forget.

Still, Jake was far from my mind when I came home for Christmas and made plans to go out drinking with Tom one evening. Waiting around for him to get off work, I answered a call from a strange number. I knew immediately who it was.

"Hey, it's Jake. Tom's phone died," he said, as if we'd just talked the day before. Shame on you for being so nonchalant.

"Oh, hey. What's up?" Be still, my heart.

"We're coming to pick you up," he responded. We?? I am SO excited.

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"OK. Cool. I'll see you soon," I said. I need to get off the phone now and scream like a little girl.

My 14-year-old sister watched with amusement as her typically low-maintenance sister ran around the house bemoaning her limited wardrobe choices and fretting about her bangs. When the boys finally rolled up in Tom's car, my sister thought it fitting to shriek repeatedly, "OH MY GOD THEY'RE HERE!!!" 5 Cardinal Fashion Rules According To Men

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