The Hookup That Changed Everything

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couple on a bed
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.

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.

"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

My heart raced as I walked out and caught my first glimpse of Jake in years. The bleached hair was gone, but he was still tall and lean and absolutely gorgeous. At that point, I could have turned around, gone back inside and still considered the night a success.

As I was certain nothing would come of this interaction aside from some quality staring time, I was able to chat comfortably with Jake. I had none of the usual hang-ups that come along with talking to cute boys. In fact, as we lined up to buy beer upon reaching our local watering hole, I teasingly divulged all the things we younger girls used to do when he was around way back when. 4 Ways To Help The Cute Guy Checking You Out

He, meanwhile, continued to ask me questions and buy me beer. Other friends arrived, but I could barely be bothered to say hello.

By the time Tom decided to go home, Jake had already asked if I wanted to hang out and wait around for some of his other friends. Of course I agreed, and suggested we wait at my house. Despite this, I was still refusing to entertain the idea that Jake Ryan saw me as anything besides his little brother's friend. A romantic interest seemed about as likely as winning the lottery or spontaneously combusting. 5 Emergency Flirting Tips

When we walked up to my porch, Jake put his arm around my shoulder, causing me to panic. I was not prepared for this. I sat down and Jake crouched next to me, putting his hands on my knees, a situation that brought my dog immediately over, toppling Jake's balance.

"Your dog doesn't want me to touch you," Jake said. You're dead to me, dog, if that's the case.

"Oh, it's not that. He just wants to touch you," I explained. It's true; my dog has some serious homosexual tendencies.

"So it's alright if I touch you?" Dear god, yes.

With these words just past his lips, Jake leaned in and kissed me, satisfying a distant middle school dream. I had fantasized about this for years, and suddenly, it was happening, as my dog looked on. Suddenly, the world was my oyster. All doors were open. Absolutely nothing was off-limits. I mean, really, if I could pull this off without any planning, what could I conquer if I put in some real effort? How To Kiss Well

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