At 13 I met my childhood “puppy love”. His name was Aidan and he resembled the teenage version of actor Chris O’Donnell. Aidan was a competitive skier, brilliant, British, and had baby blue eyes and razor sharp smile a la actor Michael Fassbender. He was academically gift, fluent in French, socially savvy, and dressed out of a Brooks Brothers catalog.
During the spring and summer he played rugby and soccer and went horseback riding. The first time we met was rather strange. I just went up to his locker at our high school and started talking to him. Even more odd is that I can’t remember the contents of our conversation at all. Whatever we were talking about it obviously worked because from that day forward, we were together … sort of.
I loved Aidan like a brother, best friend, and significant other. He was a triple heart to my teenage romantic heart. The Aidan experience also messed up my “love blueprint”. I don’t blame him. I blame myself for allowing it to happen. Aidan knew me at my core. He accepted me as I was. We were an odd closeness. Aidan knew me inside and out. In that knowledge I gave him the power to betray me.
Our friendship was characterized by an innocent and unintentional exploitative dynamic. Aidan knew that I’d always love him so much that he was welcome in my heart at any time for no reason at all. He was right.
Mr. Wright was Monsieur Wrong. Yes, Aidan’s last name really was Wright. He lived up to his name because he knew that throwing me crumbs was enough. Aidan was a puppy love because he and I were never more than friends. He practically kissed every girl in school except me. I was never jealous per se. The little he offered beyond friendship was the best I could ever get, so I thought. So I settled into a pattern of selling myself short. Until I discovered Christian Dior. Too bad Dior entered my life post-Aidan.
Rather than breakaway and end being the backburner girl …. I just got burned in the end.
My feelings followed my thoughts at the time. I was just glad to have this confidante. My two closest girlfriends in high school were like sisters but there were things I could tell Aidan that I couldn’t tell even them. There was no major secret or dark mystery of my life. Aidan alone knew how painful it was to live in the hostile Cowboy County small town of ours. A place that was right out of an episode of Friday Night Lights complete with jocks, beauty queens, ranchers and oilmen. To this day when I see episodes of the new Dallas, I cringe. If you ever watch the Cold Case episode titled “The Promise”, that sums up the odd friendship Aidan and I had.