"I walked into the break room to find our prom pictures inside the microwave, melting."
When I was in high school, I was a cashier at an office supply store. The guy I liked, Adam, worked in electronics, which made sense because he was (and still is) brilliant with tech and engineering.
I’d always try to get his attention, but I wasn't his type. I knew this because he straight out said, “You’re not my type.” Then he’d point to Laurie, the skinny copy girl with thick makeup and a fake valley girl accent. “THAT’s my type.”
But I wasn't going to give up — I was in love and determined.
I’d make lame jokes whenever possible, but Adam was always in a really bad mood. His father was tough on him. His religious background made it nearly impossible to please his dad when it came to girls, grades, or anything; he brought his anger to work and, most of the time, targeted me.
“I hope you get hit by a bus on the way home,” he said to me one day. I was OK with this because it wasn’t like he wished me death, just a little inconvenience.
After that, we actually did start talking civilly about our life plans, his desire to move as far away from his parents as possible, and my undying love for him (OK, not really the last one, but I did give a LOT of hints).
Every night after work we’d both rush back to our respective homes and chat all night online. We even had three-hour-long games of online Monopoly and chess.
I wasn’t ready to ask Adam (who went to a different school). I told him I was going to ask Kevin, another guy from his school. Adam flipped out.
“No! Absolutely not. You are NOT going with Kevin. I’ll take you!” All I could say was, “OK!” What I didn’t realize was that this prom excursion came with rules.
I had to pay for Adam's tuxedo, his share of the limo, tickets to the comedy club we planned on going to after the prom, and my own corsage. I had to work way more hours to make up for Adam's share but I found it totally worth it just so I could say, "I'm going to the prom with Adam."
Prom was OK. Adam chose to not dance and sat there with a fiery stare the entire time. Unfortunately, when were at the comedy club post-prom, Adam almost got into a fist fight with my best friend's boyfriend.
I was ecstatic when I received our prom pictures: Adam and me, hand in hand, my face bright with a smile full of love and his...death stare into the camera.
I bought him his own set of prom pictures (because I'm nice like that) and brought them into work. He was on his way to the break room when I gave them to him. I imagined him looking through them, realizing that we belong together.
Instead, I smelled smoke. I walked into the break room to find our prom pictures inside the microwave, melting, as the tray spun round and round.
Adam stood there, angry. "I never wanted to go with you. I don't even LIKE you!" he screamed. I was confused and hurt.
We didn't speak for a while, except for work-related chatter. Then, after a few weeks, he started putting my name on his commissions. When I asked why, he shrugged.
A few months after the picture incident, all was forgotten. We were overstaffed one afternoon, so I was moved from customer service to stock. I was miserably putting pens on hangers when Adam walked over.
"Hey, so you know what I was thinking?"
"No, tell me," I said.
"I found the perfect place to put a bomb so that this store and the one next to us would blow up." I was stunned. "Don't worry. I'll call you ahead of time so you don't come in that day." He smiled and walked away.
He loved me! I thought. Why else would he say he would make sure I wasn't in the store at the time of the bomb going off? Granted, I was blinded by love. And stupidity. Like real, hardcore stupidity.
Luckily, our store closed down before he had the chance to construct his bomb. Not that I think he would have, but you really never know, do you?
And as quickly as my love bloomed for him, that's how fast I forgot about him. I moved on to a new job, new friends, new dates. Most of whom never threatened mass murder. However, we are still friends on Facebook.
He's married now. I'm married now. Looking back, I can't believe I had taken his words and actions so loosely. I would never allow a friend to go through what I went through, so why was I so accepting of this behavior for myself?
Hindsight: I probably should have taken Kevin to prom.