The Hookup That Changed Everything

couple on a bed
Love, Self

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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We moved around my porch, getting over the awkward how-does-my-mouth-fit-yours-should-I-lean-this-way-ok-now-how-about-that-way as I found myself thoroughly enjoying the way we kissed. We went through a variety of poses, all immensely satisfying. He only stopped to tell me how amazing I was, and how he'd had a crush on me for years.

"Jake Ryan. You can't say things like that to me," was all I managed to blurt out. So much for playing it cool.

"You don't have to call me Jake Ryan." HA! That's what you think.

We went inside and made out more. My hands never left his body; touching him made it easier to believe that it was actually happening. Our mouths parted only when he paused to tell me how beautiful I was. I don't consider myself emotional, but goddamn was I swooning. I decided to embrace whatever sexiness Jake Ryan saw in me and seize the moment, all insecurities thrown aside.

I wasn't particularly keen on my sister waking up to see Jake Ryan and shrieking "OH MY GOD HE'S STILL HERE!" so we decided to hightail it out to his place as quickly as possible—after making out just a bit more.

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Sneaking into his room undetected—the same room I used to peek around in my younger days—we caused enough of a commotion that Tom came in to investigate. Looking startled to see me in his brother's room at nearly 3 a.m., Tom started laughing as he watched me try to blend in with the wall.

Jake pushed a still-laughing Tom out the door as I stood there mortified, imagining the taunting I would have to deal with in the morning. I needed to relax and get to the important stuff. I finally had Jake Ryan all to myself, and nothing short of a nuclear fallout was going to ruin this for me.

We started stripping each other of our clothes, but took care not to rush; I was having too much fun kissing him... making him moan. I teased him, trying out my new hipbone-biting trick, until he grabbed me and pulled me down. The preposterousness of the situation dawned on me as I peeked at Jake, and I had to stifle a giggle.

After fooling around to the point of madness, I asked Jake if he had a condom.

"No… I could go ask Tom."

"ABSOLUTELY NOT." The tormenting will be bad enough without that, thank you. The Condom Commandments

We didn't end up having sex, but both of our needs were taken care of extremely well. The next day, he left to go back to grad school, and I was left with wonderful memories, as well as dread for the inevitable fallout with his brother.

But things weren't so bad with his brother. Maybe he couldn't help but respect the new swagger in my step. I don't know. We don't talk about it.

That magical night continues to affect my day-to-day life. Girls acquire an insecurity complex in middle school that follows them throughout life. But now, the boy I had once worshiped had assured me that I was definitely cute back then, and am certainly easy on the eyes now, putting to rest my self-conscious past and replacing it with a much more confident reality.

And did I mention my new sex-goddess status among the girls of my grade? The few girls I still keep up with peppered me with intimate questions and passed along the details to other middle school friends, cementing my legendary standing. One girl insisted, "Tell me he was a good kisser. God, lie to me if you have to. Just tell me he was a good kisser." Could something this built-up really be bad? Could Jake Ryan really disappoint me even if he was a sloppy kisser? I suspect not. It didn't matter though; no lies were necessary. I got to tell her that it was everything we used to dream about.