I’m From New Jersey.

by Eric C.

Satellite overhead image of New Jersey from Google Earth 2022

I had recently told my best friend Allie that I was gay. I was in high spirits for telling the first person ever who I really was. However, I wanted to meet a gay person, you know, enter the mysterious and magical land of the gay community.

So I went online, everyday, for hours on end. Often forgetting my hours of honors homework, it didn’t matter the time. I got tired of scrolling through all the shirtless kids online. I wanted something real.

Finally, after two weeks of faking being interested in these shallow boys, a kid from two hours away, east of myself, from New York, sent me a message. He was cute, and classy, perfect. Within one conversation things just clicked. We talked everyday for four months. He was this model student at an all boys school, I was the swimming and band geek from public school. We helped each other out and I knew I had fallen in love.

I asked him out on a date after marching band season ended. We both took a train into NYC, mine being an hour and forty minutes, his only being forty five minutes. The whole way there, I felt every single heart beat and I remember texting my friend asking if I should get off the train I was so nervous. It wasn’t the brightest idea to tell my parents that I was simply at a mall all day instead of telling them I was in NYC, but I had to meet the perfect boy from New York.

When I got off the train, I saw him, standing on his tip toes to peer over the crowd of Penn station, the awkward cute dork that I was in love with. The first hug was honestly horrible, he was a terrible hugger, but it didn’t matter, I was in his arms.

We got Sbarro pizza and then visited Ripley museums. We were the two awkward high schoolers on their first dates ever… he was 18 and I was 17, and I’d had four girlfriends. We went to Central Park, and after twenty minutes of debating and worrying, I grew the balls and put my hand over his. He looked at me, and we kissed. It was the first kiss ever where chills were sent all the way down my spine. I never got why the first kiss was such a big deal to people. I realized why. Fireworks, many call it.

It seemed like a dream after that, holding hands in the city, just us hanging out in public. The most memorable part was at the train station waiting for my train to arrive and we just sat next to each other, two awkward dorks on their first REAL dates, smiling cheek to cheek.

We went on twelve dates the next four months, each just as great as the next. He even met my parents on the sixth. (I told them a week after a date about my sexuality.) I was so deeply in love with him. We had shared so many moments and cried and joked together multiple times.

However, the time came where he decided he was going to Tufts and I would still be at high school back in greasy ol’ Jersey. Cute, smart, funny, he had so much potential and we kept on fighting about what would happen when he went to college.

I dumped him. Sincerely because I couldn’t hold him back. I told him I found another guy; truth was I had never felt more lonely in my life those first weeks after I dumped him. I sent him a letter (dumb idea considering he was still quite in the closet to his parents). Three pages back and front, with tear stains on the paper of how much he meant to me and I hope well for him.

I still love him, but he has too much going for him to be held back. If you read this Christian, I’m happy as long as you’re happy, and that’s why I had to let you go.

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