Chapter Four: Shakespeare’s Rebel

So it was that I, at 15 years old in my freshman year of high school in a foreign place, received my first kiss from my first crush. Although we were just getting to know each other, eventually word circulated that we were “dating” (when did we say that to anyone? I mean really?)

As time passed, we spent more and more time together. We would spend the early mornings together, eat breakfast together, walk to classes together, have lunch together, wait for the buses together, and after school we would be on the phone with each other will into the early hours of the following morning. When I was told I couldn’t use the phone at the house, I’d go walking to that old convenience store (*sniff*) and use their pay phone until sundown (A public landline phone through which you may make calls if you insert quarters, kind of like an arcade game, only for grown ups with sad lives and no cellulars)

Somehow, though, it seemed as though we still didn’t get enough time together. We started skipping classes together – mostly 3rd period after lunch (because we were already together at that time – convenience!). We’d spend our 3rd period class time in the art room, receiving an excuse from the art teacher if we did something productive. We would clean out his storage for him and just hang out afterwards in the classroom. This became a norm over the next few years we were in school together because I had also gotten a job as a cashier that April, and could not often hang out with him at his house after school anymore.

He was my first love, as well, and I his. It wasn’t until a year after we’d dated that Grim and I decided on it. It happened on the last day of school, after school, at his house. The moments leading up to that point were painfully obvious. We were getting into trouble for breaking into the art classroom, (really, it was him, but his family still hates me to this day thinking I ruined their perfect little boy), making out everywhere we could hide, skipping classes, leaving campus…but for some reason I was usually the only one getting into trouble for it. I only recall a few times wherein he actually got a stern talking to (I’m looking at you, mom *cough cough*)

But everything seemed to be going well for us, regardless. He finished school, and in my junior year of high school – the year my sister’s kidney failed after she’d already been through 6 other levels of Hell – I joined the Army in hopes of getting enough money to save my sister. This is when MY hell began.

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