Megan Schoneck – High school sweethearts, going on 10 years
Couple’s Love Song: Always by Blink-182
I was a very unhappy teenager. There’s no other way to put it. I was depressed, I had very few friends and the friends I did have often left to be in other groups, left for a different school, or quit talking to me in general. I was reading in my math teachers classroom during lunch hours instead of eating. I was coming showing up late. High school was rough. When I was going from middle school to high school, my mom said if I wanted to change schools, to do it now, because she wasn’t going to let me transfer in the middle of my high school years. I stayed at my private Christian school in my medium sized town, simply because the education was great and I had rich grandma who was paying for it. But things got worse for me. The summer between my junior and senior year, I convinced my mom to entertain the idea of me transferring schools. She wasn’t thrilled about it, but it had come out in the past couple years that I was hurting myself physically and didn’t have any friends, and my unhappiness was becoming a void I could not escape. My mom doesn’t know how bad it was. She probably never will unless she reads this essay. She sent me to a counselor to determine if I was bipolar or manic, as it runs in the family, and when nothing was diagnosed, she figured I was just a moody teenager doing moody teenager things.
She set up a meeting with a school counselor at the public school in our district, to see if it was something that would work for us. I don’t remember what we talked about, who we talked with, how long we were there, or any other details other than the list of classes available. I zeroed in on Creative Writing as an elective for English, and my mind was made. Being a moody teenager doing moody teenager things, I obviously had a spiral notebook where I was constantly writing various poems, essays, and thoughts. The small school I was currently attending had 20 kids in my class and no classes other than what was required to graduate with a diploma. I was determined to switch schools.
My mom asked if I wanted to order a yearbook, I said no, I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to ghost my way through the rest of my adolescent schooling.
The first day of classes was terrifying. I went from having less than 400 kids in my entire K-12 school to 400 in my senior class. There were trailers outside with classes in them, in addition to having 8 hallways designated to certain studies inside the main building. For my private school having such a good education, I was behind on things like geography and history and needed to take classes with freshmen and sophomore’s, who have more bite than your Great aunt Tilly’s chihuahua. But it was fine, because it was a Blue day, and Blue days meant Creative Writing.
I knew one girl in my class from activities outside of school, but we were never close. She was kind enough to me, but again, I’m not here to make friends. So sorry Girl-From-Dance-Class, but I’ve got a book to bury my nose in. At this point in my life, I’d mastered listening for my own name during roll call and no one else’s, except that one time when the teacher called a name and a boy corrected her and she said, “I’m sorry I’ll fix that on my roster,” and I looked up and my heart skipped a beat and the boy that answered was sitting a row to the left and 3 chairs ahead off me, wearing a black trench coat with mirror aviators on, and no one cared but I cared. What did the teacher say his name was? What did he say his name was? Why the hell isn’t the teacher telling him to take his shades off? That shit would NOT fly in a private school.
I went about my day, meeting up with an old friend a grade below me at the park when school was let out. “So, think anyone’s cute yet?” She probed while sitting on a swing. I pretended to mull the question over. “Mmm… I don’t know that I’d say cute, I didn’t get a good look at him, but he got my attention with just his voice.” I replied.
“Who is it?”
“I don’t know his name.”
“What did he look like?”
“Black on black on black like he might shoot the school up, with mirrored aviator’s.”
“That’s probably Jamie.”
“I don’t know, the teacher called his name but he corrected her. I didn’t hear what anyone said.”
“It’s definitely Jamie. His name is Robert but everyone calls him Jamie.”
I tried to get as much information as I could about this “Jamie” kid without actually talking to him. 1 week into school and I had successfully friended one of his pals who was also in Creative Writing with us. I got his name. Jamie. And yes, Kirsten, he was cute.
2 weeks into school and my manager at my job convinced me to give him my number, because “This is 2007, girls can make the first move too, otherwise how’s he going to know you’re interested in him?” Because high school boys.
Two days after that, with shaking hands, I gave him my phone number.
Two days after THAT, with shaking fingers, I added him on Facebook.
On September 12th, 2007, he grabbed the back of my neck in the school parking lot, kissed me the way they do in the movies, and asked if I wanted to make this official.
Almost 10 years later, we’ve been through hell, but we always make it back. We’ve moved all around Colorado together. Fort Collins, Longmont, Arvada, Avon. Where I go he goes, and vice versa.