About five years ago I was working in a fairly small office of about 10 people. There was an administration desk with a woman in charge who would hire college students basically to do her job for her. In life, there are workers and there are managers and she wanted to be the latter. I was getting to know one of the college girls. Not that I was trying but through casual comments and brief conversations that became more and more comfortable. Somehow it evolved to me giving her a hard time, insulting her, making fun of her, belittling her future – though always in a playful way. She seemed to thrive on this kind of interaction and would give it right back to me and then some. In my late 30’s with 5 and 7 year old daughters, had I finally stumbled upon the secret to girls? Was this really the way girls wanted to be treated – like shit?
Jackie was a black girl; somewhat light skinned with wavy dark hair as though maybe there was some mixed race in her background. She had an incredible 20 year old body that attracted attention, – rock hard, athletic, and curvy all at the same time. She acted white, her friends were white, I think she thought of herself as white. I had never so much as fantasized about an African American girl. Maybe this is why I wasn’t overcome with my usual fear of girls.
I ran into her outside of work at the pickup volleyball courts. She was with a big group but I ended up working with her and teaching her to play doubles with me. She was in some sort of performing dance club and invited me to come watch on a few occasions. I never did.
She got me using instant messaging on my computer at work and we communicated in this way – sometimes for hours on end. No subject was off limits; anything that came to mind was shared. This was a new experience for me. Then, out of the blue, came the IM that paralyzed me: “I Love You”. No explanations, no prelude. Why? How was I supposed to respond to that? I froze up and shut down. No snappy comebacks or witty retorts. This isn’t the way it worked, I was always the one falling in love with college girls, not the other way around. She later explained that she thought she was IMing her mom. Was this true? I was really confused now. This wasn’t over yet.