This is the first story I have written since high school over 40 years ago.
Linda and I grew up just around the corner from each other. I was a couple of months older. We were both our parents only child. Our parents were neighbors and became close friends. Eventually we even vacationed together every summer, usually camping at one National Park or another.
Linda and I might as well have been brother and sister we were together so much as children. The house around the corner was like another home to me. We were in Middle School when I first started to notice how nice it was that she was female.
We used three tents when camping. One for us kids, and one for each set of parents. One day in tent Linda and I argued over who was getting a certain candy bar. Linda was playing keep-away with it so we ended up wrestling each other. I suddenly realized how soft and nice Linda was. I gave Linda a quick kiss. She gave me a smile and a kiss back. The world as I knew it had just changed.
The next night we were all having supper together. Something about the way Linda and I were acting towards each other, or perhaps not acting toward each other, must have given us away. Suddenly nobody was talking and the adults were exchanging meaningful glances. Linda's father broke the silence with "We need another tent!" the adults all had a good laugh. Linda and I blushed red.
Linda was my girlfriend after that but we were pretty young and things never went much past first base. We had a lot of fun however and it lasted right up to the start of our junior year of high school. By this time Linda was the prettiest girl in school and I was the class nerd. I was on the track team but who cares about the track team. Not girls that's for sure.
Linda on the other hand was a cheerleader and a good one. I should have known that the gorgeous cheerleader gets the quarterback, not the computer geek. Our quarterback hero was Chad. Think of all the negative stereotypes of high school quarterbacks. That's Chad.
About a week after classes started in September I noticed people giving me strange looks and laughing as I went by. I checked to see if I had toilet paper on my shoe or my fly was down but nothing seemed out of place. I also heard the word dinky being used.
I sat down in the cafeteria at our usual table and expected Linda along soon. Instead she had stopped at Chad's table and was talking with his crowd. Linda had just joined the cheer leading squad and several of them were in that group so it didn't seem unusual.
However they were spending most of their time looking at me and laughing. I pretended not to notice. I heard the word "dinky" used a few times. Then, clear as day, I heard Linda say "dinky dink" as she was looking at me and they all laughed.
I didn't much care what the others said, it was typical high school bullshit. But Linda disrespecting me and laughing at me was something else.
I dropped my pretense of not hearing or not caring and stared right into Linda's eyes. She turned red and looked at the floor. I got up and left my lunch uneaten.
Linda didn't sit with me on the bus ride home but as soon as we were alone after getting off the bus she said "I'm sorry" I looked at her for a short time and said "So am I." Then I turned and walked home.
We never officially broke up, but that was the end of us as a couple and as friends. We pretty much ignored each other for more than a year. Chad and Linda were the king and queen couple in our school. My parents were not happy and thought we would get back together any day. Ya, good luck waiting for that.
Thankfully, after a few days the dinky dink name for me faded away. Chad still used it now and then but it never caught on.
The summer before our senior year our parents spent 10 days at Yosemite. When I learned Linda was going along I scheduled myself to set up a three computer network at a local small business that week.
I spent most of my times with computers and even made money setting up home computers or fixing things when people were stuck. The real money was when I talked customers into letting me do small networks. My reputation as a "computer genius" spread and I found I enjoyed it and was good at it. I was planning to make computers my career.
About a week before the Senior Prom I came home from school to find my mom and Linda's mom talking in the kitchen. They told me I should ask Linda to the prom.
"Linda doesn't want to go with me. She will be going with Chad, her boyfriend."
"He is not her boyfriend anymore. They broke up" my mom explained with a smile. "Linda wants to go to the prom but all the boys she knows already have dates. Go ask her Rob. What do you have to lose?"
I took a walk around the corner just in time to see Linda getting home. "Linda, our mothers have it all planned out that I need to ask you to the prom. Do you really need a date?"
"Yes I do Rob, Chad and I have split"
"One question Linda, if I take you to the prom will I really be your date, or do you just need me to walk you through the door so you don't have to go stag?"
"You will be my date Rob, it will be fun!"
Well call me stupid but I believed her and asked her to the prom. At school the rumor was Chad was planning to take her cherry after the prom but Linda told him no, so he dropped her. Quarterback heros have a code to uphold. They have to get the cheerleader after the prom.
I rented the tux, bought the corsage and we stood on the front steps while our parents snapped endless pictures. Linda was incredibly beautiful and she was going to the prom with me!
Our parents gave us the last minute no drinking talk and we drove off to the prom. As we walked through the door a couple of Linda's fellow cheerleaders run up to her and dragged her away saying she just had to see something. "Get me a drink please Rob" Linda asked over her shoulder as they pulled her away laughing.
I got a couple of drinks for us and found a table. I sat at that damn table for over an hour while the ice melted in her drink. I watched Linda talk with her friends and dance with Chad. They didn't look all that broken up to me.
Within minutes of our arrival everybody knew what was going on, I was the joke of the prom. Some of my friends dropped by to say hello, but none stayed. Who can blame them, I was not very good company. I clung to the hope that any minute Linda would come to her senses and show up at our table. A few times I saw her headed my way only to be waylaid by her friends. It was clear to me that Chad had set this up and had his people all in line to keep Linda away from me.
After the first hour I walked out of the hall to go to the men's room. As I came out two football players were waiting for me. The grabbed me and walked me to the door to the parking lot and told me to get lost. I could have tried to get back in or called out to the chaperones, but what was the point. I was already the school joke, anything I said or did would only make me look more pathetic.
I took the car and drove around for a while. I was thinking that I needed to cover for Linda, if I went home there would be all kinds of questions from our parents. Then I figured, what the fuck! Why cover for her!
I walked into the house to amazed parents "To answer your questions before you ask. Linda is still at the prom. She is there with her boyfriend. I don't know how she is getting home, and I don't care." Then I went to my room to be miserable.
Ten minutes later I was summonsed downstairs to explain things to Linda's parents. I gave them a slightly longer version including my being dumped at the door and being forced out by Chad's friends. I then retreated back to the misery of my room. The next week at school was going to suck.
The word at school was that Chad got her Cherry that night.
To her credit Linda seemed genuinely sorry for what happened to me that night. She tried to talk to me several times over the next couple of weeks but I just walked away. Eventually we talked and she told me how sorry she was. She couldn't believe I was alone for an hour. She swore it was just a few minutes.
"I'm so very sorry Rob. It was my last prom and I just wanted to have fun with my friends"
"It was my only prom Linda, and it was the worst night of my life" Linda started to cry as she ran way.
The funny thing is Linda's reputation took a big hit that night. Most students thought what happened to me was funny. At the same time, outside her circle of friends, they thought Linda was being a total bitch.
I won a scholarship to a State College not far from our town. I would be taking both computer science and business courses. The double major was part of my plan for the future. Linda was also attending as was Chad and a lot of my high school classmates. It was the only college near our home town. Chad was once again the quarterback hero.
When my grandmother had died a few years before she left everything split two ways between my father and me, her only child and only grandchild. Most of what she had left to us didn't add up to much, but there was a fine little house that her and my grandfather had lived in for decades and the mortgage was paid.
When the house was sold and everything settled I had plenty of money to see me through school even without a scholarship. With my scholarship there would be plenty left over for me to use as start-up money for the computer business that was always on my mind.
School required I live in dorms the first year but my second year I used some of my inheritance money to rent a small one bedroom apartment just off campus.
.... There is more of this story ...