When I was cheated on in 7th grade

My first “real” girlfriend was Ashley, in 7th grade. I say “real” sarcastically, being in 7th grade and all.

Ashley was very pretty. My elementary school ended at 6th grade, so 7th grade brought hundreds of new faces. Ashley sat behind me in my first period of the day, and I noticed her immediately.

We started “going out,” which essentially meant we held hands occasionally at lunch and we couldn’t hold hands with anyone else. I wasn’t in love, but I was infatuated. This was new.

Well, one day after science class, Ashley came up to me. She looked sad, embarrassed. I knew something was wrong.

“I kissed Sal,” she said quietly.

She explained she was hanging with Sal, another boy my age, and they kissed. I remember her stumbling her words, trying to explain it, and that she was sorry, and she just wanted to tell me.

Thinking back, all I felt was numb. I was sad, really hurt, and I felt betrayed. That’s not how this worked, right? You were boyfriend/girlfriend, there were rules. You couldn’t hold anyone else’s hand, you couldn’t have another boyfriend/girlfriend, you couldn’t kiss someone else. Hell, we had never even kissed. And she kissed someone else? It didn’t make sense. But the hurt was palpable. I was embarrassed. Ashamed.

I think I just walked away without saying a word, silently ending our relationship there. We never spoke again.

I saw her once since then, years later. I was in college at the time, and I happened to be home for winter break, and I was buying something at the grocery store before it closed.

That’s when I saw her. I knew it was her immediately, even with just a glance. She was ahead of me in line. I had heard she had a kid by then. In a subtle move of boyish immaturity, I made sure to wave my keys around loudly in my hand to display my that I owned a car (I actually didn’t, my parents were renting a car and I was just using it that night). I think she noticed. I think she noticed it was me, too. We didn’t say hi or acknowledge each other’s presence.

That’s the last I ever saw of the girl who cheated on me in 7th grade. I don’t really care to ever see her again.

I hope she’s doing well.

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