Noah McGahagin
Staff Writer

  Don’t you just love getting weak in the knees, unable to get your heartbeat under control? It could be love, and because I’m not a poet I’ll leave the description there. When I feel the love bug bite, I sit on my hands unable to take any kind of action in order to satisfy or denounce my craving. Just about all of us have had a period in time where they do nothing but wait on social media or text for a rare and powerful reply from that special someone. And when it doesn’t come we blame ourselves, or them. We stay up too late hours doing nothing but thinking.

  When I was nine I got that feeling or the first time. Her name was Kasey, and her dad worked with my dad at UPS. It began with a rivalry, her grades were some of the best in the school. She received A’s on each of her tests in each of her subjects. In my opinion, a goody-goody. I was friends with her “boyfriend” Austin, and I once asked him about kissing her. “We both have braces,” he said, “Our lips would get stuck in them.” At the time this made all the sense in the world. As did smacking her arm when she made fun of my friend Alex in first grade.

  I’m seventeen, and no I’ve never been in a real relationship. It’s important to realize that I’m not ready for one. A relationship requires that I put a large investment in one person. But when the economy takes a nose dive, I would lose everything, and I enjoy hoarding my happiness. Wouldn’t it make more sense to spread out assets? To place a small seed of investment in many people, and watch those seeds grow into a garden. These seeds are called friends, and my father once told me “boyfriends and lovers come and go but friends can be forever.”

  In high school, I would say I was the most in love I’ve ever been. She was someone I rode the bus with every single day. It was such a privilege for me because she was older. A girl who was two years older took an interest in me, and that became the focus of my life. I made my Facebook specifically to talk to her because she didn’t have a phone. I would wait, leaning over my tablet with fists in my cheeks for her to message me. It became obsessive, and when she didn’t respond I would become passive aggressive, ignoring any other friends I had. When the girl didn’t talk to me, I felt that no one in the whole world would talk to me.

  I spent my time focused on something I couldn’t have, instead of cultivating friends I’ve made this year, that I could have met earlier. These are the people who lend me their video games, who give me their donuts, and who forgive my clumsiness and awkwardness with a smile. But the key to those friends was myself. Nights spent alone in my room with nothing but a book or a laptop. Time in my own mind, and not somebody else’s.