Here’s a lesson for all you guys out there: Don’t mess with the ladies…well, at least at the academy. And let me tell you why:
Imagine a senior in high school. He’s mid-height, yet there’s a certain stockiness to him. He’s got wavy, slicked back hair. Athletic build. A heavy goatee and beard even though he’s only 18. Throw in a cocky, outright personality, and then you’ve got Haymish Blake. Of course, all the girls drool…initially, anyway.
He was new in our junior year. The first thing I remember was the way he walked. It wasn’t fast or super slow, either. It was this sort-of mid-paced shift. He would keep his hands in his pockets, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He never looked at anyone he was passing by. Yet, his most striking feature, his eyes gave away a sense of superiority ~ even though you didn’t look into his eyes, you knew they were there, staring hard at the horizon, and you didn’t want them to stare at you.
The first girl to fall was Eloise Sinclair, which was very interesting indeed. Hailing from Arlington County, Eloise was the bluest of all blue bloods around. High class to the extreme, I was confused when she was ‘slumming’ it with the rugged Haymish. I was even more surprised to hear from everyone else what they were doing. But it didn’t come as a surprise to me that a month later, she was dejected, depressed, and straight up dumped.
The other girls followed. There was Rose Gerard, another junior girl who had the same taste as Eloise. She lasted for a while before he went on to try a little international love with an older Asian girl, Suzie. To be honest, I watched as he went through our entire grade and half of the seniors. And, every time, the girls fell: one by one.
In my head, I liked to imagine that Haymish had a ‘pantie’ wall. A trophy-like collection of things from the girls that had fallen for him. It wasn’t that he didn’t like some of them, but it was the chase of the ‘game’ and him coming out on ‘top’ that really got Haymish off. One after the other, he would check their names off the list. And in a way, he may have seen himself as above the other boys…because, who else would be able to pull this off?
He had been doing good for a while, and it wasn’t until the mid winter that he began to slow down. It seems that he had been successful with almost every available girl at school; except for one. He met his match in Hannah Humphries.
At first, I think Hannah was almost delighted in the fact that Haymish took interest in her. She had very low self-esteem back in her junior year, so I could see why she would feel good about it. But Haymish forgot one thing about Hannah; she was the definition of independent. To her credit, I’ve never seen Hannah stray with the ‘pack’ of other girls; she was always the one leading, the one in charge. There was no way that she was going to fall for Haymish’s bullshit, but she would have a little fun with it first.
He began his little game of cat and mouse. After religious texts for almost three days, Haymish decided he had ‘buttered’ her up enough to ask her on a date. He figured he would take Hannah out to a cheap movie at the local cinema, make her feel special and wanted, and get in her pants. He would be done with her by Monday, and that would be that.
Not so fast.
Hannah, all the while, showed the texts to all of her friends throughout the week. They all had a good laugh about it, and on top of dissing the asshole who hurt her close friends, Hannah had accumulated a large amount of street cred for her ploy. On Saturday, she told him to meet her at the local theater at 9:30. Yet, her and her two best friends went out and hid in a bush directly across the street. They cried laughing as the ‘pimp’ of the academy waited in the winter cold for thirty minutes for some girl he though he had days ago. The two never spoke again.
Even though he had gone through most of my classmates, I really think his trophy wall came down that day. He had missed one name on his list: Hannah. And he would never really get over that.