Never the Same Place Twice, Part 1

I’m struggling with just how to approach this one, as it is a multifaceted story, or rather, several stories within a story.

I started working part time at TJ Maxx when I was 19, the summer after freshman year of college. I was gloriously (grossly) skinny and spent most of my paycheck on mini-skirts, half shirts and high heels, which I then wore to work. Somehow I actually got away with this for two years with little more than one gentle reprimand from a kind of fatherly supervisor.

I worked with my brother Paul, his best friend, Devin, Devin’s younger brother, Teddy, Teddy’s friend Tim, a boy named Colin and another boy named Zach. Occasionally there were other girls, but they mostly worked in the cash office; not on the sales floor, and they were a little older than me. For the first time ever I was arguably the center of attention, albeit not always the good kind.

Devin was dorky but funny. Teddy hated me. Tim was inappropriate, and unfortunately had the hots for me. Colin was wide-eyed and shy. Zach was strange and eerily quiet–at first. I could easily write a snarky cartoon about this group of boys and myself, except that I’m only a fair artist and the perfectionist in me would need our cartoon personas rendered exactly right, down to the eyelash.

I started out liking Colin, but made the mistake of telling Teddy, who then told everyone, including Colin. Colin either didn’t like me back or was too shy to do anything.

Meanwhile, Devin and I had gotten pretty chummy. I would hang out with my brother and Devin and Teddy, and Devin would put his arm around me, we held hands and so on. The night before I went back to UNH, he kissed me out in front of my house.

The first weekend I came back from college, Devin avoided me. Then at work he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship. I was pretty upset because I really thought he liked me. I wrote him a long letter, to which he never responded. We would be on again off again for the next year but never “together.” He said he knew me too well.

To be continued

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