I'm reading 13 Reasons Why as part of my 50 YA Novels challenge and I just got to the chapter about the Oh-My-Dollar Valentines.
We had a similar survey every year during high school, well before the days of Match.com and the like. You fill out information about your interests and personality, and a couple weeks later, you get a dot-matrix-printed list of other students you were matched to (of the opposite sex, of course, this was the 90s.)
Among the kids I got matched to were the student class president (I hated him for his popularity among other things), the captain of the football team (infamous for planning and instigating an attack on the girls' dormitory with water and shaving cream-filled condoms at confirmation camp), and the 4'3" Chinese kid named Colin who headed the math club and barely spoke English. So I guess I had a thing for leaders?
But every year, without fail, I got matched to one of my best friends Jacob W. Okay, so granted, freshman year, we filled out the surveys together and discussed and may or may not have changed some of our answers to increase our similarity. But after that? We were in relationships with other people.
The other names on the list changed every year. But Jake? Remained constant. Oddly enough, he was one of the few friends I had who remained constant throughout high school, too. We shared a parking pass, went to damn near every event or dance together, and whenever either of us needed a good cry, the other was always there to serve as a silent shoulder to lean on and warm hand to hold.
Our senior year and freshman year of college we tried "dating." We never called them dates, but we'd go out to dinner or to the movies and he'd always pay. And there was a lot of cuddling involved. We spent endless hours on the dock behind my house or in the parking lot of his mother's apartment complex, just sitting in silence, not needing to fill the air with words, but almost always knowing what the other was thinking.
I'm not one hundred percent sure, because we've fallen out of touch in the last decade, but if I was a betting gal, I'd bet money the dude was gay. And not just cuz he never tried to get past second base with me.
Jake's one of those guys who intentionally fell off the face of the earth once he left for college, trying to distance himself from what was in his case a rather tumultuous adolescence. Granted, I was one of those girls, but I was never very good at the Hide part of Hide and Seek. Every once in a while I've tried googling him or looking him up on Facebook. No luck. Jacob was always very good at hiding.
Anyway, as I was reading today, I found myself once again googling my constant Match.
Once again, no luck.