When I was 12-years-old I fell in love with Sam Smith.
Not the singer, no sorry, a different Sam Smith. It’s a very common name, okay, which is why I can tell this story with zero consequence.
So Sam Smith was one of the few “real life” boys I had a serious crush on, as in he wasn’t Lance Bass from Nsync or Ricky Martin or any other popstar who was actually gay and therefore, further eliminating any chance of me becoming their pre-teen bride.
He was a blue-eyed blonde like most of the boys in my school, and he had a boy-band haircut with curtains, and that was okay because it was the ’90s. I, on the other hand, looked like black Dracula.
No seriously, I had a massive afro and I distinctly remember dressing in a black fur trench jacket, red crushed velvet top and black lycra flares at least three times when school uniform wasn’t permitted. It was like my signature style or something: 1970s Black Dracula or Blacula if you will. I’ll accept either.
Here’s the thing about Sam: he was a nice boy.
I know, I know. When someone describes a guy as nice it’s usually followed by an overwhelmingly terrible personality trait,
“He’s nice but, he’s actually kinda racist and he physically fought a junkie.”
“He’s nice but, he believes women are actually lizards in disguise.”
The first one is a direct quote.
But in middle school when boys are typically chasing you with their bogies, and pointing out your sideburns in front of the whole class, and pointing out your hairy legs in front of the whole class and mimicking your voice in front of the whole class, and getting upset because you accidentally fell on their neck one time, being a nice boy was a huge feat.
He was cool, but he didn’t obtain his coolness from laughing at your sideburns.
Like most things in my life, I waited until the last moment to act on my feelings towards Sam: the last day of middle school. In classic school tradition everyone was signing each other’s sweaty-pitted white school shirts. This was my time to shine.
I walked up to him, calmly – not maniacally as would’ve been expected- and I asked him to sign my shirt.
We locked eyes for a second too long.
He signed my shirt.
I opened my mouth to say something else.
And then I closed it again.
And that was it.
Yeah, this isn’t one of my wildly embarrassing stories unless you count the Blacula thing or the falling in love with gay men thing.
About a year goes by before I see Sam Smith again and OH WAIT-!
His name wasn’t Sam Smith! It was Sam Me**t (name redacted because it’s not that common). Wow, how weird, I must’ve had Sam Smith on the brain…but why? Is he even still doing music?
Okay forget all the Sam Smith stuff.
So a year passes before I see Sam M. again on his bike, with a friend at the corner shop. My Blacula days were behind me; I begun relaxing my hair (a chemical which simultaneously straightens your hair and burns your scalp) and dressing exclusively in jogging bottoms paired with Adidas trainers.
Sam had a different haircut, was much taller, and somehow cuter, not demon-looking like a lot of the boys who got hit by the puberty stick.
Along with my friend, the four of us took a trip to the park that started morphing into an American coming-of-age movie, set on a hot summer’s day. That’s if you take out the part where Sam and his friend asked me and my mate to stand back-to-back in an attempt to judge who’s boobs were bigger.
We didn’t do it, obviously.
When it came time for us to leave, Sam offered me a ride on the handlebars of his bike, back home. I made some jokes that weren’t really jokes but huge concerns about how I would break his bike in half, but he smiled warmly and insisted it would be totally fine.
This was my second chance…
And you’ll just have to wait until Part 2 to find out what happened