Lovesick

Lovesick

A Story by Philip Muls
"

Boy meets girl, a classic case of rejection

"

A week after my sixteenth birthday, I am sitting in a classroom with twenty-two other boys pretending to listen to a Latin teacher. Our minds are everywhere but here.


I for one cannot stop thinking about Connie. She is the reason for the lovesick state I have been in for weeks now.


She is the epitome of perfection to the sixteen-year-old me. She has hazel brown eyes and a classic face of beauty. She is wearing a navy school dress accentuating her figure. For a moment, it makes me wonder whether the school has intended this effect when making girls wear a uniform. With her hair in a boy cut, she is simply irresistible. I do not fight it, I am powerless. I recognize a higher force.


She walks with an air of carefree confidence, seemingly unaware of what she does to boys and men. With hindsight, that was a pretty naive thought on my part, I now know that she was aware of her powers. Pretending she wasn’t just made it perfect.


It starts with a smile.


Dexys Midnight Runners are playing their signature song Come on Eileen as a backdrop to the epic scene that follows. I am looking at Connie walking towards me along with two other girls all wearing winter jackets, woolen mittens and hats. She looks like an angel. She is laughing out loud because of something her friend said. Her gaze crosses mine and it seems to me that her smile is now directed straight at me. She simply says “Hi, don’t you just love this song ?”.


That’s it. That is all that happens. I am in awe.


Awe is called the eleventh emotion, beyond the basic ten known by science. Awe plays on the boundary between pleasure and fear, inspired by great beauty or the incomprehensible mystifying. It causes us to completely forget ourselves in a moment of great wonder, feeling the presence of something greater.


Yes, right on the mark. I am in awe.


And I am not equipped to deal with it. I manage to say a profound “Hi, yes I do” back at her and she gives me a coy glance that will stay with me forever. A few days later, I even ask her out in a burst of supreme confidence. She hesitates for a brief moment…


That moment lingers on in my eternity. It is a moment in which all is still possible and yet you feel that it is not you but fate that will prevail.


She said no.


Later in life, I learned how to see rejection as a useful step in the pursuit of victory. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and all that.


But back then, it took me apart. When it comes to drama, there’s nothing quite like unrequited love. For weeks I did not sleep or eat. It seemed to me that the meaning of life was found and instantly lost again.


If rejection hurts, rejection without a reason is a killer. It tortured me in the most intense way that she denied me the chance to  that one date. To my endless frustration, guys who were not paralyzed by her loveliness did manage to get on a date with her. And they did it in a casual way, nothing to it.


A lesson in love right there ! She needed a cool guy, a guy she had to fight for. Why did I not know that ? Why was this not genetically pre-arranged in my moves ? Why did all the males that preceded me let me go empty-handed to an unfair fight ?


Thinking back about it so many years later, it makes me wonder. Why was I in awe looking at her and not at other girls, who were in fact even more beautiful ? Why did her smile hold that much power over me, like I felt her sweet innocence was out of this world and I had to pursue her with everything I got?


Exquisitely painful as it was, I wouldn’t want to have missed it. This First Love which did not go beyond “Hi” and yet took on legendary proportions in my memory, inspired me to look for experiences that brought me the same feeling of bewilderment and wonder. But somehow, I never quite reached the same high octane level in my emotional fuel and probably never will.


By design it seems… you can only be truly lovesick once.

© 2015 Philip Muls


Author's Note

Philip Muls
A new version is uploaded, thank you all for your comments!

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Featured Review

A couple really great things here Philip. That last line, killer. The moment she rejects him, devastating. You capture the feel and gut-wrenching anticipation and nervousness of this situation well. Where I think you're lacking, however, is exectution.

This story feels very "explanatory." A lot of extra stuff is included, but it doesn't feel like it's necessary. The extra long song quote, the explanation of the ten different kinds of emotions, the careful examination of the characters emotions in a "play-by-play" style throughout the story, it's all just a bit too much information. One of the things you do well is convey a lot with few words. When you write, "She said no," we feel the devastation the character feels because we've all been there, you don't need to explain every moment of it to us.

Again I'll say that your writing does an excellent job of resonating on a very human frequency, I just think it'd be so much more effective if you got the knife out and trimmed some of the fat away to give us a more healthy dose of the real-ness.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thanks Hal, I made some changes based upon your feedback. Kind regards, Philip



Reviews

Ah yes the love and the agony of the unattainable heart. This is real life truth and honesty and you've portrayed it very well. Like others, I was there too, seeing and feeling and hurting with you. I enjoyed reading and relating to the memory.

Yes, be thankful for the memory . . . and be thankful you're not sorry she said yes and destroyed your self-confidence, self-esteem and your belief in love.
My heart breaking rejection of the most beautiful young woman on the planet turned out to be my heart ripping experience of twenty years of manipulation, control and psychological torment. We met again years later and this time she said yes to the date and relationship, where she was so sweet and lovable, then said yes to the marriage. She turned out to be my greatest regret!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thank you for that very personal and relevant feedback!
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V
Nicely and well-written story on teenage love and being rejected. I like your narrative style, how you describe things in an easy and carefree but also entertaining way. Your sort of elaboration in the last two columns on the story/memory makes it seem as if you were reflecting an old tale from the past with friends, it makes the reader feel connected to the topic, the words themselves and not left out. Nice one.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thank you Vanessa
V

3 Years Ago

You're welcome.
i love this ..for so many reasons ... so relatable ... so innocent ..so provacative .. so "awesome" :)
did not know about 10 emotions of science ..will go a googling .. and as far as your protagonist ..at least he asked !!!! your short held me start to finish ..
E.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Glad it did, thanks for the kind feedback
I like your authentic style here. I can see her. I rembeber a time when...
I may not agree with your conclusion, but there is a certain virginty to most of life's experiences.
Inlike how you explored the feeling of "Awe".

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thanks for the feedback David
"Why did all the males that preceded me let me go empty-handed to an unfair fight ? "
- In the dog eat dog world of schooldays courting you were supposed to pick it all up or be doomed. Even to this day I can hear a class clown describe a double date in which his fellow male failed to kiss one of the girls at an appropriate time. The guy got ridiculed even by those who didnt even know what it was like to be in girl's company - because you were supposed to just "know", what to do.

This brought those days flooding back in a now-romantic view of an excruciating time of life.
Well done Philip, I enjoyed this immensely.


Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thanks Anto, we've all been there.
Very Nice read. Glad you suggested I read it hey. I really love your ending and the thought behind this lovely story. Me being the starter writer that I am I stumbled with a few words but nothing Google couldn't fix. Nothing major though hey.
A lot of emotion shown and felt in this piece.

Well done and keep up the great stuff hey

Aphy

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I could feel the story as if it were a scene running around me... with all those details and words that bring life.. but i appreciate you being brave enough... people are weird... they go after things only when it is to be chased... :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thank you for kind feedback, glad you liked it.

Kind regards,
Philip
Oh this is wonderful. I felt like I was watching a movie and I could hear you narrating it with your voice. Wonderfully written in my opinion. I was once in this state and after the rejection it is so hard to learn how to live again. But even though it's painful, I'm still glad I got to witness it's beauty. Enjoyed reading this :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thank you for kind feedback, glad you liked it.

Kind regards,
Philip
I enjoyed this story, not only for its style , but it reminded me of my first rejection by an "unimpressed" young lady. Her female companion apologised to me for her friends' behaviour and accepted my invitation to lunch in a local cafe. (no frills). We've now been married for 51 years .
So, re. your last line - please reconsider your denouement.

Regards Norman





Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Norman, thank you for the great feedback and insight in your personal story.

The use .. read more
The emotions when young run the course from top to bottom and leaves us questioning love the rest of our life. Trying to get beyond a "Hi". Nice story and well penned. Good luck with love now that you are in the real world. And women can still be just as confusing.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Philip Muls

3 Years Ago

Thanks for the nice and funny feedback Willard. Yes, it does not get simpler with women beyond the a.. read more

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4101 Views
83 Reviews
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Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on September 20, 2015
Last Updated on December 10, 2015
Tags: lovesick, awe, power of a smile, bewilderment

Author

Philip Muls
Philip Muls

Grimbergen, Belgium



About
Living in Europe, but travelling frequently in US and Asia. I love to combine what I experience during travel with observations and thoughts about the human condition. more..

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