Thinking about it, I've got an amusing story involving the girl I posted about previously (whom I shall call Zoe from now on) that might work here. Here's the scoop. My trials with Zoe ranged from fall of 2002 through the end of the summer of 2006. I was involved with her off and on between then but never exclusively. So in 2005, I asked this other girl (whom I shall call Jane) to this winter dance thing the school was having. Turns out Zoe had decided to come. Yes, she was three years older than me and therefore had already graduated, but she was still coming to the high school dance. You see, one of the guys she spent a considerable amount of time with was still in school, and she was his date. Another guy who knew her and who knew about my relationship with her (and witnessed some of the bad turns thereof) saw me and Jane at the dance and told me that "my friend" was there.
Here's where I did something both very brave and very stupid (to use a line from Harry Potter). I sought out Zoe, chased her down, and said hello. I presented Jane to her as my girlfriend (which she had agreed to become earlier in the night). I wanted to see what Zoe would do, and I admit to being slightly vindictive in my aim here. I wanted her to see her "replacement." Zoe was blindsided and wrong footed, and it was one of the few times she hadn't managed to control a situation. We made mindless small talk, then Jane and I went our own way, leaving Zoe bewildered and possibly stewing.
Later, another girl (whom I had actually liked before I liked Jane but was told by her friend to stop pursuing) came up to me and asked for a dance, and after asking permission from Jane I obliged. After the song ended, I went off to try to find Jane and was accosted by Zoe. She marched right up to me and said "We need to talk" and basically led me out into the hall. She was clearly stunned that I had found somebody else, even though she and I had had a falling out over a year ago, and we were never exactly exclusive. Let me make something clear. Her mother disliked that Zoe associated with me, possibly because I was so young (and, I'll admit it, a teenager with raging hormones and for whom everything tended to be like the end of the world). My mother despised Zoe because of all the pain she had caused me.
But here's Zoe telling me that she knows my mother hates her and that her mother doesn't approve, and that I wasn't driving yet at that point (and therefore wouldn't exactly be able to come meet her anywhere), but that we could still be friends if I wanted to try to make the relationship work. She was babbling, clearly flustered. Granted, she always had a funny way of talking, with odd word choices and a tendency to talk past you rather than to you. Anyway, I brought up some of the things she had done to me and she made excuses. I told her that I knew she was BSing because I'd heard from other people what she was really doing when she had been blowing me off before. She seemed unfazed, and she didn't try to defend herself, basically telling me she knew she had gotten caught. She then started getting timeframes wrong, and I told her that apparently she lived in the same alternate world as the guy in My Cousin Vinnie whose grits got done at a different speed from everyone else's. The sarcasm bounced right off of her. She said she hadn't seen the film. It went on a little while longer until suddenly she got up and in dramatic form said, "Well you always told me I'm the only thing holding you together!," to which I said coldly, "I've grown up a bit since then." She shouted "Well so have I!" and tore off.
She hadn't, of course. She was devastated that I had stood up to her, found a "replacement" for her, and basically told her I didn't need her anymore. I don't think she was just angry. She was hurt. Quite badly, as it turns out.
Here's the best part (sorry for the ridiculous length; if you've gotten this far give yourself a pat on the back, 1,000 bonus points, and an extra life). About two weeks later my father told me a rather amusing story. He had been taking a completed shipment out to the car (my family breeds tropical fish, and we frequently box up shipments and drive them to the city airport) and noticed something that smelled like extremely strong perfume. Zoe wore a very particular kind, which produces pangs of longing and feelings of repulsion in me even today when somebody wears it (I don't know which one it is; I've never had the courage to ask any of the ladies I've met who were wearing it). She also apparently bathed in it when she put it on. And to put this in perspective, the nearest house is over 100 yards away. It wasn't likely to be something from another house, especially something like perfume.
Anyway, there's a room above the garage which is mostly used for storage but where I occasionally went to concentrate on stuff, and I must have told Zoe about it. She must have thought it was my bedroom. Yes, you know where this is going. We think she came to my house one evening, hid her car up the street, and figured she would try to get my attention and make her appeal to me, Romeo and Juliet-style, though with me looking down from the window instead of her. When the garage door opened, she must have gotten spooked and ducked around the corner. My father didn't figure it out at the time, otherwise he would have looked around the corner and caught her.
I know she was there. I even asked her on a later date if she had ever come to my house in the evening, and she said something like "I might have, if I were in the neighborhood visiting somebody else." She didn't know anybody who lived around me (that I knew of, at least), and how do you not remember doing something like that? Let me clarify about Zoe: she remembered every single thing I ever said to her. She remembered every single time we ever saw one another. (It was the same for me, BTW). Now all of a sudden her memory is conveniently foggy? Come on. She was there. I know it.
You know the sad thing? To this day I'm terribly moved by her doing that, and I still like to imagine what I might have done if I had been up in that room and she had managed to live out her Juliet aspirations. I also wonder what would have happened if my father had discovered her. My mother hated Zoe but my father didn't. He said he would have talked to her, perhaps tried to get her to explain what she was after. He was a psychology major in college, being just a few classes short of a master's degree. He had originally wanted to do clinical but got shunted into social because of departmental politics. He therefore would have been able to ask the right questions, and he was willing to do more than just blindly hate her the way my mother did. He might have even been able to help her. Anyway, he told me that if he had found her he would have fetched me after a while and had us all talk, then left Zoe and me alone to work out whatever needed to be worked out.
I have no idea what I would have done if I had talked to her that night. I was dating Jane at the time, and I would like to believe I would not have walked away from that. I know now that Zoe was something of a homewrecker, and I can't discount that motivation on her part that night. But I still think she was genuinely hurt by me finding somebody else, especially since I pretty much rubbed it in her face, and that she wanted closure. Against everything I know to be right, and all the best judgment in the world, I regard the whole thing as a sorely missed opportunity. As it turns out, Jane dumped me two weeks later (therein lies a story for another time), so I was left alone with nothing but the "what if" thoughts to populate my imagination.