Friday, April 16, 2010

Doubly Regrettable

Last week I wrote about regrets and covered the first of two nagging little things that I’ve never quite swept off my shoulders.  Well this second one is a little different because it happened about 16 years ago.  Half a life ago, if you will. 

It all began when I was in my sophomore year of high school.  I had gone on a youth group trip to Georgia with my church over Christmas.  We did this a few years in a row, and one year, I just happened to meet a boy from Tennessee.  We kept in touch and wrote letters, and racked up some astronomical long distance bills back in the day when we weren’t all using cell phones.  Eventually, he became my “official” boyfriend.  He would send me stuffed animals, flowers, and my favorite – mix tapes that he made at the local radio station where he worked.  He would record his voice dedicating songs to me across the radio waves, and I would swoon.  I vividly remember sitting in Amelia’s room opening one of those packages with a GINORMOUS bear (the postage must have been outrageous) and listening to the latest tape together giggling and feeling like the most special girl in the world.  Oh to be 16 again! 

So what’s the big regret you ask?  Well, fast forward to the next Christmas.  Our church was going back to Georgia, and we were going to see each other for the first time in a year.  I was unbelievably nervous – I had literally only seen this guy in person for a week, and I’d been carrying on a giddy teenaged long distance romance with him for a year.  I was pretty shy back in the day, and that combined with the nerves produced the following scene:  My girlfriends and I piled off the bus, walked into the main building bubbling with excitement and chatter, and almost immediately I spotted him standing with a group of his friends, waiting for me.  What happened next still makes me cringe.  I looked away and walked…right…past him.  WHAT THE HECK?  I don’t know, I just froze.  And out of the corner of my eye, I saw his face just fall.  Stupid 16 year old girls.  Can you imagine?  He’s told all his friends about his girlfriend in Texas, and they’re all standing there waiting for the big reunion, and I completely ignore him.  Oh, how I wish I could knock 16 year old me upside the head.  All the nervousness and the pressure of all the people watching just paralyzed me.  I don’t think I have ever in my life done anything that horrible to someone.  Needless to say, that was pretty much the end of a year long relationship.  I was so embarrassed by my behavior.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I honestly don’t remember us ever talking again after that.  There may have been one awkward conversation where I tried to explain myself, but the damage was done.

A year or so later my conscience was still killing me, and I wrote him a long letter of apology, but it came back to me.  He had moved.  I know he was planning on joining the National Guard.  He was older than I was, and could have been gone by that time.  I googled him a few years later, and tried to find an address or an email, but never had any luck.  I remember something about him changing his name, but I don’t remember why, or to what.  He sometimes went by his middle name, which also confused the issue.  I’m a googling pro, and still, no dice on finding the right guy.  So this is my last shot at absolution.  Randall Scott Lebouef who once lived in Carthage, Tennesse, if you ever google your own name, I hope you find this page and forgive me.  I was a silly, insecure girl, and I’m sorry for being such a jerk.

There.  That feels better.  It seems like such a silly thing to hang on to, I know.  But I just can’t stand hurting people.  Knowing that there’s someone out there who I caused embarrassment or pain, and never made it right...well it still stings, even more than a decade later.  I’ve issued my public apology, and just maybe, one day, he’ll stumble across it.  So let’s call this chapter closed, shall we?

3 comments:

  1. Dear Mary, not sure if you ever found your teenage love, but for your sake I hope not. He is an ex of mine as well. We had a long term relationship and he is pure evil. First off, he never worked at a radio station. One of many lies I'm sure he told you. He did join the army but was dishonorably discharged. He claimed he could never return to West Virginia bc he was wanted on drug charges. Yes, he was and

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  2. .....probably still is a drug addict. He also claimed to have killed a man by tying him to the bumper of a car and dragging him down a gravel road. He was always mean. Verbally and physically abusive. I saw his aunt a few years after we broke up and she asked me if he had always been mean and had a temper. Apparently he was the same with his new woman, who is the mother of his children. Be thankful that you did what you did. Maybe subconsciously you knew he was not good. He never stood a chance thanks to his mother. She had 3 kids with 3 different men. Randall was the only one who spoke to her. But that was only bc he longed for his mothers love, which she only wanted to give when he became involved with a woman.

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  3. FYI, he was also a cheater. Habitual cheater. You can google his full name now and see his mugshots. Count your blessings he didn't ruin your life.

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