We didn’t actually go anywhere, mind you. When you’re twelve, there aren’t too many places you can go without grown-up assistance. But if there would have been any going to do, I’m sure we’d have done it together. We did ride the same school bus. We sat together and everything. It was a proud feeling, I remember. Her name was Doreen, but that didn’t really matter. She was a girl, and not just any girl—she was my girl. At lunchtime other kids would say to me, “Are you the guy who’s going out with Doreen?” Yep. That’s me. Share a seat with her on the bus, I do.
Our relationship lasted about three weeks. That’s like a silver anniversary in middle school years. Alas, it ended when Doreen developed a crush on the new kid.
The new kid moved in down the end of the street. He came to our bus stop but he didn’t speak to anyone. He stood around like a mute. We didn’t even know his name. The girls called him Ewee. Yep, pronounced just like it looks, Ew—ee.
Where did he get a name like that? Were his parents high when they named him? Had they stepped in something?
Doreen vacated the seat next to me to sit next to … Ewee.
I played it cool. On the bus I sat with my back to the window. I stretched my legs out on the seat—no room for any girls, least of all a certain girl who chose to sit next to a pile of … Ewee.
Truth is, it was an anxious season for me. The harsh reality: I was the kid dumped by a girl for a kid named … you know.
Another girl named Leslie rode our bus. One day she sat next to me. You bet I moved my feet and made room for her—she was the only girl on the bus that hadn’t succumbed to the spell of Ewee.
“It comes from a song,” she told me. “Ewee. It’s part of the Pointer Sisters’ song ‘He’s So Shy.’” I must have looked like I needed further explanation, as indeed I did. She began to quietly sing the lyric, “’He’s so shy! So good looking! He’s so shy! He’s really got me going! That sweet little boy who caught my eye; Ew-ee, ew-ee, baby!’”
Ewee, ewee, baby? Is it any wonder I didn’t listen to the Pointer Sisters? Like she was reading my mind, Leslie snarked, “I know. Stupid, isn’t it?”
It was at that very moment I noticed how incredibly attractive Leslie was. I went with the impulse, “Do you want to go out with me?”
I think she replied, “Ew.”
An excerpt from Story of Me, a memoir in short stories.