Personal Charm

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Who would think that something as small as a charm bracelet could completely ruin my life?

I first realized she was over me when I noticed she removed the lucky horseshoe charm from her bracelet. I gave that to her on our first date. It kind of became our symbol.

It was our thing.

Anyone who knows Jenn knows she loves that charm bracelet. It’s like a real life social media on her wrist. It represents everything and everyone she loves (and sometimes hates).

It’s her version of a “like” or a “favorite.”

The charm bracelet all started for her when she was in middle school. She saw it on an old movie (like those black and white ones) and she thought it was cool. So she thought she’d buy one and do it because it would make her unique.

“You watch. Within two weeks, everyone is going to start wearing them. Everyone copies me anyway.”

That’s what her friend Taylor told me. Taylor used to be Jenn’s best friend, but Jenn ditched her too.

Penn has the initials of all her best friends. She has one for her dog. There’s one for her horse Penelope (well, the horse she pretends she has when she DMs people on Twitter).

Of course there is always a charm for whatever guy she is dating or crushing on. That used to be me, until I noticed on Monday morning it was gone.

I guess I’m literally out of luck.

Jenn was pretty much what you’d think of if you were watching a hot girl in a TV show or movie. My sister watches that show “Pretty Little Liars” and I feel like Jenn could be on that show.

Jenn has long blond hair and well, an athletic body. She was in good shape. I guess you’d wonder how she dressed but I don’t know really. She wore dresses sometimes but mostly jeans and t-shirts.

In the summer, she usually wore tank tops and shorts and those sandals where on the bottom at the heel, it looks like cork board. It always thought it’d be funny to put thumb tacks in the heels.

“She really cares about how she looks, but she tries to act like she doesn’t.” That’s what Taylor said. I never paid much attention back then. I didn’t really care about her clothes.

I mean, if I picked her up at her house and she was wearing a “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt, I probably wouldn’t have liked it. But otherwise clothes and shoes? I don’t think guys really care about that stuff.

“Guys don’t really care about that stuff,” Taylor told me.

Oh hey, that’s probably where I got that.

I should have known all along it would never work out. The signs were there. No, literally.

For her birthday, I bought her a wooden sign that was a cut-out of her name: “JENN.” Only they messed it up at at the mall and spelled it: “JEN.”

I didn’t have time to fix it so I gave it to her anyway. I should at least get credit for the thought right?

“Are you kidding me,” Jenn said. “People who don’t spell my name right don’t even know me. I’ll just give this to my Dad. He can use it to balance that leaning tower of bookshelf he built.”

Another time, we were looking through one of her photo albums and she kept pointing to pictures of herself. I was looking at all of them, but she was annoyed that I wasn’t commenting and complimenting how she looked.

I don’t like to fight or have drama or anything like that so I just said I was sorry.

In order to date Jenn, you had to say “sorry” a lot.

I know from everything I’ve said so far she probably sounds like a pain in the you know where. I mean, she was but she had her good moments too.

Jenn had this funny habit of naming stars. So when were were in the car driving at night, she’d name any stars she saw. Since we live outside of the city, we can see a lot of stars too.

“That one looks like a Charlie,” she would say. “That one next to him is his wife. Her name is Charlie too. It causes a lot of confusion for them.”

Her stories always made me laugh.

“Oh wow, if they went to the club, you could call it Dancing with the Stars,” she said.

Pretty funny, right?

She did this other thing where she could call in sick to a job, but at places where she didn’t work. She’d fake a cough and say: “I’m really sorry. I can’t come in today. I think I have a bad cold.”

When they would ask her name, she’d say something like Mabel or Dinah or Bertha and say “okay, thanks” and hang up.

That always made me laugh. I know it’s mean, but I feel like any adult I know probably made prank calls when they were young too.

She did have some really cool blue eyes too. Yea. It’s weird because you have a crush on someone at first because of how they look, but then you start to like so many other things about them the longer you know them.

I work at a pet store like stocking the shelves and doing stuff in the warehouse part. She works at Starbucks. She said it’s called a barrister or something.

I know its this weird Italian word. How do I know that? Because Jenn reminds people constantly.

“My job is so cool, there’s literally a foreign word for it,” she’d tell people. She’d humble-brag. You know, where you brag about yourself but try to make it seem like you’re not?

One time, I made the mistake of joking about it and she said: “That’s really funny. When there’s an Italian word for stock boy, then we can talk about it.”

Yup. Those eyes were really blue.

Okay so now you know a little bit more about Jenn right?

So now imagine we’re at lunch and I walk by her table. I ask if she wants anything and she doesn’t reply. Okay. That’s kinda weird but whatever.

I got food and came back and sat down. Taylor texted me.

Taylor: Hey. Did you notice her bracelet?
Me: Not really y?
Taylor: Didn’t you give her a horse shoe charm?
Me: Yea.
Taylor: She took it off.
Me: Think that’s bad?
Taylor: It’s probably not great.

I got the feeling I was being ignored but since the table was full, I just went with it.

“I get so annoyed when people order an expresso,” Jenn said. “It’s espresso. There’s no X in there.”

Everyone laughed.

I texted Jenn asking if we could talk in the court yard before lunch ended.

“y,” she replied.

We went outside and sat on a little grassy hill at the end of the lunch area. She looked annoyed, like when her Dad tries to explain how cool the music was in the Nineties.

“Is everything okay” I asked.

“Yea. I’m fine,” she said. Then her face changed. “Honestly there is something I want to talk about. You’re a really nice guy and…”

Just so you know, when someone says “you’re a really nice guy,” you might as well pack your bags and move to Iceland because its about to get cold.

“…well I think I just need to not date anyone right now. I am gonna try to get more hours so I can save money for Christmas shopping. It wouldn’t be fair to stay dating someone if I knew I couldn’t give like 100% of myself.”

Icicles hanging from my nose. I’m standing there holding up a sign that says: “Welcome to Iceland. Population: 1.”

“So do you feel better getting this off your chest?” Taylor asked. She patted me on the back.

“I think so. I feel like I just talked to a psychologist.” I laughed.

“In a way, you did,” Taylor said.

Taylor and I were standing next to each other at the church. I was wearing a suit and she wore a really nice dress. She had flowers in her hair.

God no. We are 17 and we don’t live in Kentucky. We weren’t getting married but we were at her sister’s wedding.

Taylor asked me to be her date, since she knew I had been sad since Jenn dumped me. We had so much fun. We were dancing with all of her relatives. They are really fun and they all really like me.

We had really good food, like I’m talking lobster in melted butter. The cake was good too.

Taylor and I had so much fun that somewhere in the middle of the wedding, we kinda both realized we were getting along a little bit better than just friends.

Then something happened that made my hands sweat. A slow song came on.

I am not much of a dancer. You know how someone looks when they drop a plate off the kitchen counter and there are those few seconds until is crashes on the ground?

That’s me dancing.

But she asked if I wanted to dance and I couldn’t say no right? So we went out on the floor. I thought I saw some of her aunts smiling but I figured they just were really drunk.

We swayed back and forth to a song. I didn’t know it but Taylor said it was Patsy Cline and it was called “Crazy.” I thought that was a weird name for a slow song but anyway.

“You know, she never deserved you anyway,” Taylor said.

“I guess. She did have some good qualities though, I guess,” I said.

It wasn’t on purpose, but neither one of us ever used her name. We just called her “she.”

“I got best friend dumped so I know what if feels like when someone just decides they don’t want you in their life anymore,” Taylor said. “But after awhile, you realize you didn’t want them in your life either.”

“Yea,” I said. Sometimes you just don’t know what to say.

“She needed a bracelet for her charming things,” Taylor said. “But I wouldn’t. I’d rather just have you.”

“I’d look pretty weird around your wrist,” I said. Ha. Good one.

“You’re charming enough, trust me.” Taylor said. She put her head on my shoulder and we kept dancing until the song ended.

Who would think that something as small as a charming personality could completely change my world?

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