40. High School Love

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Going to an all-boy high school was no fun. Joe's parents thought it would be a good idea to send him there instead of a public school because "He would get distracted by girls," as his mom would say. Once, during his third year, Joe begged his mom to let him go to public school. "I just want to be normal," he would tell her. "I want to meet girls. I don't want to be weird." But his words always fell on deaf ears. Mom always said that Joe had plenty of time to go on dates after high school, and that he needed to concentrate on his school work.

This usually made him very sad, but like a good kid, Joe just nodded his head and went on with his studies. That all changed one day when Joe met Carmen, who lived just two blocks away from him. One day he ran into her at the market by chance. They had gone to kindergarten together. They were also of the same age. She was in Joe's class, and she remembered Joe, too.

After about two weeks, they were going steady. Joe was so happy, but had to hide his relationship from his parents, which was okay because Carmen was hiding him from her family, too! "Are you kidding me?" Carmen said, "They would kill me if they knew I had a boyfriend!" Everything was going great for a time, but Joe's mom was right. His grades started slipping, and he soon was on academic probation because he was spending too much of his free time with Carmen. She also dropped a grade or two. As a result, both of them had to go to summer school to improve their grades, but Joe didn't care. He was in love and that was all that mattered at the time. Much later, he came to realize his mom was right.

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