Priming the Pump.
Sophomore year of high school I fell in love for the first time. Sarah was a girl who had just moved here from Seattle, which I thought was cool as shit, this being the heyday of grunge. I met her in art class, and we began hanging out a lot. Eventually my current best friend at the time got jealous that he wasn't the one monopolizing my time anymore and said some particularly nasty things about her. We got in a fight, I beat him down hard, and impressed the hell out of her for defending her honor. Chivalry's not dead. When I told her that I loved her, she said it back, and thus began the most tumultous and irresponsible relationship of my life.
Prior to meeting Sarah, I was always a huge geek. I still am, but I never dated, the one girl who ever even got close to getting involved with me was a neighbor in Ohio who said she wanted to date, but really just wanted to laugh at me with her friends. People can be such assholes.
Sarah, however, was the real deal. She was my first kiss, my first love, my first everything. I was obsessed with her. The fact that it got intimate quickly probably was a huge factor. The problem is, Sarah didn't have issues, she had subscriptions. She was manic-depressive. She was psychic. She was regularly abducted by UFOs. She used to hang out with Kurt Cobain before he died, and knew lots of other grunge stars before they were big. She was 14 years old, I was 15. Looking back I'm amazed that I fell for all this, but what the hell, I was in love and lust. The manic-depression was real, she had the medication for it (albeit the wrong meds, which I found out years later), but the rest of it was probably a result of the disorder.
I still remember very quickly coming home one day after school, watching tv while lounging on the couch, and kind of half-dozing. At some point, I heard in my head, "KEITH!" very loudly in Sarah's voice. I shot up wide awake, looking around, but there was no one else home yet. I called Sarah up and told her about it.
After a short pause she said, "Yeah, I thought I had a connection."
"Don't do that!" I replied. "You scared the shit out of me."
She promised to give me fair warning next time. Looking back, there was no next time, and I add this to the list of many incidents that in retrospect were examples of her taking advantage of my credulity about the paranormal. There were plenty of others. If we were outside at night, sometimes she would seem to go off into a trance state and attempt to wander off, saying that the visitors were calling to her, and I would have to physically restrain her. Other times she would show me marks on her body, the one I recall the most being a bunch of triangles in a circular pattern of raised, burgundy welts on her thigh. It was probably about 3 inches across, and scared the shit out of me. Years later, I realized she probably fell asleep against the suction intake of her whirlpool or hot tub.
I don't know how much she was consciously manipulating me, or how much was her mental state riffing off what I fed her. What I do know is that I was in a heavy imprint vulnerability state at the time, losing my virginity, getting justification for my paranormal inclinations and some great sex (any sex is great when it's your first sex) and having a number done on my head.
It didn't last of course. The whole relationship lasted about 4 months in real time, although it seems like years in my memory. I was basically high on her the entire time, and then she dumped me. Even that had a seeming supernatural component.
I had just walked her to her class, was trying to kiss her goodbye, and she told me "I don't think we should see each other anymore." As soon as the words left her mouth, I slumped against the wall, rocked back as if I had been physically struck, and then the lights went out, literally.
On the day that she dumped me (February 11, 1994, Friday before Valentine's Day), we had a power outage at McCullough High School for most of the day. The power went out between 1st and 2nd period and didn't come back on until around 1pm or so. I ended up stuck in my Japanese classroom in the dark for hours, trying to come to terms with the new development, with my friend Tosh commiserating with me over the recent loss of his own girlfriend. I know we were both a nightmare to Mrs. Reade, our Japanese teacher that whole time and the rest of the year. I seem to remember at one time getting up and banging my head against the blackboard over and over again. It was a bad scene.
The rest of that year was miserable. Eventually it culminated in a major depressive disorder for me, which I was diagnosed with a year or so later. To this day I take medication to control my moods, although I have a much healthier outlook than I used to. I was a bit of a pseudo-stalker to her the rest of that year, not helped by the fact that we were still in art class together, and it was just a bad scene all around.
Maybe 4 or 5 years after sophomore year, I got in contact with Sarah again, I hadn't seen her for a while, she'd ended up going to another school somewhere during my junior year. I found out that when we were dating, she was in a manic phase, and broke up with me as she was transitioning into a depressive phase. I also discovered that she had been prescribed meds that didn't help her at all when we were dating, and she didn't even take them that often. She was on proper meds now. I showed her some of the stuff I had written that was inspired by the relationship, and she cried about it, etc. She was much stabler, and we were able to forgive each other, me for her treatment of me during the relationship, and her for my treatment of her after it. So I got closure in the end, but the damage was done. By the time of this reconciliation, I was already getting deeper and deeper into the occult by the day.