Saying which means the same thing as what's good for the goose is good for the gander. In other words, tactics used against an opponent may also be used against you. I question how many people really believe this, though.

I had two months to go, I told myself. Two months before I was moving with my parents to Maryland. None of this mattered anyway. There's no reason to get upset. It's all for the best. All these things I repeated to myself as she stood there telling me about their love. She had been my girl, but had fallen in love with Daniel, a close friend. "I'm sorry, it's really not what I had hoped for. I didn't think something like this would happen. You must really hate me," she said.

I took a long hard thought about the situation, and what she really meant to me. "No," I said. " It's cool. If you guys are happy then I'm happy for you and you have my best regards. My warmest wishes." The truth be told, she didn't really mean that much to me, although we had gone steady almost a year. For the most part she was a really good friend in which I had been inclined to participate in simulated procreation sessions with. She was a great person, but I felt very little for her. I told her that since I was moving in a couple of months and would likely never see her again anyway that this was probably the best thing. At least this way she would not be alone. At least we could all be friends.

I tried very hard to keep this mindset at school. When I was around them in the smoking section I kept my distance so as not to make them feel uncomfortable. When others asked about it I told them it was fine by me. I made the most of my new found independence by meeting new girls, or confessing my attraction to girls I had known for a while. The whole product made me feel quite refreshed. Life was good and we all looked forward to our junior year of high school being over so we could relax and spend many quality hours evaluating the course of our future lives. Then I started noting something...

Daniel began talking to me differently at first. I didn't notice it right off the bat, but then recognized the condescending tone of his voice one day. Then, about a week after I had noticed the first comments of what seemed to be shame, he interrupted a walk to chemistry with, " Jake, I just wanted you to know I didn't steal her from you. She wanted to go with me. Do you understand that? It's what she wanted. She wanted me rather than you."

I had been extremely cool with the scenario up to now, but this was too much for my young ego to take. We were outside the main building of school, walking in between the trailers that made up the expansion rooms of the school. They were presently building a new wing onto the school and would do away with the unsightly steel boxes, but for now they offered a great walking route for those who smoked. The offered security, secrecy, and privacy for those who required it. Upon hearing Daniel's remarks I stopped dead in my tracks and stared at him, befuddled.

"Are you serious? I've been trying to be so fucking cool about this whole thing and you're gonna be a dick like this about it?" I asked. He nodded. I stepped in close to him, so that there was only a few inches between us and said, "Well, let me just say one thing. I don't know how many times my dick has been in that girl's mouth. You think about that next time you're kissing her. I really couldn't count the times."

Daniel was a tall lanky farmer's son, whose drooping shoulders and neck always made him look like he was only half awake. He was thin to the point of looking cartoonish. I, having been a football player, was about the same height as Daniel, although I outweighed him by at least fifty pounds. To say that I saw Daniel's punch coming from a mile away might be an overstatement, but not by much. Even if I hadn't purposefully instigated the situation, and therefore been completely expecting the reaction, I would have been able to block it. I’m not sure of the delusions of grandeur than may have passed his mind, but when my fist drove all the air from his stomach I think reality may have set back in for Daniel.

One of Daniel’s signature possessions was a green John Deere cap. It was something he wore everyday. I looked down him, still all crumpled on the ground, grabbing his sides while sucking for air that would not come. While I was not in love with Diana, I could not help but feel that at least in appearance he had taken something precious from me. I quickly decided that taking his hat would be fair turn-around.

I wore that hat to school every day for the remainder of the school year. I moved away shortly after. To my knowledge Daniel and Diana got married after school and are still together. That’s fine by me. I still have the hat and my pride.

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