Yesterday while driving into work, the song Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins was playing on my car radio. Memories from junior high school came rushing back. I’m guessing I hadn’t heard that song in about 30 years.

It was the early 1980s. I was in 8th grade. I was at a school dance and a 7th grader asked me to slow dance to Hold Me Now. I said yes.

He was kind of cute. Brown hair, blue eyes, and braces. If my memory is correct, his name was Robert. He seemed a little nervous. We “danced” (i.e. barely swaying while in a bear hug) in silence.

When the song ended I thanked him for the dance and returned to standing around with my friends.

A few days later, I was walking to class when he suddenly appeared next to me. He quickly said, “Will you go with me?” That’s what kids used to say in the 1980s if they wanted to be someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend.

I was taken off-guard. I sputtered out the worst thing I possibly could have said. (I was teased by my friends about it for months afterward.)

I said, “I can’t.”

I should have explained. I said “I can’t” because I had a crush on someone else. My heart belonged to someone else. (I find this hilarious – I was 13!) I can’t even recall who I would have had a crush on, either.

My flippant and confusing response must have crushed Robert. Oh, what he must have been thinking! ‘Why would this chick not be able to go out with me? Does her dad prohibit it? Is it against her religion?’ Poor dude.

I was an awkward and emotionally incapable teenager.

Immediately after I gave him my response, he disappeared into the crowded hallway without a word.

I only saw him very briefly around school a couple times after that. We must not have attended the same high school.

…And all this was triggered by hearing Hold Me Now. Oh, the power of music!