Bad Frog...I could begin and end this post with just these two words, but I won't of course, because two words is enough and, at the same time, never enough to describe the impact this frog had on my life. An impact that has been both good and bad...
So it was the fall of a new school year in a new school in a new town and I was a total outsider. Everyone was wearing Columbia jackets with Dockers and penny loafers and I was in knee high boots with a skirt and frilly top. I had never lived in this kind of weather! What did I know? I was from sunny California and I didn't know that I had to get a new wardrobe to fit in with the less fashionable at this stupid school that I wanted no part of. Nevertheless, I went each day and quickly made friends. The first was Katie. She sat in front of me in one of the many classes we had together and she turned around and bluntly snapped, "You're new here, aren't you?" I guess nothing got past these small towners. That was the beginning of a friendship that continues to this day. She was/is blunt, inappropriate at times, and had no censor; we were made for each other! Of course, I was just honing these skills at the time and Katie helped me polish them. We were inseparable and she was one of the most loyal people I had ever met. She had my back no matter what. I will always remember that about her.
So Katie and I, for whatever reason, went to a school dance the beginning of that tenth grade year. We even took a picture together for fun...I just recently had to post it on Facebook, the memory was too great. As we were standing around, probably drinking punch and people watching, a handsome junior walked up and asked me to dance. Enter Bad Frog. I was smitten at "Hello." But Katie, in her eloquent way, basically told him to "Beat it loser!" I went and danced with him anyway, but couldn't figure out what all of the fuss was about. She later told me to not get involved with him because he had a bad reputation around town for being a 'pothead' and 'bad boy.' At another point in the evening, a nice looking boy walked up to me and whispered, “If you want to start off right in this school, avoid that guy at all costs.” Whoa! This was getting interesting. He didn't look like a stoner or a bad guy to me. He looked great! Ha Ha...my famous last words.
Soon, Bad Frog and I were scooting around town in his red Geo that Katie called a roller skate and when Katie was with us, it was like watching a tennis match, only on fast forward. She was just being protective, but I have never been one to judge someone based on what others say about them. This is one of my major flaws. I should have listened to her because the drugs became an issue and I was constantly nagging at him to stop. He lied to me all of the time, was always trying to push the limits, and threw a fit every time I told him, "No." But, still I stayed.
I don't know what I found so attractive in Bad Frog. Maybe it was the fact that everyone told me to stay away from him. The fact that he was hot didn't hurt either, even though Katie made a barfing expression every time I said those words. He was also very mysterious. Even though we would hang out at his house, there was never anyone home, never met any siblings. He never talked much about his family and what I did learn was usually from other people. It was almost as if I felt sorry for him. He didn’t have a huge group of friends, but rather one best friend who I will call Blondie. I thought Blondie was extremely attractive, but he never really paid any attention to me. I would catch him looking at me out of the corner of his eye sometimes and it would give me the creeps. Bad Frog and Blondie were inseparable the way Katie and I were, but the unfortunate thing was that Blondie and Katie couldn’t stand the sight of each other either, so double dating was out of the question. Not that I was even allowed to date at the time. My mother and father had a strict “No dating until 16” rule in the house so I had to sneak out of the house to see Bad Frog. When my mother did meet him, she disliked him instantly. Of course this was because she had heard the negative reviews about him through the small town gossip and she believed every bit of it. He finally was not allowed to call the house anymore and I was banned from seeing him at all. One day, my mother walked into my room and said, “Someone named Rico Suave is on the phone?” She had an extremely doubtful look on her face and I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. I finally told her years later that Rico Suave was a made up name taken from a song at the time and that the caller was really Bad Frog.
These little silly things he did made me laugh. One night we were sitting in his roller skate and he blasted “Little Red Corvette” and sang it with every belief that he WAS Prince. I liked him even though he drove me crazy and I gave 100% to try to make a relationship out of the pieces of nothing I was given. One night, after we both knew our relationship was going nowhere, he invited me to a house party. Out in Oregon, there wasn’t much to do for high schoolers, In reality, there wasn’t much to do for anyone. But us young folk would drive our huge trucks way out into the boonies, so the cops couldn’t get to us, and have bonfires and party till the wee hours of the mornings. Many times, someone’s parents would go out of town for the weekend and they would have house parties.
On one of these occasions, Bad Frog invited me to his friend’s house for a party. He and I separated at one point and I went off to mingle. After a while, I realized I had way too much to drink and went looking for my missing frog. I found him alright! In bed with another girl. It crushed me. I knew eventually he would go elsewhere if I wouldn’t give in, but I didn’t think he would do it so blatantly. I backed out of the room and stumbled outside. I soon found myself in the woods on my hands and knees trying to make sense out of what was happening. I turned to see the house in the distance. It was a huge house and the lights were dancing out of the windows, music was jumbled together with laughter and playful screams and I didn’t know how the hell I was going to get home that night.
“Do you need help?” a familiar voice asked while standing over me. He was with another figure I didn’t recognize. The next thing I knew, the familiar voice had me on my back and was trying to stick his tongue down my throat. It was in slow motion and I heard the other voice telling him to stop. I had no voice, and whatever I wanted to say could not get out of my mouth in all of the confusion. The next thing I knew, some party-goers walked up and the two guys ran off. As I looked at the two figures running away, I realized one of them was Blondie. I couldn’t really comprehend all that happened in those few moments and I think I blocked the whole night out of my mind for many years. I still don’t know how I made it home that night.
Needless to say, that was the end of Bad Frog and me. He tried to apologize a couple of times, but I wanted no part of him. Soon after, he was busted for having drugs in his locker and soon after that, I moved back down to California. Later Oregon!
A couple of years later, I received a letter in the mail from Bad Frog. It said that the summer after he graduated, he was 'high' out of his mind one night with Blondie and Jesus appeared to him. It freaked him out so much that he quit doing drugs altogether and decided to go to school for Theology. Not only was he going to go to college but he had decided to be a pastor! A year later, I received another letter and he was still going strong following this new dream. He told me that I was one of the only 'real' people who had ever really cared about his well-being in that town. He apologized for being such an asshole and ruining most of my time in Oregon. I was happy for him, but sad that my time spent with him was during his darkest moments. It must have been hard for him growing up rich in a small town where he didn't have a close family structure there for him and few friends who had his back (I never told him about Blondie's actions that night).
That was the last I heard of him. I still wonder today where he is and what he is doing. Did he continue working towards his new dream or go back to being a Bad Frog? I wonder….
Lessons Learned - First, if everyone warns you about someone, there is usually a reason. Second, people can change if they really want to. Third, watch out for frog friends who are disloyal - they will hurt you too.
(Huge thank you to kirmizibasliklimuz on DeviantArt for the Bad Frog image).