The wages of meanness (Image: Jessica-Intense)

There was this girl I knew in undergraduate school in Colorado back in the sixties that I was mean to. I don’t think of myself as a cruel person but for some reason I tormented this girl.

To this day I can’t figure out why. I don’t go around being mean to people. Most people will tell you I’m a good guy.

I think her name was Janet—she was cute, petite, bright, and sweet-natured. I could tell she was in love or infatuated with me. I had a regular girl-friend at the time and for reasons I still don’t understand I taunted and toyed with Janet. I’d start to kiss her in the elevator then stop. I’d wink at her in the halls of the classroom building, tousle her hair (she was 20 but looked 17), sneak up behind her and breath on the back of her neck—that sort of thing.

Once I came into the co-ed dorm we both lived in (on separate floors) and she was standing there in front of her suite. I walked over, picked her up, carried her into her bedroom, put her down on the bed and bent over—bringing my lips to within an inch of hers—looked deeply into her eyes like I was about to make love to her then stopped.

I didn’t even kiss her—just tousled her hair again and walked out. Her roommate came up to me the next day—called me a sadistic bastard, knocked my books out of my hand and slapped my face. I learned later Janet cried herself to sleep that night.

I don’t remember much after that until I encountered her in the dorm lobby one afternoon a month or two later. She was with her roommate—the two of them walked straight up to me. Janet looked me right the eye and called me cruel and vicious and a terrible person—and said I should be ashamed of myself. She proudly announced she now had a wonderful boyfriend and was very happy, told me to never speak to her again and walked off. As they brushed past me the roommate turned and flipped me the bird.

That was a very long time ago and I still don’t understand why I behaved that way—she did nothing to merit that sort of abuse.

As I was editing the featured image of Jessica that time in my life came back to me because the look in Jessica’s eyes was probably much the same look I had in my eyes as I bent over poor Janet on her bed all those years ago. To this day I’m ashamed of how I treated her.

Janet—if you’re out there and reading this, I apologize.

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