When I was seven, I bought two huge boxes of over a hundred Archie comic books at a junk store down the street from my grandparents house.
I originally wanted some green Adidas tennis shoes but my mom wouldn't let me get them because she said it was gross to buy used shoes. She had a point.
I also wanted these two boxes of Archie comic books because they looked fun and I liked to read and had gone through my arsenal of Anne of Green Gables and Misty of Chesapeake Bay books. However, my mom also did not let me buy the Archie comic books. She never gave me a clear reason for her disapproval of the comics, but I can assume it had something to do them not being Christian. (I need to interject something here, in hopes that you will gain a better understanding of who my mother is, while at the same time hopefully gaining sympathy from you regarding this lifelong thorn in my side which I lovingly call "mom". This has nothing to do with this story, but I think it will accomplish the aforementioned goals. The reason I was not allowed to attend a certain high school in my hometown, the high school where all of my friends ended up going after middle school, was because the mascot was the Blue DEVILS. And you bet your bottom dollar that if I had attended high school there, I would have turned into a devil-worshipping, Wicca-practicing freak. I mean, that would have been inevitable, right? Riiiiiiiiiiiight. So do you now understand my mother a bit better? And do I now have your sympathy? Good. Moving on.)
So what did I do? I went back and bought them, of course! After me and my mom left and walked back to my grandparents house up the street, I told her I was going to play at my friend Tiffany's house. Instead, I high tailed it back to the junk shop and bought those two boxes of Archie comics with my own money. I can't remember how I lugged the two huge boxes back to my house. My guess is that my dad somehow got involved, as his main objective in this life is to spite my mom. Or perhaps Brad helped me. No, no. He wouldn't have done that. He would have sided with my mom and told me they were stupid and that I was stupid for wasting my money on comics instead of something more constructive like Lego's. Or maybe Tiffany helped. Who knows.
All I know is those boxes filled with Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica made it safely to my bedroom and under my bed.
For almost a year, I studied those comics. I read every single word. I fell in love with Archie. Archie and I grew very close. Whoever he liked at the moment, whether it was beloved Betty or vixen Veronica, I became her. Archie and I went to school dances together; I met his parents; we had picnics together; we kissed. (I had a very active and vivid imagination, okay?)
I read and re-read. I memorized. I was fascinated by the colors on the page, the conversation bubbles that floated about the characters heads.
Archie and I spent about a year together until one day, quite abruptly and quite painfully, he was ripped from my life.
I came home from school one afternoon, ran to my bedroom, reached under the bed to find the familiar face of Archie, only to discover that the boxes, along with every single trace of my beloved Archie were gone. Vanished. It didn't take me long to figure out who the perp was that stole my books, along with my heart.
"MOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!" How could she? She knew nothing of the romance Archie and I shared. How could she take that from me? But then I remembered the forbidden nature of my purchase almost a year earlier, the forbidden nature of my secret Archie affair. I couldn't bring it up without taking the risk of getting in trouble for buying the books in the first place. I would have to lay it to rest, along with my heart.
"Yes?" my mom said. "Oh nothing. Never mind. Can I have a snack?" I replied. And not a word from either of us was ever uttered about the sacred, now missing, Archie comic books. (Much like the whole incident of her finding my cigarettes in ninth grade. But that's another story.)
I dealt with my loss quietly, mourning the end of my relationship with Archie. I'd like to think he has been successful in his future endeavors and remembers me fondly. But I've heard it through the grapevine that he can't seem to pass his classes and graduate high school, and he's still toying around with two different girls' hearts.
Shame on you, Archie.