High School Heartbreak

This is a true story. The events depicted in this blog post took place in Texas in 2007. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

I remember looking at her eyes (not into) as we danced at my sophomore homecoming. She was taller than me by maybe an inch, but I didn’t mind. I was in like. But today was different. She wouldn’t look back at me.

“What’s wrong,” I asked.

“Nothing. Everything’s fine,” she insisted as we slowly danced to Keyisha Cole’s classic song Love.

Our parents picked each of us up and took us home after the dance. We didn’t get picked up together because I was somewhat of a secret to her parents, and she was super awkward. I immediately got on AIM upon arrival at my house (for the youths reading this, AIM was an instant messaging program we used to use) and asked her what was up. She told me she didn’t want to be with anybody at that time.

This news was a huge disappointment because that was the night I had planned to asked her out. It seemed like the perfect plan. We had liked each other for the better part of a week, it was a romantic dance, and we had held hands already.

“You’ll come around,” I remember typing (it was probably more like “ull come around,” which is much more profound).

“i dont think so,” she confidently messaged in response. She even threw in a “it’s not you, it’s me” thing, but she assured me that we could still be friends.

But what does she know? At the ripe old age of 15, I was much wiser than she. I understood women completely and knew she would eventually come back to me, so waiting for her was obviously the best option. But my wait was in vain.

Less than a week later, she started talking to one of my friends, Bryan. And talking. And talking. When Bryan and I were hanging out, she would call him just to talk or to ask him to get something for her. She would post away messages on AIM about him. She talked to him nonstop and passed notes to him but would never say a word to me. “We’re just friends,” she would assure me after I confronted her several times about her relationship with Bryan. I chose to believe her. She wouldn’t lie to me, right? After all, we’ve held hands before. That bond couldn’t be broken.

The wait grew much harder over time as she and Bryan appeared to grow more intimate. One day in world history class, I ranted to my good friend Shaji about my worries, and he confirmed them. She and Bryan were together. I was heartbroken. My thoughts lingered on what went wrong. “What if I had done this? What if I hadn’t done that? What if I were taller than her?”

I knew I would never be the same. Months passed, and this girl who told me that she didn’t want to be with anybody was still with Bryan. I couldn’t speak to either of them. To comfort me, Shaji would say, “Who cares? Just live your life!” And I did the best I could.

The following semester, I was playing tennis with Shaji. Bryan comes. I had come to accept what happened by that time. I wouldn’t say I was over it, but Bryan and I could more or less be around each other. His passenger side opened and a girl came out, but it wasn’t her. It was somebody else! It was finally over.

Slowly my bitterness faded, and my relationship with Bryan healed. Our friendship even surpassed what it had been before the incident, yet we never brought it up throughout the rest of high school or college.


I went back home this past weekend to visit my parents. It brought back memories of my adolescence. The emotional scars that once burdened me have not hurt for a long time. Those wounds have only shaped me. I’m a man now.

I called up Bryan to come play tennis. Every time we play, we talk about old times, but in the seven years since the drama, the events that occurred back in 2007 had still never been discussed. I assumed it was just something we both buried for good.

We were rallying and reminiscing about our memories on the tennis team. Suddenly, Bryan started laughing. He finally says it.

“Hey, I know we’ve never talked about this, like never, but…”

Somehow I already knew that he was going to bring it up. We had a good laugh about it. He asked if I could forgive him, but it was too late.

I had forgiven them a long time ago.


Dear Neighbors

I recently hand wrote a letter to the neighbors living below us and taped it to their door. It went something like this:

Dear Neighbors,

I am writing you to apologize for last night. I know that we got too loud for the second week in a row, and a football game is no excuse, especially if you have young children. Please forgive us. I do not want there to be any animosity between us, especially when we live in such close proximity. We will do everything in our power to keep it from happening again, so your family can have a peaceful home. If there is anything we can do for you, please call or text me at 713-xxx-xxxx. You can also email me at danielxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com.

God bless,

Daniel Moreno, apartment xxxx

The night before, the weather was really nice, so we opened our balcony door instead of using the AC. I sat in the open doorway while I watched the UT-UCLA football game. I had been drinking, and in my excitement for that first touchdown we made, I leapt into the air. I knew immediately this was a mistake. After I reached the peak of my jump, time went in slow motion. I had to somehow figure out how to hit the ground without making a loud noise. I extended my feet to try to cushion the fall. Nope. My heels struck the floor and made a loud thud.

This is such an issue because a couple of weeks earlier during the first UT game of the season, many people came over to my apartment to watch us beat UNT. Still being used to our single story apartment in west campus, we did jump for joy during that game. During the end of that game, a guy from downstairs and politely told us to shut up because he has two kids. He said it sounded like we were playing drums and that is was “just UNT.” He dropped the f-bomb a few times but did not raise his voice. He also talked longer than necessary to get us to be quiet (a simple “keep it down” would have sufficed, but my friend described it as a douchey “soliloquy”). Either way, we knew we were in the wrong, apologized, and moved on.

Now back to the UCLA game. There was silence after my feet landed. I was hoping that the noise maybe wasn’t that loud or that they would forgive one thud. They did not. This time, a woman walked outside beneath our balcony and yelled up at us. It went exactly like this:

Hey you assholes, when you jump, shit falls off my walls.

I immediately yelled back, apologizing. I think I said, “you’re right ma’am. Sorry, ma’am.” She had a right to be mad, and we were quiet from then on.

So then I wrote the letter. I wanted them to know that we were sorry and indeed not assholes. I hoped to receive some sort of text or call so I could actually talk to them. Instead, I got an email from the apartment complex about “an increase in community noise complaints.”

Oh well. I tried.

All right. I know that it’s entirely possible that they complained before I posted the letter on their door. Maybe they have made peace and did not tell us. Or maybe they hate us despite my attempt to make peace and are plotting for our destruction. Either way, we’ll keep it down. I don’t want a whole Neighbors thing to go down.

God’s Not Dead is a terrible movie

I was against the movie God’s Not Dead from the beginning. I saw the trailer and hoped nobody would ever go watch this, but, miraculously (hah), it made millions of dollars at the box office. I could tell it would be bad, and I read that it indeed was bad. I vowed never to give that type of production my money, but I kept hearing fellow Christians say stuff like, “It was good.” I was brought to my breaking point when somebody finally said, “it was so good.” That type of language is some Guardians of the Galaxy type description. I could no longer stand idly by. I needed a way to substantiate my claims that this movie should not be praised.

I immediately watched that movie. Luckily, I did not pay for it.

After the deed was done, some people questioned my actions. My good friend Thomas (also a Christian) was incredibly concerned:

I worry about you sometimes Daniel. Watching “God’s Not Dead” is definitely red flag behavior. If you need to talk about stuff, I’m here for you.

The overall message of this movie is very offensive and just wrong for several reasons. I’m going to do this buzzfeed style because that seems to be the only thing that people read nowadays.

6 Things God’s Not Dead Wants You to Take away from it:

  1. Everybody who is not Christian is amoral, insecure, abusive, selfish, greedy, and a complete douchebag.
  2. All atheists are atheists because God did not answer one of their prayers, so they are actually just mad at Him.
  3. Every atheist is on the verge of becoming a Christian.
  4. The best way for somebody to be converted to Christianity is if they are put in some sort of mortal peril (ex. cancer).
  5. Arguing is the best way to get people to believe in God.
  6. Christians don’t need to talk about Jesus when trying to make a case for God.

The main issue is that if I were to change the title of this list to 6 Things Christians Should Stop Thinking Are True, most Christians who knew what the heck they believe in would agree. But no. People see a movie that is supposedly “Christian” and think that it is speaking truth.

Here are some specific reasons this movie does a poor job of portraying true Christian faith, misrepresents other people groups, and tells a bad story:

  1. One of the character explicitly says that all atheists got that way because they are mad at God. Not true at all.
  2. The rich and greedy atheist hated his mother apparently because she had dementia and prayed.
  3. The ministers tried to rent a car. The rental guy drove the car to them and sat stranded as they drove off.
  4. The professor had a change of heart and decided to go find his Christian, live-in girlfriend at a Newsboys concert with thousands of people in attendance and no ticket.
  5. The atheist reporter lady only comes to Christ once she finds out she is dying because why not.
  6. What happened to the main character’s girlfriend after she dumped him. Probably died. She was actually a horrible character and actress.
  7. The guy from Duck Dynasty is in it.
  8. There was a fobby Asian student literally says, “I have placed out of all my core classes, including math and chemistry.”
  9. The Islamic father beats and kicks out his daughter once he finds out she’s Christian.
  10. A freshman in college doesn’t really put up great arguments against his professor. He just gets his professor to admit that his mommy died and then pokes at that nerve until he breaks in front of the whole class.
  11. The movie asks you to text everybody in your phone, “God’s Not Dead.” I’m sure that will go over very well.

Christians are already portrayed negatively in the media by many non-Christian productions. It’s very sad that even a Christian production can’t get it right either. God’s Not Dead leaves out the grace, love, and compassion that Christ came down to teach us while we were still sinners. This movie would be much more interesting if the protagonist struggled with the fact that people who do not know Jesus are just as moral as he is. It would be a humbling and true story, and it would also give the film a chance to explain what Christ has done for us. We don’t need more Christian propaganda that more often than not turns people from the church. For now, I’m just going to keep watching The Prince of Egypt until something better comes out.

TL;DR – God’s Not Dead is a smug Christian movie made for smug Christians to get them to believe that everybody who isn’t Christian is a smug, insecure prick. It barely mentions Jesus, is unbiblical, and insults every group of people that it wants us to reach out to and save. God help all the sunday school classes that will show this to their kids.