I spent six of my summers at Camp JORI, from when I was nine to fifteen, skipping one year when I was twelve. It was a camp for Jewish kids in Wakefield, Rhode Island, right by Worden's Pond. It wasn't really a hard-core Jewish camp. We didn't have to observe the Sabbath every weekend, and we didn't have to follow Orthodox customs unless we wanted to. We kept kosher, said a short prayer before and after meals, and had short services once a week. Besides all that, it was just like any other overnight camp.

I remember one year when I was an LIT, a Leader in Training. There was a campfire one night, so my best friend Madison and I, being the avid artists that we were, grabbed our sketchbooks and pencils and headed over. We sat with her friend Kye, a "junior" (twelve, nearly thirteen years old. I didn't know him. Actually, I'd never even spoken to him before. But since he was a friend of my best friend, it was necessary to get along with him, and to oblige when he and his friend asked to look through my sketchbook.

After flipping through a few pages, Kye's friend, Brian, stopped at a picture I had drawn of a woman in the anime style.

"Man, Kye, this chick is hot."

"Yeah, I know she is."

"You're not even looking at the picture, dude."

"Oh…the picture? I thought you were talking about…never mind."

Brian looked at Kye in disbelief, slack-jawed. "DUDE! YOU THINK SAMANTHA'S HOT!"

All Kye could do was look at me and grin while I smiled back uncomfortably and moved a couple of inches away. I was, I'll admit, a little bit creeped out, but I really didn't think that his attraction to me would turn out to be such a big deal.

I spent every day of the rest of the month running from his advances. Boys from the junior cabin would come to me and tell me that he wouldn't stop talking about me. Girls from my cabin would tell me that his following me around all the time was becoming insufferable. But after over a week of avoidance and no sign of his stopping, I just let it roll. Besides, I couldn't out-right tell him to back the hell off. That would have been mean; me being fourteen and him being just a young twelve-year-old boy.

Not to mention, it could be very funny at times.

And maybe something else.

At the end of the summer, we exchanged email addresses, and talked to each other a little bit over the school year. When he started talking to me about the girls he was interested in, I knew his attraction to me was gone, and I was relieved. It allowed me to start thinking about him as a real friend, and we got fairly close, though we never saw each other.

Months later there was a JORI reunion at a roller-skating rink. I looked forward to seeing Kye for the first time in so many months, and we spent most of the reunion hanging out together. Of course, we each had other friends, and split up sooner or later. Kye off with his friends, I went to sit down with my own friend, Abby.

He took a drink of his soda and looked at my seriously. "So you've been hanging out with Kye a lot today, huh?"

"Yeah. He's pretty cool."

"You know he still likes you."

"Abby, please, he does not. If he still liked me he would still be acting like a creepy-ass little boy. But he's been normal."

"He hasn't stopped talking to you this whole time."

I didn't really care about what Abby said. If he didn't like me, he didn't like me. And if he did, he did. What was the big deal? Not to mention…

It was very funny.

And maybe something else.

Sure enough, the following summer was full of come-ons, invitations to dances, and LIT boys constantly telling me that I needed to tell their cabin-mate to back the hell off. But I couldn't. He was older now, but that would still be mean of me…right? And as it turned out, unlike last summer, there was another boy in Kye's cabin, a new boy named Mike…

…I'm sure you can guess where this one goes.

Throughout the summer, I watched them duke it out verbally for me. I watched them each fall over themselves to do things for me. I watched them lose their words when I tried to talk to them. I watched them look dejected every time I rejected their advances, walking away from them with a look on my face like I'd just seen the bloody monster from the Black Lagoon.

It was sweet. It was funny.

Then one day another LIT boy named Aaron came up to me and told me I needed to stop leading the both of them on.

That was the day I learned that I really, really, really like attention.