Tyree Brown was a 16 year old light skinned boy who worked at Quiznos. I was initially talking to his friend Adam, but we were introduced and he managed to steal my attention. After Ian, I decided I wanted to be open with my parents; no more lies and sneaking around. So the first day I went to hang out with Tyree my dad took me to the San Leandro BART Station so he could introduce himself. My dad looked Tyree deep in his eye and said:

“Look,this is my first born. You can take her out and have fun, but don’t pressure her, I don’t want to hear about any drama.”

Tyree agreed and we proceeded to hang out.

The next two months I spent a lot of time with Tyree. He talked to me about high school, the rap group he was in and how many girls wanted to be with him. I had attended elementary school and middle school with his two best friends so I already knew they were wild. This made me paranoid, but of course he told me “I used to be like them, but I changed.” I should of said boy BYE, but he was so attractive (everyone thought he looked like T.I.) that my gullible self decided to believe him and stay.

After a month, Tyree became very obnoxious. He would ask me for money (even though he had a job and I was surviving off my $20 a week allowance), he would pressure me to do things and he would have an attitude. I liked him so much I just gave and gave and gave without getting anything in return. All Tyree did was manipulate me by bringing up all the girls who wanted to be with him and reiterating how “lucky” I was to have him (hmm Deja vu). He was so cocky that he’d look in the mirror for minutes at a time and he’d take multiple pictures of himself. He made me feel like I was winning, so I continued to deal with him despite the stress, pressure and arguments.

In addition, when I first met Tyree he had mentioned that there was a possibility that he would be moving. The whole relationship I was hoping that his mom would decide to stay in San Leandro, but one day he called me and told me he was moving away in a week. At this moment I felt like I had been played. I felt like he knew he was moving the entire time and wanted to get what he could from me for the time being. When I found out he was leaving I was DEVASTATED. In my head I had imagined us being in high school like the couples I saw on TV. That’s So Raven, Clueless and other shows made me anxious to have that high school relationship. But now my boyfriend was moving an hour away.

At first I felt like Tyree was serious about me, because when he told me he was moving we both sat and cried on the phone. I was thinking okay we can make this work, but he was like obviously we have to break up. Then a week later I called Tyree and told him I missed him after he had moved. His response was so awkward that I knew our entire relationship was a joke. The same dude who was crying on the phone with me a week before sat there and said “Um why are you saying all this? We aren’t together anymore Michaela… I’m going to find someone out here.” I was so hurt I started going off on him. I was pissed at myself, because I vowed to never let a man manipulate me again, but Tyree had manipulated me even more than Ian. At 14 years old he sold me a dream and I bought every piece of it.

After that experience I was cool off Tyree. I decided to focus on transitioning into high school and finding myself. No reason to stress, I was going to get my perfect high school relationship one way or another! Or so I thought…