The year was 1987. I was in the 6th grade. A pimply geeky kid who was desperate to impress his friends but had no mack game.

Her name was Heather. She was sorta pimply and geeky too. And a little on the chunky side.

We were at the 6th grade dance. One slow jam had already passed (“You Got it All” by The Jets if I remember correctly), and I’d played the wall. I was determined to dance with someone.

Then it happened. Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye” came on. A power ballad to end all power ballads, this song served as my introduction to slow dancing. My friends practically pushed me into Heather, who asked “Wanna dance?” I shrugged and squeaked out a “Yeah, sure” and before you knew it, we were amongst the other couples in the school gym, moving back and forth to Bon Jovi singing about high school memories (which we were still a good three years away from) and a relationship that had lasted since then.

“Never Say Goodbye” SHOULD have been the fourth single from Bon Jovi’s behemoth “Slippery When Wet” album, but their label, Mercury, shrewdly withheld its’ release as a single, forcing the 3 teenage girls in America who hadn’t bought “Slippery” yet to buy it. I lived in Michigan at the time, but I came home to New York for Easter and for the summer, and I remember the radio playing the shit out of this and “Edge of a Broken Heart” (which was a song from the Fat Boys movie “Disorderlies”). It’s held up quite well over the years, and I’m sure holds a sentimental spot in the hearts of couples whose memories echo those that Jon sings about.

I wonder what happened to Heather, anyway. If she’s anything like most of my other girlfriends from junior high and high school, she’s probably a lesbian.

(for L.R.)