I remember the first time I fell in love. I was a sporty-spiced 4th grader at Holston Elementary School. I was sitting in class working on my multiplication tables when I saw him. Timothy. His family has just moved to town and he was new to our class that day. Timothy was wearing a blue shirt, jeans and some sort of funny little sneakers. He had a cow-lick on the back of his head. His hair was dirty blonde and his eyes, well, his eyes were the bluest blue I had ever seen. I immediately liked him.
Throughout the school year we would send notes to each other. I would always ask him if he liked me, followed by a “yes” and “no”. This is ironic because, mostly, I was a very shy kid, teenager and young adult. I suppose hand-written notes were the text messaging of the 80s and 90s. Anyway, Timothy’s answer was always “no”. In spite of my disappointment, we somehow remained fun friends, playing basketball together everyday at recess.
Then it happened. One glorious day, I opened up my note to find Timothy had finally circled “YES”. The world stopped. I got butterflies. My head began to tingle. I thought I might throw up. I looked up to see those baby blue eyes peering back at me. I smiled and looked away immediately. Timothy actually liked ME!
I’m not sure how long we “went together”, but it was a substantial amount of time in child-days. One chilly winter afternoon, I got a note from him in the middle of math class. “Meet me in front of the gym after school. I’m going to kiss you.” Crap. How would I get out of this one? I was such a shy, nervous little ball of butterflies. How would I manage to stand there without barfing all over him? Later that day, I remember telling him “You’re not going to kiss me!”. He coyly replied with “Yes I am!”
When the bell rang, I ran to the gym. I held my green lunch cooler so tight in my hand, you could see my fingers turn white. I felt the butterflies again, churning like there was no tomorrow. I saw Timothy walking down the hall with a big smirk on his face. I felt my stomach drop. As he got closer, I began to sink down towards the floor. Timothy said “Yes I am!” as he leaned in for my left cheek. This was the point I lost all rational thought and decided I needed out of this situation. I took my little green lunch cooler, swung it into the air, making contact with his little sweet face. He managed to get his kiss, despite my efforts to smash his skull in.
Sometime down the road, he sent me a note telling me he no longer wanted to “go together”. I was crushed. I cried for days. Since then, I’ve revisited that feeling more times than anyone should have to. I always say I’m never going back. I always swear I’m never giving it another shot. I always try to look the other way. And I always fail. Sometimes, I wonder if my life would have been different had I not crushed Timothy’s face with my little green lunch cooler.