Since it appears FCN has become such a popular blog, I wanted to jump on the guest blogging bandwagon. Although I am a bit younger than this blog’s typical audience, I am an aspiring writer and any opportunity to get a story out there is always good for me. I have enjoyed reading Joanie’s past posts about her childhood, so I wanted to share one of my own.
When my family first moved to my hometown… well, that doesn’t make sense but we moved there when I was six, so it seems like my hometown to me, there were tons of kids in the neighborhood. That’s how it always is right? When you’re young, the neighborhood is swimming in children, but by the time you’re seventeen, everyone but maybe one or two families remain and new ones have taken their space. That’s exactly how we were. Most of the kids were around my age, maybe a few years older or younger, but it didn’t really seem to matter how old we were at that time.
At first when we moved to the new house, I was not exactly happy with my parents. By moving, they had taken me away from all of my friends, crushed my dreams of becoming a professional ice skater (our new town didn’t have an ice skating rink, NOT OKAY!), and didn’t even build me a jungle gym in the backyard. Like, come on parents! You’ve gotta be kidding me. But their excuse was a valid one: There was a lovely park only two blocks away from the house. At some point, I remember going to the park almost everyday. I have so many good memories at there. I used to bring books to read there, my journal to write. I would sit down there for hours. At one point, some of the neighborhood kids and I even had a type of fort in the tree line along the tiny creek. There was a perfect path paved and someone even brought down old, worn folding chairs and disposed car rugs to make it seem more “homey”. Some of them are even still there today, although weeds have grown through the path and spray paint covers the trees, but the memories still linger there.
The particular story I want to share was when I was about ten years old and in fourth grade. For those of you who don’t remember, fourth grade is a HUGE year in the life of an elementary school kid. You are finally considered an upperclassman of sorts, since you have reached the latter half of your elementary school career. But what I mostly remember about my fourth grade year was simply boys.
I went boy crazy in fourth grade, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I “went out” with basically every boy in my class of twenty. But eventually, I settled on someone, a boy named Carter. He was dumber than a box of rocks, but damn was he good looking. I could barely believe that he liked me, but I didn’t care. The note he passed me in Mrs. Holmes class with the circle around the word yes to my simple question ‘Do you like me?’ was all the proof I needed.
But of course there was a problem: his best friend, Michael, liked me. Well crap. A fourth grade love triangle? This had happened before, but not to anyone I knew. It was something of mythical proportions. Michael was a red haired, average looking kid, who I had always sensed had a crush on me. He lived in the neighborhood, and often hung out with his friend Joe. Michael and Joe would come to my house and leave me funny notes on my front porch and some nights we would stay up late playing basketball on Joe’s driveway.
But it was one night at the park I remember almost exactly. I had been standing near some friends when I saw Joe and Michael go down by the fortress and followed them. At some point Joe left, maybe beckoned by his parents, leaving Michael and I alone. We weren’t in the fortress this time; he was down in a sort of caved in part of the ground by the creek. It wasn’t too wide, but it big enough for me to almost slip into, and when Michael reached down to try and help me out, he fell in too, causing him slide under me in the mud and our faces were so close I could barely believe it. Was this it? Was going to be my first kiss? That’s probably the most nervous I have ever been in my whole life. I think he probably four inches from my face when Joe came back and laughed because it looked like Michael had poo all over his jeans and he helped us both out.
Not long after this incident, just before school let out for summer, Michael confessed his “like” for me to our friend Nolan, who of course told Carter who then told me. The gossip go around and people got a pretty big kick out of it, but I didn’t think it was that funny. At this point, Carter and I were either officially “going out” or very close to. I think most people thought that he had no chance with a girl compared to Carter.
But the one part of the whole story that I still can’t get over is that by the time fifth grade started, Michael and his family had moved away. I could barely believe it! I hadn’t seen him much that summer, but when I thought about it, I realized I had stopped seeing him casually bike past my house once or twice a day sometime near the end of July. I never even got to say goodbye!Carter and I ended up going out until around the beginning of sixth grade (still the longest relationship of my life so far, thank you very much). But I have to admit; I spent most of fifth grade thinking about Michael and where he was and what he was doing and who his first kiss actually would be. This was before Facebook and before eleven year olds started getting iPhones so I just had to sit in Mrs. Bergmann’s class staring out the window, thinking of his freckles and red hair. I have been tempted to look him up on Facebook once or twice, but I wouldn’t want to ruin it and see him happy with his new girlfriend. I’d rather have him stay in my memories in his ten-year-old body, still in “like” with me, playing soccer in the street in front of my house. That’s exactly where I’d like him to stay.