Friday, December 28, 2007

Even flowers from the grocery store would've been a better way to go

I was home schooled for most of my life. But in the early years of elementary school I went to a public school.

It was there that I met a kid named Chris, who was clearly in need of some positive male role models. With longish hair feathered back on the sides, a rat tail, and protruding front teeth, he was the bad boy of second grade. Somehow he always seemed to have a black eye.

He teased me mercilessly: a thug with a crush, or just a thug? I couldn't tell until one day at recess.

I liked to swing, pumping higher and higher and then jumping at the peak. It was a daily contest to see who could jump the farthest, and we learned at what point in the forward arc to hurl ourselves so as to fly the longest. I was working to reach my ideal coordinates when I was hit on the arm, hard, with a rock.

I looked around to see Chris smirking up at me from beside the swings. Had I been a more aggressive child, I would have jumped off - height and length be damned - and pummeled the little bastard.

But I was a good child, and sweet, and so I ignored him.

And so he threw another one.

It landed in my lap, and here, I've got to give the kid credit for having a great arm with decent aim. A piece of paper was wrapped around the rock, which read like most elementary notes do:

"I like you. Do you like me? Check yes or no."

Had I been a more aggressive child, I would have chucked it right back at him along with a lecture about wooing the fairer sex.

But I was a good child, and sweet, and so I stopped pumping and slowed the swing. Hopping off, and marching past Chris' hopeful-but-incredibly-casual face, I tattled without shame, rock and note in hand as evidence. I probably even cried a little for effect as I pointed him out, skulking then by the teeter-totter.

I held my head high as he was lead to the principal's office. And because I was a good child, and sweet, I refrained from heckling.

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