© 2007 Brooke Allen
Originally published in International Family Magazine
I won’t tell you her name, but I will tell you when and where it hit me. It was in Latin class during the spring semester of the eighth grade.
She was beautiful and smart. What a wonderful smile. What a cheerful laugh. Blonde… blonde doesn’t hurt. Poised. Friendly. And smart… did I mention that.
We shared three other classes: Advanced Math, Science and History. How could I have not noticed her before?
At night, as I would go to sleep I could imagine our future life. We would study together. Tell jokes. Hold hands. Kiss, even.
She would be in a car accident and I would take care of her until she recovered.
I would develop a terrible disease and she would stay by my side in the hospital, holding my hand and crying. I’d pull through and we would swear to each other never to be apart.
We would marry.
Our love developed like this from the fall through the winter.
She must have noticed that I was staring at her.
One day she followed me to my locker.
She said, “Hi.”
I was mortified… struck dumb. “I… I…” I stammered, “I can’t talk to you right now. I’m very busy.”
I slammed my locker and ran down the hall. I’d hoped she thought I was needed somewhere in a hurry and that she would not think I was running from her.
That night I could not sleep. What was wrong with me? I was an idiot. Was that any way to treat your lover? She would never speak to me again.
I was right; she never did.
Any wonder? I had treated her badly. I avoided her path; her eyes.
My torture lasted through the summer. I don’t remember when it stopped. Mourning doesn’t end abruptly… it fades away.
I hoped she would never get over me and that she knew that I would one day become her one true love. I hoped she would see that right now I was needed elsewhere for a secret and extremely important assignment and she would wait for me.
So that is how I spent my eighth grade; the first half in the future and the second half in the past.
What a hell is immature love.
Love is found in the now, not in the then or the when.