The summer before I went into seventh grade, I fell in real love. Of course I was in love before. I loved Dale, the boy I never did get to kiss in kindergarten. I loved Warren in first grade; that is, until he got a buzz cut, and that was it for him and me. I always loved Georgie, he was my best boy-friend ever. But John. John was a whole new kind of love.
John lived about a mile away from me, but I never met him because he went to Catholic School. I don’t even remember how we did meet, but I do remember he was the shining memory of that summer. That summer when I knew I was going to the high school. I knew it. That was the best. Then I met John, and the best became better.
John had a two brothers; one the same age as Deanna and one the same age as Bonita, and a little sister the same age as Vickie. That’s the way Catholic families are: bunches of kids. But for some reason, God stopped there for John’s family, where God just kept on giving my mom and dad kids. Maybe it was account of John’s Mom, Mrs. G. was busy teaching girls how to be secretaries and have good manners, and never wear slacks to school. She was super strict and grumpy as all get out. My mom just stayed home and sewed and canned and handed out chores to all her kids and was mostly in a good mood, unless somebodies shoes got lost or she was late getting somewhere, or the house was a rip-snorting pigpen. If those things happened, she might have a screaming banshee fit, or she might just bite down hard and swallow a lot.
Anyways, somehow me and John met and fell in love. I should remember how we met, but I don’t. Almost everyday, he walked across the field one way, and I walked the other way, and we met somewhere in the middle. We didn’t have any streets to cross, or sidewalks, or backyards. Just fields. We talked a lot. I think we must have, cuz what else would we do? We were outside with no TV or radio or board games or even a bike. And no one else was around, so we must’ve talked and walked.
When we walked, we kept bumping into each other, like we never learned how to walk in a straight line. One minute, my feet were straight, and the next minute my shoulder bumped up against John’s. Once our hands brushed and it felt like I my heart hit up against the electric fence that kept the cows from running all over tarnation. I’m pretty sure John felt a jolt, too, cuz he and I jumped away a little. Still, I sorta liked that shocky feeling, so before long, we brushed together again, and after enough brushing of hands, John grabbed mine and didn’t let go. Tingles went all over me. That’s when I knew I was in love for real. Not the kind of Dale or Warren or Georgie kind of love. The love I had for John was the movie kind of love. I knew it on account of I had that same mushy feeling like when I saw those movie lovebirds kissing in the shower, or when that couple was smootching under the apple tree. Continue reading