I fell in love for the first time in the sixth grade. He was an “older man.” A whopping fourteen. Two years later, he noticed me. The awkward middle schooler was growing up. We wrote letters over a summer while he was in Arkansas—real, hand-written letters. We didn’t have facebook. We didn’t talk on the phone.
I used to go on walks. I’d put my cocker spaniel on a leash, and we’d go. And I’d think. I’d think about him. I was scared. No boy had ever noticed me before.
I also thought about emotions. Why did we have to have them? I had air to breathe and food to eat. Why, then, did I have to feel this way?
It’s a question I still haven’t answered.