Many, many years ago in a faraway place (okay, in the same place) Jessi was considered a heart-breaker. Today, that couldn't be any further from the truth but in elementary school I broke my first heart and looking back on it, I do feel a little guilty.
|The lil' heartbreaker circa 4th grade.|
His name was Toby*. He was the cute kid with chubby cheeks, always on the playground with skinned knees and a sun-kissed skin. He had shaggy brown hair and beautiful brown eyes. And even though he was sweet and we were considered friends, for some reason, he was never this girl's type.
It all started in fourth grade when I would constantly catch him staring at me from across the class. After a few weeks of this awkward interaction, he eventually began talking to me on the playground. Then, the school directories were passed out. Remember those? All students were listed with their phone number and address. (I always knew these were a bad idea.) He had my address and phone number, and the rest is history.
It started out innocent enough. I would be in my house and notice him and his best friend skateboarding in the parking lot next to my house. After a few times of me not taking the bait, his friend seemed to get bored. I heard him chanting my name from the lot next door and my face instantly turned red. The last thing I needed was my parents seeing this! I ran next door and told them to go home and leave me alone. A smile spread across Toby's face as he rolled away. He must have thought that I was playing hard to get (they always do) because it only got worse from there.
Next thing I knew, he was calling my house. My mother answered and found out who it was. A grin spread across her face as she handed the phone to me. However, I had a better idea for how this was going to end. I handed the phone to my babbling three-year-old sister and left the room. I never did talk to him on the phone, and let's put it this way: my sister loves to gab. Poor Toby.
He would spend the rest of the year trying to get my attention but honestly in fourth grade, boys were the last thing on my mind (until fifth grade, that is.) I never gave him the time of day, but his heart never wavered. That summer though, he moved across town which meant he went to a different elementary school for fifth grade. I'd be lying if I said I went back to school that fall and didn't notice he was missing. I remember asking around "just wondering" where he was. Maybe I missed him, but maybe I just missed the attention. Okay, I think I did miss him just a little bit.
The summer before middle school hit, and I had completely forgotten about Toby. I was smitten over John (remember him?) and summer was the only thing on this soon-to-be sixth grader's mind. But one hot day, we had a knock on the door. I went to see who it was and my heart dropped. There was Toby on my back steps, drenched in sweat with his bike dropped in my driveway.
"Uh...hi?" I said.
He smiled and it was the same smile he had given me almost two years before. It was like nothing had changed....at least with him. He said he rode his bike across town because he had a lot to tell me. I had a nervous flutter in my stomach and shut the door behind me and stood barefooted out on the hot steps with him. He looked at me and said something about how much he had missed me and going to school with me. He said that I was prettier than all the girls at his other school. He said that he was so glad we were going to the same school in the fall and that he hoped we would have classes together. I smiled politely, and I felt my heart skip a beat. But I didn't give in. I forced a smile and thanked him. I said it was nice to see him. Then I went inside and shut the door.
And that's all, folks. Ever heard of the one that got away? Maybe it was him. That fall, I kept liking John and Toby kept liking me. Yet I never gave him a chance. Maybe if it was meant to be, then it would have been. After sixth grade though, we didn't have very many classes together. Not until senior year when I tried to be friendly and he constantly gave me the cold shoulder. My, how the tables turned. We lived in the same town but we have next to nothing in common. We definitely became opposites in high school: different friends, different choices, completely different lives. Oh, to daydream about how things could have changed if I had given Toby a chance. But I think that we all need to have our heartbreaker phase, and it's probably best that I got mine out of the way early, when it was still cute and acceptable. Oh, poor Toby.
*Name changed to protect the innocent.