Become a Fan
By Elad Nostaw
Monday, July 29, 2002
The first time I saw her, I was catching a football and badly I might add. I was in the fourth grade and for no apparent reason, I suddenly noticed girls in the world. I mean, before that time I saw them, but something was different. They were pests before. Not only that, but they had cooties. They couldn't throw a football, couldn't shoot a BB gun and you couldn't let them near your tree house or else it had curtains hanging in it. Yes, in deed, God had played a cruel joke on them. When he made little girls, he left out all of the fun and doomed them to a life of boredom.
So, why was I suddenly trying to make her notice me? The center hiked the ball and I ran as fast as I could down the field. The quarterback threw the ball and I jumped high in the air to catch this pass as it gently floated down softly into my...lips. OK, so you're not supposed to be catching the ball with your lips. When I stood up, my mouth was bleeding profusely and I was trying my best to look cool at it. Needless to say, that's not possible, but she did notice me that first time. I had to go home after that and Pamela escaped me that day.
The next day, I noticed her at school during recess. She was watching me. I was very shy in my youth and used to rationalize why someone wouldn't like me. This day probably started that philosophy as the first thing I did was look behind me. I was standing next to the football field and all the way across it, was a guy standing in his back yard. I reasoned she must be looking at him because the only other person around was me and she certainly wouldn't be smiling at me. They now call this "Preparing yourself for a fall." You've heard of it? Well, that's me and I invented it! The bell rang about that time and we went to class.
I entered the room and got out my books. I was really a bookworm in school. I studied a lot and only played with my friends from after school. They were a ragtag group of misfits like me that I had picked up in my first three years of elementary school. In the fourth grade, I had no classes with them so I was quiet in class and the class clown after school...with certain people. I dropped my pencil and it rolled behind me. I bent down and it was lodged against the well shoed foot of Pamela. This was April and I was so lost I suddenly noticed she was in my fourth period class. Where had the year gone? I reached for the pencil and as I did my eyes kind of rolled up her legs and up into her eyes. They were a beautiful green color that sparked my imagination. How had I missed her for so long? She was smiling too and I think in my fear I must have froze long enough for my gawk to turn into a stare of some consequence. But she just kept on smiling. I smiled back, picked up my pencil and I was so shook up that when I said "Excuse me!" for invading her foot, it came out so soft as to be barely audible. I repeated myself with the same result. Lets face it: These feelings were foreign to me and she intimidated me. I grabbed the pencil and turned quickly around. Several minutes passed and I turned to see if she was watching. She wasn't actually watching but my actions caught her attention. She leaned forward and softly whispered "How's your lips?"
Well, my head began spinning quite a bit as I fantasized about kissing her. You see, I had assumed she meant a kiss. In reality she meant from the bombardment of the football. Then I heard it again. "How's your mouth feel?"
I was slightly embarrassed by the flight I had just taken around the room: Meaning my light head. I looked back smiling, and probably looking somewhat like a hillbilly, responded "Oh, They are OK!".
Her voice was so dreamy, I will never forget it. You see, in those days, I lived in Louisiana. Her accent was different. People from Louisiana don't have accents, just ask them. The rest of the country does. She was from Arkansas, I found out later and I might add the first Yankee I had ever met. (Yes, Arkansas is a Yankee State in Louisiana.) There was something about her though and the rest of the day I spent most of the time explaining to my teacher two things: 'Was I paying attention' and 'Why I couldn't answer the question she just went over.' I was daydreaming a lot.
I left school that day with a new found respect for womanhood. I didn't talk to her anymore at school during that week but I did make up every excuse I could to turn around in my seat for this and that. It was true love obviously, even though I didn't know what that meant just yet. A song comes to mind here by Donnie Osmond- And They Call It Puppy Love. Now parents always tell you that. "It's just Puppy love. You'll get over it." Well, I'm a parent and I never tell my children that. Why? Because I still remember it, so it cant be as easy as all that to forget. Maybe all love affairs aren't the same, but your first you always remember.
The weekend arrived soon enough and I was right back out on that football field. We had been playing about an hour when Pamela showed up at the field again. She arrived just in time to see me sandwiched by two mean fifth graders. I was hurt and lying on the ground. A crowd had gathered around and from my point of view there were several big heads looking down at me. I'm certain the conversation went something like this.
"Is he alive?" asked Jimmy.
"I think so. But his eyes look kind of funny moving in opposite directions like that. Do you think we should call his Mom?" Jonesie asked as he looked at me.
"I dunno. Lets drag him over there for now. If he's not better in a few minutes we'll go get someone." Jimmy responded.
About that time the heads parted and it was then that I knew I had died. You see it was Pamela standing over me. The guys carted me off the field and placed me on the blanket beside it. Pamela sat down beside me and we talked for a while. I was much better after she arrived. I only felt bad occasionally as my friends would make an appearance to get me back in the game. I liked it just where I was. We talked for about two hours and then I walked her home.
The walk home was long and slow. I didn't want it to end, but like all great things in life, it eventually does. As we approached her house I got a bit nervous. I had never kissed any girl besides my Mom and that was on the cheek. We paused at the front of the yard and talked just a bit more. I'm certain she was every bit as nervous as I was. Finally I said good-bye and leaned in kissing her. It wasn't the type of kiss with open mouths. It wasn't the type of kiss that even sends shivers up your spine. It was just the type of kiss ... you never forget. Need I say more?
With that I began my long trek into manhood. We saw each other over the summer and like so many romances, they eventually end. I have had several come and go. Each one means something and each one brings a memory back to me. Perhaps as we look back into time, we forget the why's and all we have left are the moments. And in the end, maybe it's the moments that count! This one did.
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