There he was...the new boy...cute, bitchen (a term for the time), a pompadour in his hair, tan, tall, and did I mention... cute?
I knew it...he was the boy I'd marry. At the very least, my boyfriend.
His name was Marty. It was mid-year and he was brand new to our school.
It was 6th grade (still elementary school in those days) and I was 11...with the confidence of a wet noodle.
But I knew I could make Marty like me. Somehow, someway, he'd see that I was the one. The one who'd change his life. The one who would make him feel welcome to this strange and new school.
And so began my quest.
A week or so had gone by since Marty's arrival. Several recesses had come and gone. Finally, I knew the perfect time had arrived. The time to reveal myself to Marty. The time he would meet his future girlfriend, and eventual wife.
So, I did what any 11 year old girl in love would do. It had to be just the right moment...the perfect opportunity. And one day, it happened. There may as well have been a rainbow shimmering in the sky. Everything in my entire being knew that this was the moment. My heart was beating fast, my palms were sweating, my breath, shallow.
And then...it happened. It was recess, once again. I slowly began walking toward Marty on the playground. With several girlfriends behind me for support, he was surrounded by the boys.
As my heart continued pounding, I continued walking. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Closer, closer, and closer I came to Marty.
He gazed into my eyes, and I knew this was it. My one moment in time. I walked right up to him, like a brave diva. I mustered up all the confidence I could and...
WHACK...I kicked him as hard as I could in the shin.
How else could a girl show her love, her intentions, and make her thoughts known?
There, I had done it...I had shown Marty how I really felt.
Apparently, Marty saw fit to express his feelings as well. He lifted his foot and once again, everything moved in slow motion. WHACK...he kicked me right back.
Only difference was, Marty was wearing Wing Tips. (for those of you who aren't familiar...these were hard, heavy, black shoes with a nicely formed point at the toe).
I was humiliated. Devastated. I slunk away with my head so low, it would have taken a crane to lift it. How could this have happened? How could Marty have kicked me back? How did I seem to know that his kick didn't have the LOVE behind it that mine had had?
Somehow the humiliation passed, and the semester was comimg to an end.
It was 6th grade graduation.
There was going to be a party for the boys and girls in someone's home.
I worked hard, and took my time to look pretty. It was to be my first ever boy/ girl party.
I was scared, excited, nervous...but maybe this would be the night...my last chance to prove to Marty that I was the girl for him.
Don't ask me where the parents were, but somehow we played a game of spin the bottle.
The bottle began spinning, and I watched as it came to a stand-still.
Thank goodness it didn't come to me first.
The boy and girl kissed. I looked on as they stuck their 2 sets of lips together and didn't move. While the two held their breath...the rest of us counted the seconds out loud...to see which couple could hold their lips together the longest...1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand, and so on, until they had stuck like glue for up to 12 seconds!
My heart was about ready to jump out of my chest. I wanted to be anywhere but at that party. I didn't feel pretty, I was scared, I had no idea how to kiss. I just wanted to run.
Now, it was Leanne's turn. My bestfriend in the world. She was to spin the bottle toward her destiny. And don't you know...she spun that bottle...right to Marty! HOW COULD THIS BE?
How could my best girlfriend do this to me? And let me tell you, she did it alright! They kissed, we counted.
1 one thousand, 2 one thousand, 3 one thousand...all the way up to 15 one thousand!
My life was ruined...over, ka-put. It was just too much to bear. Right then and there they had become boyfriend and girlfriend. My best friend and the boy I was to marry.
I don't think life could have gotten any worse than that moment. I couldn't wait to get home. I can't remember now how I got home or how quickly. I just know that when I came home, I knew I had changed. I knew that life was never going to be the same. It had happened. My first heartbreak. My first betrayal by a friend.
Life wasn't supposed to be this hard. Just the year before my father had died. Wasn't that enough? How could life be so cruel? And, yet, what I learned that night was invaluable. I learned that every boy will not like you just because you think they should. Every friend you make, will not necessarily stand by you.
These were important lessons to learn at such a young age. And I'm glad I did. I would go on to date other boys until the real love of my life would come along. The man who would see me as beautiful even without makeup and dressed in torn up blue jeans. The man who would accept my "kick" and love me anyway (and not kick back).
And I would learn, who my true friends were to be. Who would stand by and support me and not try to sabotage the things I found important.
I am grateful for these lessons.
But, I still think of Marty, and what could have been.
And what could have been was a beautiful, unscarred leg...because right where Marty kicked me, right smack in the middle of my shin...a great big scar remains...to forever remind me of the love that was never to be.