A casual conversation became animated when recalling our childhood crushes. How serious we took every element of our youthful experience. One girl said she wished she could go back in time and tell herself that her entire schooling experience is bullshit and has no relevance in life.
Back to me...............So there I was a handsome 7 year old in grade 2. A hopeless romantic in his prime. Aspiring to be the hero by getting a beautiful girl on his side to parade around during lunch break at school. They say a boer maak a plan maar Gham maak magic. And so I set a plan in motion.
I was in love. She captivated my heart with her luscious locks and endless lips. She had the swagger that knocked off your grey school socks. Her smile was so intense in wrinkled my tie and creased my shirt. You get the point. She had to be mine and I would use my lunch money to pay off the other vultures to stay away from her. It was time she knew who her future ex husband was. I would do it the manly way. I could slip her a note with my intentions of courtship and await her approval. It will be graceful and elegant. So at home I took out my best crayons and ensured they were super sharp and in pristine condition. I ripped out a page and began to write those Epic words. "I love you!"
To the point with no ambiguity. Now I had to conceal the note before going to school. I couldn't put it in my case as my mother could see or friends at school would find it. What would James Bond do? Yes, he would hide it in his shoe. There I went with my offer of love tucked nicely in my shoe. So off I went in my tiny grey shorts with a little white shirt. Our tie
was black and grey horizontal stripes. My grey socks were pulled up over
the knees. Thats how we rolled back in the day. You see, in South
Africa we wear uniforms to school which is less stressful and cheaper in retrospect.
I would take it out at break time and allow fate to take over. Of course even the smoothest secret agent has unforeseen misses. At school we completed one teaching session and break time I slipped in the toilets and hid around the corner away from prying eyes. I got the note out of my shoe and gave it one more look. Oh shit. The heat of my feet slightly melted the crayon leaving it a little smudged but thankfully still legible. Too late now, the end was near, no turning back.
So break ended and we back in class. I needed someone to pass the message to my love who was sitting 3 seats in front of me. I needed an unassuming person who would not open the note and make a big drama and intentionally derail my mission. Finally after some reconnaissance I found what in spy circles we call a "dum duiker", I called her over and told her straight up to give this note to the girl 3 seats in front of me and not to open it on her life. She agreed and off she went.
I wish I could convey in all seriousness how life changing this was for me. I am finally declaring and giving into my infatuation. You might think me dramatic but a 7 year old has feelings too damn it!! Who are you to judge?? Thats all Iam saying. Even with such youth the moment was genuine and sincere. Opinions might change as you grow but that moment will always be true.
Then ............she..............raises...........the ........note............and ..............tears it up into little pieces :(
Why?... is the question I have been asking for years. Did I write my name on the note? I cant remember. Did the messenger say my name? I dont know. I do know I was shattered. All I know is that I was never the same again. It was a story deserving of an entire Oprah show. Gutted is an understatement, but gutted I was.