Things That Go Thump In Your HeartPosted by Fred
She wasn’t my first love but she was the first female to inflict womanly pain upon my soul. My first love was Lucy Williams in kindergarten. We once shared a mat during rest period and a couple of crayons afterword. Next was Laura Gail Fitzsimmons in the first grade, but she never knew it. She had flaming red hair, a few discretely placed freckles and kept a small lace handkerchief in her sleeve.
Miss Crystal was, actually, my third love … an older woman with whom I became smitten in the second grade. She was the trifecta, the hat trick, the ultimate in kid crushes! She was also the first to break my heart. From the moment I saw her, I knew she was the girl I would marry someday … as soon as I caught up with her. You see, Miss Crystal was my second grade teacher. That meant I had some serious growing to do before I could swap my secret dream for a worldly reality! Whenever I dared to steal a peek at her, she seemed to be wrapped in a Gaussian blur … like those long-lashed, fluttering-eyed beauties in the old silent films. A guy doesn’t forget things like that when he’s teetering on the brink of a major testosterone discovery. I was always the first to raise my hand to answer a question, whether I knew the answer or not.
In those days, even in public school, we did things like say the pledge of allegiance to the flag and recite The Lord’s Prayer … all of us together and all of it out loud! Sometimes the class took turns reading a passage from The Bible. One particularly disastrous day, during the prayer, I was in the act of telling the kid in front of me to turn around and mind his own business … or words to that effect, when Miss Crystal pointed a riveting finger straight at me and firmly said, “No talking!” I could feel my face suddenly transition to scarlet, as if the sun itself had popped out right there in the classroom. The love of my young life had scolded me! Before I could stop the words boiling in my brain from falling out of my mouth I blurted out, “He’s looking at me!” Without missing a beat she calmly replied with irrefutable logic, “If you weren’t looking at him, you wouldn’t know he was looking at you.” I was crushed. A knot tied itself tightly in my stomach … a double knot. How could she scold me like that when I loved her so much? My world was in a state of collapse but, unbeknownst to me, the worst was yet to come.
It came in the mail. A few weeks later, a small envelope arrived addressed to “Master Alfred Masey.” Anything addressed so formally to a kid was like a grownup getting a telegram … neither one of them ever brought you any good news. Sure enough. The fancy white card inside announced the marriage of Miss Deborah M. Crystal to … some guy. Some other guy! She hadn’t waited. I’d never catch up with her now! I made the transition from crushed to devastated to hopeless in less time than it took me to run upstairs to my bedroom and bury my face in the pillow. My folks thought I was happy for my favorite teacher. In the whole world, only I knew the truth.
The entire class had been invited and everyone said it was a beautiful wedding. Miss Crystal looked gauzier than ever in her flowing white dress and the double-knots returned to my stomach several times that day, especially when I collected a kiss on the cheek from the love of my young life. Then she walked away arm-in-arm with a tall, dark haired stranger in a long, dark suit … and disappeared into a limousine. When she returned to school, a few weeks later, she even had a different name. She wrote it on the blackboard but I didn’t pay much attention. She was no longer a part of my life and Miss Crystal was gone forever.
Listen to Bananas Crackers and Nuts Podcast. Find Links under “Recent Podcasts”… and more shows on my Podcast Page.