Here's another fine literary offering from the mind of Manuel Labor. Names changed to protect the weak.
The first girl I ever called was Connie Cooper. She was tall. As long as I can remember, she was one of the tallest girls in class. Tall for a girl when she is 12 means something entirely different than when she is 25. Connie and I were big love note buddies. You know, I-like-you-do-you-like-me-yes-no-maybe kind of notes. She would always say yes. Then along came my friend James. He was interested in Connie, too. So during second grade (I think), we began an all out battle, vying for Connie's heart. Some days, we would see who could write more love notes to Connie. At some point, I guess she got tired of this. One day she sent my note back with a check in the "maybe" box. How dare she not say yes? (Let me note here that James was my note envoy to Connie, so he probably checked the box himself. At least I have always been highly suspicious.) So, I wrote her a note back, saying "I hate you" and sent it via James. The teacher was in a reading group at the time and stopped him on his way to his destination and asked what he was carrying. He gave the note to her. That traitor! Everyone knows you destory the note, eat it or something. He could have never been a double-naught spy. The teacher read my note out loud to the class, which as you can probably imagine, was not embarrassing at all. It was the only time I can ever remember telling anyone I hated them while I wasn't heavily medicated. Well, except for Dad. (Boy, that was a fun phase, wasn't it, Dad?) Of course I didn't mean it.
Anyhow, back to the phone call. I remember going into a room by myself, closing the door, and (What story was I telling again? Oh yeah...) psyching myself into it. I was incredibly nervous and obviously had no experience, so it never crossed my mind to think about what I might say to her if she answered. I called. A man which I assume was her dad answered. I asked to speak to her and he told me to hold. It was at this point that I distinctly remember picturing in my young mind Connie being upstairs in her room, and coming down a long, winding staircase to take my call. She came to the phone. I do not remember what I said. I just remember that the entire conversation seemed awkward to me. We got off the phone and I never told anyone what I had done. And I never called her again.
A couple of years later, a group of us at school were talking one day about who we liked and such. Connie was in the group and said something to the effect of, "This guy I really liked called me on the phone one time. I thought it was so sweet." And she looked right at me. For the first time, I realized that she liked me. She had liked me for a couple of years. For whatever reason, I never pursued things any further. I guess my priorities at that time were on other things. Girls were somewhere below Atari, baseball cards, and probably a couple of other things. There would be plenty of time for girls later. Back then, it seems like you were just friends with whoever was in your class, then the next year, you made new friends. No big deal.
Connie's dad was killed in a car wreck at some point while we were still young. It was just one of those things that you heard your parents say, and you knew it was bad, but you were too young to really understand. Seems like it happened over the summer, and by the time we got back to school, no one remembered it, or at least no one talked about it. Not long after that, Connie's mom moved her and her brother to another town. And if I ever saw Connie again, it was not more than once.
James and his family had moved to Florida for a couple of years. They were moving back about this time, and as fate would have it, they moved into Connie's old house. He and I got to be good friends. I went over to his house a few times. There was no winding staircase. It was just a normal, three-bedroom, one-story house. Funny how a young boy's mind can conceive such images.
I really enjoyed school, especially high school. I wasn't the most popular person, but I was somewhat popular. I was just kind of someone that everyone knew and made people laugh, and I came to really enjoy and relish that role, whatever it was. At the time, I am sure I was probably wishing the days away, in a hurry for it to be over. But now, I would love to go back for just one day and walk those halls one more time. But, time doesn't work that way. I occasionally have dreams where I am still in school, being late for class, not being able to remember my locker combination, or some other minor crisis. Sometimes I can close my eyes and almost hear the bell ringing and lockers slamming.
So where are they now? Well, James and I have remained good friends to this day. He got married a few years ago, and I went to his wedding. I still get a phone call from him every now and then. The first girl I ever called, well, she is married to a golfer on the PGA Tour. I won't say which one. No, it's not Tiger Woods. But he has finished in the top ten on the money list a couple of times. I guess she did OK for herself. And me... well, you know all about me.
I think I hear the bell ringing, so I guess that is all for now.
Don't want to be late for class.
"I'm real sorry 'bout the shape I'm in. I just like my fun every now and then..."