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Daralyn sat on the swing, her thighs sweating from contact with the black plastic seat. Her denim jumper stuck to her back and her lacy socks wilted in the sunlight. Her body rocked back and forth, legs and feet pushing against the air to build momentum. The metal chains that held her up creaked gently, supporting her.
“He’s cute,” Daralyn announced to her friend, Liz, pointing across the playground.
Liz’s eyes darted over to the monkey bars, where a brown eyed boy named mark played with his friends. He was wearing a Star Wars shirt and elastic-waist, khaki shorts. He and his playmates where pretending to be Harry Potter, dodging spells and casting their own.
That’s so hot, Daralyn thought to herself. “Hey Liz,” she said, “Go tell Mark I like him and I’ll give you a quarter.”
Liz immediately accepted, and hopped off her swing, running to where Mark stood.
Daralyn squealed in excitement as butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Her palms began to sweat and her small fists tightened around the silver links of the swing. Her nerves were going crazy.
Daralyn watched as her friend approached mark. She turned her head to the side and pretended that she was unaware of what Liz was doing. She didn’t want to look like a loser while her friend told Mark of Daralyn’s infatuation with him. Out of the corner of her eye however, she watched the scene closely.
Liz was giggling and saying something and Mark was looking uncomfortable. Everyone in the second grade knew he was painfully shy. Liz pointed to Daralyn on the swing. Dare snapped her eyes away quickly and pretended to talk to the blond girl who happened to be swinging next to her. The blond gave her a funny look, but Daralyn didn’t care. All she could think about was mark. His Spiderman backpack and light up shoes. She didn’t know much about his personality, but she knew she loved him.
Her train of thought crashed back to Earth as she saw Liz skipping towards her.
“So? What’d he say?” she inquired, anticipation echoing in her head.
“Ummmm… He likes Jessica…”
Daralyn’s eyes dropped down to the ground. So many emotions filled her. Pain, anger, frustration. Her heart was broken. She had tried and failed. He didn’t love her. He loved Jessica, a red-head who always wore pink Limited-Too shirts and glittery clip-on earrings.
Daralyn spent a moment pitying herself and her broken heart. She finally looked up, her eyes moist with tears.
A blonde boy in a red shirt caught her eye as he slid down the yellow swirly slide.
“Oh,” said Daralyn, pointing him out to Liz. “He’s cute.”