September 1, 2008
I'm the best jump-roper in the fourth grade.

Since kindergarten I've known exactly how to move my feet so I won't fall, not even when I criss-cross my arms. And I made it all the way to 100 jumps in a row last recess.

But that's nothing, last year I made it to 200! I don't know what's happening. I think I'm getting worse this year. And it's all this boy's fault. Every time he walks by to play watermelon with his friends, my feet get all tangled in the rope and I trip. I don't think he sees though. He's a fifth grader and they don't like us little kids who jump rope all recess.

I didn't think even 200 jumps would make him notice, but yesterday someone said he wanted to ask to sit with me at lunch! So today I was so excited, I even brought some extra Oreos in case he wanted one. I just couldn't concentrate on fractions or spelling and I almost got in trouble, but then the bell rang for recess. I had been staring at that bell all morning, waiting for my first chance to see him. I ran outside too fast and slipped a little. But I grabbed my jump rope and ran to my spot beside the watermelon players at recess.

I pretended not to care as I jumped next to the fifth graders, keeping the rope spinning steadily, under complete control. But I hid it behind my back as soon as I saw him. He was walking over and my heart was pounding. For once my feet stayed stuck to the concrete. When he waved, my hand dropped the plastic green handles of my jump rope and shyly waved back.

Then he smiled.

He opened his mouth to say the words I'd been waiting to hear all day, and that's when I heard another girl behind me.

"He wasn't waving at you." she said, and laughed with my fifth grader.

They ran away, and I had nothing to do but pick up the broken handles of my jump rope. The endless repetition of jump and twirl and the familiar cries of "watermelon!" comforted me, at first anyway.

Then they made me angry. I never wanted to see another boy at recess, or hear another girl laugh at me. But I did the only thing I could; I kept jumping. I jumped faster and faster, and to my delight, they began to disappear. All the kids who laughed and yelled; they were gone. The rope spun so quickly that it was all I could see. It made a green plastic bubble around me, to protect me from the world. I made it to 200 jumps. 300.

So here I am now, the fourth grader jumping for an eternity. You can't see me, and I can't see you. Nothing will hurt me.

I don't miss anyone. I'm fine on my own. Right?

Except, I've lost count and my legs are getting tired.

Maybe, just maybe
there's a tiny part of me that keeps wishing for someone to walk by with a smile.

Just so I can trip again.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

kat3620 said...
Oct. 3, 2008 at 12:23 am
not only did it sound authentically from a fourth grader's point of view, everything that was implied was way beyond a fourth grader's perspective and seems to mean so much more metaphorically. like the control the girl has in the beginning "i know exactly where to put my feet" is disrupted by falling in love with the boy, which brings chaos to her life. but when he rejects her, she isolates herself from everyone and cant seem to move on. but she seems to have hope at the end for someone... (more »)
Josebachachicken said...
Sept. 11, 2008 at 12:22 am
Awesome story!! It sounded authentically from a fourth grader's point of veiw. =)
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