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Preschool Sweethearts

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She sauntered into class, hair cascading down her back like liquid gold, eyes sparkling like sunlight reflecting off of newly fallen snow. I knew right then that I had to have her. She took her seat at the far left corner of the classroom, waiting for the teacher to start taking attendance.
As Mrs. Letterman called out the first few names, I snuck a peek at my soon-to-be wife.

“Lucy Matthews.” the teacher said.

She raised her hand shyly, blushing the entire time. So that’s her name, Lucy Matthews. Well that’s her name for now. Pretty soon, it’ll be Mrs. Laurie Strong. For the rest of the day, I fantasized about our future. We’d have a cozy house on the water, a garden that bloomed with life every spring and maybe even a little backyard with a tire hanging from a tree for our children to play on. Hmm, maybe this year of preschool won’t be so bad after all, I thought to myself. However, I had spoken to soon, for my dreams were crushed the next day when in Lucy walked, hand in hand with Joey Chicarelli.
I didn’t understand how it happened. How could she fall for Joey Chicarelli? How could she be in love with him and not me? I was sweet and I was adorable. I was the cute little boy in the plaid shirt. Joey Chicarelli, however, was gross. He never listened in class and his shirt never matched his pants. He never finger-painted when it was finger painting time and he always cheated during hopscotch games. His name alone was awful. I mean sure mine sounded a teensy bit on the feminine side but what can I say? My mom wanted a girl and me being a boy wasn’t really going to change that so Laurie it was. Joey Chicarelli? What excuse did he have for a name like that?
All throughout lunch, I pondered my dilemma. What was it about Joey that sparked Lucy’s interest? What did he have that I didn’t? I racked my brain but came up with nothing. I was a cute, responsible kid with manners. Joey was a brat, a troublemaker. Lucy belonged with me.
That year, Joey and Lucy continued to date. The worse he got, the more she fell for him. I couldn’t fathom what made that boy so intriguing to her. Suddenly, it hit me like a ton of bricks. A wave of relief washed over me because I knew what to do to win her over. Lucy didn’t want some goody-two shoes. She didn’t want some sweet little kid. She wanted a bad boy. She wanted a Joey Chicarelli.
My heart raced and my palms began to sweat with the excitement building inside of me. I would finally be with Lucy Matthews. The end of the year was quickly approaching and I knew that there was no way I’d get her to fall for me in time but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t just try the following year. When kindergarten started, I was going to be the most annoying, disobeying, ill-behaved seven-year-old Lucy had ever seen. Joey Chicarelli didn’t stand a chance.



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