Farewell, My Love This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Tears flowed down my face and sobs echoed through my tiny room. I just couldn't stop crying. Why did it have to be this way? We were meant to be together forever; and then he moved away.

Kindergarten was a rough year for me. My first true love, Stevie Moore, moved to some faraway place (which I later learned was the next town). He had soft curly red hair. It wasn't freaky curly and it wasn't bright red. Masculinely wavy with an auburn tint to it, his hair dusted his forehead. His face was dotted with freckles, but they became him, as did his smile which was the cutest I had ever seen or ever will see. Although only five years old, he had the charm of a Casanova.

My love for Stevie was never displayed blatantly. We'd share blocks or clean up fingerpaints together. When it was story time, I would sneak and grab the seat next to his (very nonchalantly, of course). Because he only lived around the corner, we rode on the same bus to school. He resided in a huge white house with giant pillars in front, right next to the big white church. There were only about five of us on the bus and since I got picked up first, I would always save him the front seat. In the afternoon we would play games while we waited for the bright yellow school bus. We played "Mother, may I?" with one of the teacher's aids in the stairwell that was so cold and damp during the winter months. Mrs. Oster, our playmate, was a portly woman with short orange, curly hair, who wore what seemed like clown's make-up. She had a deep, froggy voice and she was one of the nicest people I had ever met.

As I mentioned, we never displayed our affection for each other. Our secret was hidden from the world until I allowed my mother to know the horrible truth. It was my fifth birthday and all I wanted was for him to come to my party.

"Mom, I really want him to come," I whined.

"So just invite him, honey," she replied.

"But Muuuuum, he won't come! It's gonna be all girls and I know he won't wanna come!" I cried.

Mom always had the same answer for my dilemmas, "Well, it's up to you. Do what you want. I'll be happy with whatever you decide."

Well, I didn't invite him. How could I? Ten girls and one boy , what would everyone think? I couldn't let them know I was secretly in love with , ICK , a boy! I couldn't let them know he filled my thoughts every moment of every day, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this pint-sized, chubby-faced man of the world, that he was the sustenance of my being.

Convulsively the sobs shook my body; I thought I was going to die. The creaky stairs gave away my mother's steps. Every third stair creaked like a rusty gate on a rainy Sunday morning. Softly, she walked into my room to comfort me.

"It's okay, honey, it'll be all right," she said. Her attempts were futile. Nothing would ever make me feel better; I would never get over this tragedy.

He had walked into the classroom with Mrs. Roe, our kindergarten teacher, who was a plump lady with smile that never left her face. Her hair was black and cut very short like my father's. Her bright blue eyes seemed to stare right through you without being threatening.

"Kids, today is Stevie's last day with us. His family is moving away, so let's all be extra-specially nice to him today," Mrs. Rowe pleaded.

Extra-specially nice! Was she kidding? Stevie was leaving me forever and I had to be nice to him? My thoughts were all jumbled. I couldn't move. My hands were dripping with sweat and I knew my face was bright red. (My face turns red very quickly when my emotions are stirred. In an instant the blood rushes to my face and I look like I have a third-degree sunburn.) I could feel my eyes stinging and I had to run to the bathroom before everyone saw me break down and bawl like a baby. I was no baby. The bathroom was cold and clean. We had our own bathroom and no one had used it yet since we were the morning class. It smelled like a million lemons and I sat down on the floor in front of the door. Trying to cleanse my soul of the terrible pain and hurt I felt, I breathed deeply. Finally, I pulled myself together and walked back to become part of the class.

For the remainder of the day, I blocked the terrible truth from my mind. We played "Farmer in the Dell." Stevie was the farmer. He chose me for his wife. I tried not to look at him. It was too painful.

It was almost time to go home and I had to face the reality of never seeing Stevie again. The "goodbyes" began and I tried to think of something to say. See ya later? Have fun? I'm gonna miss ya? I love you??? My time was up.

"Megan, don't you want to say goodbye to Stevie?" Mrs. Roe interrupted. Of course I didn't want to say goodbye to Stevie but I had to. I walked over to where he was standing, surrounded by what seemed the rest of the world, our morning kindergarten class. He wasn't smiling that cute smile that made my insides melt. His chubby face was drooping and his eyes were like those of a lonely bassett hound. I stood in front of him and a huge lump rose up in my throat.

"Bye," was all I could say.

"Bye," was his whispered reply.

I don't remember if he kissed me or if I kissed him, but I do remember that we kissed.

That night I cried myself to sleep. The next morning was cold, dark, and damp, but I got up and went to school just like I did for the next twelve years. Life went on but I would never forget my first true love, Stevie Moore. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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