Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Kindergarten Crush

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Outside and a little to the right of our elementary school building was a big cement play area. There were basketball hoops, swings, and multiple games written on the blacktop (not that it was at all black). There was hopscotch, circles drawn in one another, and biggest of all, a huge map of the US, every state a different color. The playground equipment was down the hill aways, and that was usually where I played, not being a sports fan.

We had recess three times a day, and usually anyone who didn't feel like being on the playground that day would hang out near/on the cement play area. The girls would sit to the side, by the garden, giggling and sharing secrets and dandelions. The boys would roughhouse on the cement. Three boys cracked their heads open that year, Marshall, Shaun, and Pawaan. I wasn't there when it happened to Shaun (unfortunately, I probably would've enjoyed seeing him in pain, he was a jerk) but afterward I remember seeing the staples keeping his brain from spilling out. Marshall was my friend though, and I saw it happen to him. He was swinging and decided to jump off, but somewhere in the air he spun around and landed on his head. Immediately he noticed the pain and clamped his hand to his forehead, but that didn't stop the gush of pinkish blood that mingled with his blond hair. I was among the onlookers who watched the teacher hurriedly rush him off the scene. He was crying, but not bawling, so we Kindergarteners kept respect for him.

I was usually with the girls by the flowers. Kindergarten was the first year I hung out with girls my own age, and I adjusted well. Probably because I've always had girlish guy friends, people like Collin who I was sure was gay until he started dating someone, or Thomas, who cried harder than me at my going away party. The guy friend of mine that didn't fit that description however ended up being my boyfriend for Kindergarten. Marcus.

We'd grown up together, his mom babysat me, our sisters were in the same grade, our dads were the tallest in town. Marcus was funny and talkative, and I was pretty witty myself for a Kindergartener. We were an obvious couple. No one ever said: “Let's date” or, “Will you be my boyfriend/girlfriend” but we were together anyway. We played together, we often pretended to hate each other, and we could hardly look each other in the eyes if our hands grazed. But I wanted more. Perhaps girls are always more invested in the relationship, but I knew that in this case I was. I wanted more. I wanted to talk, really just talk with him, without his idiot football pals butting in or my dandelion sisters eying us knowingly.

And then one day it just happened. I was near the coat rack when Marcus approached me and started talking about Dusty, his dog. We spent the rest of recess together, just the two of us, no interruptions. We laughed a lot, talked about people we didn't like, and which of our dads was taller and dogs crazier. We talked about his Catholicism and my Judaism, and I told him that if I married someone they would have to convert to Judaism since there are so few Jews in the world. Marcus promised that if he married me, he would. We circled the big map multiple times, and at the end of recess it had been the best of my life.

It never happened like that again. I pestered him a couple of times, but he always wanted to be with his friends. One day he finally gave in and we started to walk around again, but I could see his eyes straying to the basketball court so I told him: “Go,” and after a while he left. So my only real date with a boy was in Kindergarten, and it was really a friendship more than anything else. But still. It was a special day.

Kids don't go to that building anymore, the school district consolidated with two others in the area and now the Elementary school is in Savannah's new facilities. I walk past that building when I'm back in Mount Carroll though. It's overrun with weeds, neglected, starting to crumble. I'm pretty sure that if I went there after dark, I'd be able to buy a variety of drugs. But when I circle the giant map, now faded and cracked, I remember Marcus, my first crush, and that map is the most beautiful thing in the world.




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback