Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Cardboard Peanut Butter Sandwich

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
Second grade was nine years ago and counting, but I still have trouble telling people I care about those meaningful three little words: I love you. Even since he moved at the end of second grade, this memory haunts me every time I feel the need to be loved. If I could do it over, I would have not been so careless with my heart. Because of my negligence of guarding my heart, I am now too cautious with my feelings, keeping everything from joy to anger to depression inside because I feel as if I let my guard down one second, someone will hurt me the way Tony did. However, since I cannot change the past, from this day forward I promise myself I am going to enjoy life regardless of what anyone else may do to sabotage it. I will no longer guard myself in a bubble of impenetrable insecurity. Happiness is a feeling I rightly deserve as much as anyone, and I shall forgive Tony and move past my early broken heart. I won’t let him hold my heart hostage another second. Instead, I think I just may look at life’s everyday events as beautiful, not dreary, and enjoyable, not challenging. I have been a fool to let this keep me from telling even my family, “I love you,” and now I realize this. I love Tony, and I forgive him, as I am a better person than to hold a grudge despite the cruel boyhood prank. I thank him for showing me this great, though difficult, life lesson, and I am stronger because of it.
Miniscule snowflakes drift down around me as I stand, seven years old, innocence enveloping me more than my thin homemade coat my mother took such pride in making. Hyper children run around me, yelling and laughing as young kids do. ‘I must look stupid standing here all alone,’ I think, so I force my feet to tread over the unstable mahogany mulch to the old wooden picnic table up against the brick wall of the school building. Before I reach my destination, however, Tony, my first crush, strides up to me, stopping me in my tracks. He bears a smile he is never seen without, freckles dot his face, and a voice that is carried on the wind like the finest melody ever composed makes my heart leap when he speaks my name.
“Chelsea.” The words pass his lips, and I realize my name has never sounded so sweet as when spoken by him.

“Hi, Tony,” I reply, my voice coming out shaky and unsure, which always happens when my little heart beats fast and plummets into my gut. He smiles a bright white grin, and my heart melts like the snowflakes do on his long, thin nose. Then, the most incredible words come from his mouth.

“I like you,” Tony tells me, and all of a sudden, the world seems a little brighter, the snowflakes sparkle a little more, and the noises around me muffle in comparison. I am dumbstruck, speechless, and ecstatic. The only boy I can see when I think of my future has just confessed his feelings for me. Silence drags on for an eternity when in all reality it may be just a few mere seconds. Then, without warning, he turns and runs off to the playground, immediately blending in with the throngs of children as he finds his best friends Dominique and Cole. Planted firmly in one spot, warmth of knowing and adoration spreads from my feet throughout my entire body. My first time being loved by someone other than family members was miraculous. ‘Wow, he really likes me!’ I can’t stand any longer keeping my feelings inside. After all, if he thinks of me like that and tells me, why can’t I reveal my affection for him as well? Sucking in a frigid breath of icy air, I build up my bravery and stride towards him, as he is now alone, and plan on continuing on my important mission. As I walk up to Tony, his eyes rise to meet mine, and I almost lose my train of thought. However, I quickly catch back up with my feelings and speak softly and truthfully.

“I like you, too, Tony.” As soon as the words tumble from my cold lips, I see a goofy smile spread across his face; and he once again runs off, but this time it seems more urgent. Confused but gleeful, I shake my head to clear the air of awkwardness and go about my own business, telling no one of the bliss I was experiencing. I thought forever I would be happy, knowing that someone who will spend time with me, liking me for who I am, loves me. Floating high on cloud nine, I held my secret inside my heart until lunch came, when I thought I was going to be found out from the shining smile I had been wearing all day.
With my small blue lunch pail in hand, I nearly skip into the lunch room, take a seat at my usual table, and wait for my friends to come from the lunch line. In the meantime, I open my lunch box and inhale the rich smell of peanut butter on soft white bread. Ready to eat lunch, I raise my sandwich up to my mouth and take a bite. Suddenly, Dominique walks by, deviously stares straight into my eyes, and tauntingly whispers, “So you love Tony?” and keeps walking, peering from the corner of his eye, shaking his head, and laughing. The sandwich turns to cardboard in my mouth, and it takes me forever to chew it, now flavorless and heavy. ‘How does he know about that? Did Tony tell him?’ With a heavy spirit, I slowly turn my head to the second grade boys’ table and meet every guy’s eyes. After a second or two of intense staring, they all turn away in a huddle and laugh all too audibly, their voices echoing off the walls into the large room. ‘I’m so stupid,’ I think. It was just a joke, just a ploy to get me to confess something deeply personal in order to taunt me with it. Tony never had feelings for me and probably never would, but I overestimated the situation and hoped too hard. My heart truly broke that day, and I was forced already at a young age to deal with boy hardships and heart traumas of the real world.



Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback