Tuesday, February 21, 2012

when I grow up

I was eleven the summer between grade six and grade seven. I exuded the careless charm that gives beauty to the young. Pictures show a slim girl with long hair and glowing eyes.
I went to summer camp every year and this one was no different. Well actually it was very different. I had a secret admirer. A boy had been smitten by my casual indifference. He followed my every girlish move from a far. He eventually found the courage to step forward and take my hand when I slipped clambering over tangled branches on an evening stroll and kept my hand firmly in his.
Camp ended and letters passed between us. He sent me a necklace, won at Playland. It was half a heart, a broken one with my name engraved upon it. Truly symbolic as it turns out.
We didn't see each other until the following summer. He lived on the Sunshine Coast, and went to a private boys school. Rich AND handsome.
It was apparent immediately that the charm of the previous summer could not be recaptured. I had stepped over the threshold into teenage angst and teenage acne.
He left me for an older woman. I believe she was twelve, the hussy.
My heart wasn't broken at all, just embarrassed. Time worked its magic and the memory has become a very warm one, a memory of early love, half hearted as is was. I readily forgave, and retained my romantic optimism. I like who I started out to be, that girl I was. I hope I can be more like her when I grow up.

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