Friday, November 30, 2012


The Boy is a seventh-grader.  The seventh grade sits in the two back seats in the next-to-last row.  The four seats in front and all the seats in the row to his left are occupied by sixth-graders.  The fifth grade is to the left of sixth, and of course the eighth-graders get the last row, the "move on out row," for they will be gone next year.

Next to The Boy on his left is Sarah, the prettiest little thing the lad has seen, short of a tall stack of hotcakes with butter on top and soaked in maple syrup.  To say he is enamored of the girl is a misstatement of fact, for he is much too shy and withdrawn to engage in any conversation more romantic than the typical foolishness twelve-year old boys engage in.  But he is smitten, can't see straight when she is walking in front of him on the way out the door.  She teases him about his dimples; he is abashed.

While the school is small, not everyone knows everything about everyone else, though teacher certainly must be possessed of such knowledge.  It is certain, though, that Sarah comes from "constrained" circumstances, for although she and her several siblings are clean and neat, they are dressed in clearly more than "gently worn" clothing, and Sarah's winter coat appears much too thin to ward off the blasts that sail down Mt. Manitou into town in January.

 The Boy, by whatever Sherlockian means he has available to him, discovers where this Vision of Loveliness resides, and he rides his bicycle past her domicile on occasion, both in hope and in fear that he might catch a glimpse of her in her native habitat.  The house is on a dead-end, for the street runs into the embankment that carries the rails of the AT&SF as it passes through town.  The cinders from the stacks of the trains would fall down upon the house where Sarah lives were it not that the firebox dampers were turned down in the city.  The wonder of the lad that such an Angelic Creature should emerge each day from such a dark, dingy and besmeared habitat is almost beyond his comprehension.

I cannot tell you now the color of Sarah's eyes, nor can I picture her face; yet I can still hear her laughter ripple across the playground as she and the other girls do whatever it is girls do at recess.  I left the school at the end of the next year, she remained to finish eighth grade.  I never again saw the girl, nor have I any idea whatever became of her.  Still, I have memories.  She was the first girl to say, "You have the cutest dimples."
And to this day, I've no idea what impels a girl to do that,


Jim said...

Sounds like she was fond of you, too; sounds like she was similarly unsure of what to do about it.

Shelly said...

I agree- I think the feeling was mutual. Really a lovely story~

vanilla said...

Jim, well, maybe. We'll never know.

Shelly, some of us learn nearly everything we know by stumbling through life, bumping into things.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Sweet story - 7th grade girls are so much older and wiser than 7th grade boys...Just sayin'

vanilla said...

Grace, thank you. Your observation is absolutely correct. In addition to the more advanced maturity, girls intuit things from a very early age that boys require years to learn, if they ever do. I know whereof I write. I worked every day with adolescent and pre-adolescent children for thirty-one years.

Secondary Roads said...

Ah, girls. Such strange and mysterious creatures. I want to thank you for sharing this. For now I don't feel so bad about not understanding them at all.

Okay. Shelly is right. On both counts. :)

vanilla said...

Chuck, you are welcome. Come the Millennium, we will understand women. Maybe not.

Secondary Roads said...

The current millennium didn't put us "over the hump" and I doubt the next one will either. Besides, I don't plan to stick around for the next one.

Vee said...

Fun story! Your actions (and the actions of the girl) are examples of why I loved teaching middle school.

vanilla said...

Chuck, the mystery remains!

Vee, nothing like a classroom full of them!

Jackie said...

This is just simply lovely. I think it is marvelous how much detail you remember about her.

She must have liked you too or she would not have told you about your dimples.

I needed to hear something really good today and I just did.

I think perhaps the teacher is also a fabulous writer!!

Thanks for everything!
Happy weekend,

vanilla said...

Jackie, thank you so much! It makes me happy that the little story gave you a "lift" today.

Sharkbytes said...

Aha! I wondered if we were doing a little bio, but not all your stories are, so I wasn't sure. It's like a snapshot of memory with no knowledge of anything that happened afterwards, at least on her side. It's probably fine. The really lovely ones aren't always the best catch.

vanilla said...

Shark, "the really lovely ones aren't always the best catch." That is certainly true; but in this case, the protagonist was too young to be "fishing" anyway!