My True Love Story
I’m so nervous. I can’t believe I’m the new girl again. Two years ago, we moved away from Ferron, Utah. We relocated because of my Dad’s job. Then my Dad got the opportunity to transfer back to his job and just like that, I’m the new girl again. Only not entirely the new girl. There is even more mystery attached to me. I’m the new, old girl. The one they knew before. They’re searching their memories. They’re trying to remember what I was like. They’re wondering, I know. Wondering what I’ve been doing in the last two years. How those two years have changed me. I moved at the end of our sixth grade year. I left during the transition. Everyone was moving up to Jr. High School, getting used to new schedules, new cliques, puberty, heck, we were getting used to actually caring what clothes we put on. I left when a phone call from a boy was the most terrifying thing that had ever happened to me, and now boys and girls my age were kissing each other. I’ve almost gotten used to all of that, but I had also gotten used to a new town, to new people. I was used to walking to Mike’s Food Town and getting tater babies for lunch. I was used to 4-H camp and summer plays. I was used to my group of friends and the way people lovingly referred to us as “The Herd”. I had a boyfriend and a couple of other guys that I liked too. What? I’ve only just finished 8th grade, it’s not like I’m married yet. You know the terrifying phone call I referred to from the sixth grade boy? He was my “boyfriend”. I know. I know. Why do we have boyfriends in elementary school? It was all very innocent. There had been notes exchanged, with well thought out things like “I ♥ you” on them, and the phone call certainly couldn’t be described as a phone conversation because I was much too afraid to contribute to it in any significant way. I was equally brave when we broke up. I stood there, probably biting a fingernail, while my friends told him that I was moving and I nodded to confirm. That was our elementary school break up… and now I’m back. They’re wondering, I know. In the last two years I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve gotten used to talking on the phone to boys. I’ve gotten rather fond of holding a boy’s hand. I’ve even turned down a first kiss opportunity. He was cute too. But I’m not interested in any of that now. I’d just like to redefine normal somehow. I guess I’ll start with church. That’s where I am now. I’m sitting in the first meeting of a three hour block of church, feeling the eyes of the congregation on the new girl. They’re wondering, I know. Four rows in front of me, I see a boy I recognize. Ryan. Strange that I didn’t know him better, two kids the same age in the same small town. We just hadn’t been in any of the same classes. I only knew what I could gather from across a playground. Blond hair. Blue eyes. Tan skin. Athletic. Full of enthusiasm. A people magnet. After the meeting he finds me and he doesn’t miss a beat. “So… Amie Gee is back,” he says to me in the foyer of the church building. “That’s right,” I say, pretending that I’m not feeling shy. You know I was P’s best friend when you lived here before, right?” P. was the boyfriend behind the terrifying 6th grade phone call. “I remember you,” I answer, “I’ve actually had the thought that I wished I had known you better.” “Clearly you don’t remember my heroics during the painful time in 1st grade when S. stole your pink coat.” My smile shows skepticism. “You did wear a pink coat in the first grade. Didn’t you?” He asks as if he is getting to the bottom of an investigation. “Yeah, I guess I did. I seem to remember that it had white fur around the hood.” “Oh yes. Your precious, furry hooded pink coat was once stolen by S. and thrown into the school dumpster and I… well, I hate to brag…” I have a feeling he doesn’t hate to brag. “…I took it upon myself to climb into the treacherous dumpster and get your coat back for you. It was no small feat.” “Wow. I can’t believe that I have forgotten this touching story.” “Well… you know how first grade is. It’s thankless.” I laugh. We can’t stop smiling at each other, with that certain smile that’s different from all of the other smiles. Interest. Chemistry. Could it be that in this town that I moved away from and then moved back to- could it be that there are guys like this here as well? Guys with the confidence of M? Guys that make me laugh like J did? Guys that make me want to be a better person, and guys that make me feel like I am better than I thought I was. This Ryan is a culmination of some of my favorite qualities in some of my favorite people from the town where my heart still lives.