Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CHILDHOOD (03/09/17)
- TITLE: Second Grade Love
By Linda Berg
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In a matter of seconds three rambunctious children entered through the kitchen door. Squabbling words filled the air as each child pushed up against another.
The mother stepped back from the kitchen sink to give full attention to her children. One by one they told of the day’s events. One had a paper with information about the upcoming Science Fair Project he wanted to show her. The girl among the three children went into detail about one of her friends that had said something mean to another one of her friends on the playground. She was obviously upset.
Mom moved towards the living room. “Let’s sit down and I can hear all about it.”
The seven-year-old son, the one with the Science Fair assignment, was already munching away on a cookie he retrieved from the ones laid out cooling on the counter. Five-year-old daughter sitting down next to mom began to cry. Mom pulled her close and they chatted a bit more about her friends and then she too, having her issues resolved, jumped up and ran into the kitchen to get a cookie.
Mom realizing the eight-old-son was holding back beckoned to him to come, “What’s on your mind?"
Moving slowly and seriously, as was his nature, he said, “I’m going to marry Louise Kline.”
“You are?” she replied. “What makes you think that?"
Reaching into his jean's back pocket he pulled out a wallet size school picture and thrust it toward her saying, “ I like her.”
“That’s nice. She is a sweet girl,” mom said. Chuckling to herself, she stood up and returned to the kitchen.
The bride was in the nursery with her sisters, mom and friends getting prepared to marry the young man of her choosing.
On the opposite side of the building where the groom and his groomsmen were preparing for the wedding, his brother and friends were joking with the groom. “You’re losing your freedom, man,” one of his friends shared. The others all laughed.
He was the first of their posse to be getting married. He listened to them unfettered as he had adored his bride since they were both just kids. Reminiscing about the “knowing” moment that he loved her he remembered how that special second grade picture of her had come into his possession. He and his best friend both attended church with Louise. One day, Louise, seeming to have interest in his best friend, Brian, had given him her second-grade school picture. Brian, not sure why he received the picture had passed it on to his best bud, the groom, Brandon. Within a matter of days, Louise became aware that Brandon and not Brian had her picture. She had obviously been upset about it because a note had been passed to Brandon at school from Louise. “You give my picture back to Brian right away or I will tell my dad on you.” He laughed at that memory.
Who could have guessed at that time, their future? When both Brandon and Louise were 12 years old, their families moved away to different states. Ten years, after Brandon’s proclamation to his mom he would marry Louise, they encountered each other by attending the same college.
Louise took the initiation in asking Brandon when she met him, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?” While Brandon initially feigned unawareness, he knew who she was.
Two hours later after conversation about their shared memories as children and eating an abundance of pancakes at a restaurant near their college, he asked, “Can I show you something?”
“Yes,” she replied.
He took out his wallet. Opening it he pulled out a dingy, once white but now yellowed piece of paper. Carefully opening it he placed it on the table and smoothed it out. Inviting her to look closely, because the words were light from years of fading, he asked her to read it out loud. She did. She appeared perplexed.
Reaching into his wallet again, he withdrew a wallet size picture of her in second grade.
Pulling back, mouth wide open with astonishment she exclaimed, “I can’t believe you kept that all these years.”
Lost in thought of the moments that brought him and Louise to this place, their wedding day.
All he could think was, “I’ve loved her since second grade, I can’t believe today she is marrying me.”
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