Chapter 1: Heather
1st grade | 1993 - 1994 | Age 6 - 7
When I was in first grade, I met Heather. She was the first girl I ever remember getting gooey feelings about, those damn gooey feelings that would be the bane of my existence for the rest of my life. At the time though, the feeling was strange, unpredictable, and most importantly, nice - the static fields between our shoulders as we sat side by side at the craft table, the secret, nonchalant hand holding on the playground - they moved me in a way I could not yet describe. I can't say I remember exactly how it happened. I'm pretty sure there was some initial bonding over a Duck Tales puzzle, that lead to an affair that lasted almost a semester. In the warm Texas autumn I would chase this bobbing pile of blonde hair around the playground, follow her up trees, through ponds, absolutely anywhere she would lead me. But sometime in November, while sitting in the cafeteria, she threatened to break my arm if I told anyone that we were boyfriend and girlfriend. Glaring over the table, she snapped a Dunkaroo's cookie stick with two fingers, dabbing the ends in chocolate dipping sauce to simulate blood.
I've always known how to pick 'em. All things considered though, this was by far the best relationship I've had, ever. It was fun while it lasted, ended somewhat amicably, we were friends for years afterwards - if I could go back in time, I'd rest my hand on my little six year old shoulder and say "You enjoy this, you little spaz in your weird purple shorts and Goosebumps t-shirt. Things aren't going to be this good for a long time."
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