Gina, the beginning of my end


I was in the fourth grade at Edison Elementary playing dodge ball when I first noticed Gina, a spirited, mischievous girl who liked to sing and dance and act silly. Other kids always made fun of her daft nature but I was drawn to it. I decided that I had to do whatever it took to make her like me, so I started getting into trouble all the time, acting up in class and behaving stupidly. It worked.

I got picked on quite a bit for being the only guy in the fourth grade with a girlfriend. Recess was a daily battle and walking into the boy’s bathroom was like suicide. But I didn’t care. During story time we’d put our heads down on our desks and stare into each other’s eyes, silently whispering, “I love you.” And I truly believed that I did.

On the last day of school that year everyone got to go to the park. There were three fourth grade classes at Edison, about 75 kids, and they all cornered Gina and I by the rock sculpture at Alton Baker Park, chanting our names over and over in an attempt to force us to kiss in front of them. Then they started pushing us both together forcibly. Gina lost it, tearfully wailing, “I don’t like him anymore—just leave me alone!”

Many say romance is a matter of the heart, but for some reason I felt it in my liver. And whoever said that ‘time heals all’ obviously never had a Gina. My liver continues to throb.

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