My desk was right behind his. I think he was the smartest person in the class, and his brown hair was always clean. It happened the day that the Teacher had us move all our desks.
You know one of those days? When the Teacher surprises us with wanting to move all our desks. At first, it is surprising and disappointing as we are settled into our chairs, our positions, and our little fiefdoms in the class.
We went to Our Lady of Mary Catholic school, all seven of us kids. I think that when my brother started First Grade, six of us were there at the same time. So naturally, I was inclined to note the other big families in the school, and the Marshall family was one of them.
So anyway, back on track. I had a crush on him. Brian Marshall was smart, funny, and classy. He didn't tell stupid jokes or talk loud or laugh too much. In fact, I think he was rather quiet. We went on a Field Trip in a bus to a Museum in Downtown L.A. That was the day that I got close to him because he sat on the bus behind me and Charlotte Winglet. Charlotte had crooked teeth and greasy hair and she didn't have many friends. But somehow, Brian and Charlotte began singing "...downtown..." over and over again and they were laughing so much that I had to join in.
I remember looking at Brian and thinking, "He is so nice to be kind to her, because she is rather dowdy and not too pretty." I thought he was being benevolent, but I knew that he was not. He was just being himself and I recognized that these moments were ones that he cherished not, not as much as I. For he became human to me that day. Touchable. Human. Not too far away.
And it happened. I had a crush on him that would not go away. I watched him finger his Bic pen in class, putting it to his lips in slow motion, and I wished I was the actual pen! I saw him put it in his mouth and of course I had to imagine what it would be like to kiss him. I had never been kissed by a boy before, and I thought that my First Kiss should be...well, it should be dramatic and special.
So my friends, a small cluster, ended up knowing I had a crush on him. I don't think I was much prettier than Charlotte, and I wasn't too developed for my age, either. Of course we were wearing Training Bras and thinking that we were going to be starting our Periods any day. We were growing up and becoming ladies, and soon we could wear high heels.
It was a day I'll never forget. It was lunch hour, and we were finishing up the last 10 minutes of time. School kids were running around, people were throwing away the brown bag lunches they would never eat, and we were getting ready to go back into class. I was standing with a few friends and some how, I don't recall how, one of them dared me to go up to Brian and kiss him.
Wow, I thought. I really do want to kiss him.
So in a split second of nonsensical thought, I skipped over to him. He was standing on the other side of the benches and school tables, talking to some one who was across from him. I rounded my way about, so that eventually I was standing to his right. I poised myself just kitty corner to his right elbow, so that I was situated in his peripheral vision. I waited just two seconds, before I changed my mind.
I took three steps. I inched up to his soft cheek. I kissed it ever so softly.
I hardly had a moment to bask in the glory, as I had won the bet!
Immediately, he began to chase me. He chased me, this Brian Marshall, so fast that I thought he was going to pull my hair and then I don't-know-what-he-was-going-to-do! In my mind, the thought flashed that he played football and was a great runner who was now chasing me! I had no glory in this. I feared for my reputation, my glory of the kiss was not yet gone and never would be, and I wondered how long I could stay ahead of him.
I took a sharp turn to the right when his hand reached for my hair, almost grabbing it. He stumbled ohhhh such a small bit, putting me one second in front of him further, widening the gap between us. Oh, but he was fast! Five more steps later, he was gaining on me again. So I sideswiped another swerve to the left this time, very calculated to stumble his efforts and gain more distance. It worked. He chased me and I swerved over and over and over again until eventually, I was so far ahead of him that he would never catch me.
By this time, we were away in the distance and the school bell rang its big "Bzzz! Bzzz!" We each sauntered over to our respective lines, the boys line for him and the girl's line for me.
I won the bet.
I kissed Brian Marshall.
He chased me.
I ran away.