He bore a girl’s name. Camille. Short, blond hair, freckled face, brown eyes and a huge grin. Ten years old. Last year of elementary school before graduation to secondary school.
That boy liked me. A lot. He used to play soccer during recess and he always yelled my name every time he scored a goal. He stared at me every hour of class. He sent me notes. He tried to grab my hand.
What did I do in return? Nothing. I was nine years old and boys didn’t interest me. I found them gross, awkward, stupid. I had started writing my first novel at the time and I knew what to make of my life at that point. This Camille was really the last of my concerns.
But he persisted. I remained as cold as ice. The game continued until the last day of class. I already knew which new school I’d go to and it wasn’t the same one as Camille. Despite living in a small town, changing schools meant never seeing each other again. And I was happy about it.
I wonder what he thought. Maybe he wanted a last memory of me. My girlfriends were already fond of giving first kisses, some of them had become pros at it. Eek. Hit me in the face before putting your lips on mine. This was a restricted area. Nobody, absolutely nobody, would have access.
We were having a “party” in the classroom. Cakes, soft drinks, board games. Last day. I had spent the whole afternoon with my girlfriends. Playing and chatting. Eating. Killing time.
Camille suddenly came and pulled me to a more discrete corner.
“I have something to ask you.” he said.
“Ok. What is it?” I replied.
“Would you go out with me?”
The world stopped moving. I looked at him and I exploded in laughter.
“Are you out of your mind?” I said. “No way. Not in the entire universe. This will never happen.”
And I left. He stood there, not knowing what else to do. I stormed out of the corner where he had trapped me and I came back to the classroom. As if nothing happened.
Twenty minutes later, that chapter of my life was officially over. I packed my things and ran outside, the warm breeze welcoming me into my school free summer.
I never saw Camille again. He vanished from my life completely.
I had probably broken his heart.
I learned my lesson four years later when I fell in love with a boy in my class. The infamous Steve. Loving somebody without being loved in return. The worst thing in the world.
Camille, I’m sorry if I hurt you. I understand now how you must have felt, and I acted like an asshole. I hope you’ll forgive me. Who knows? Maybe you’ll buy one of my books someday, not even knowing it was me, the nine year old dorky looking girl who rejected you like a dish rag on the last day of school.
And just for that, I’ll love you too.