“Move that side. Stop pushing me!”, I said to the boy seated beside me on the school field. It was our weekly P.E. class. Our first-grade teacher always arranged us in alphabetical order for some strange reason. She ordered us to sit down on the ground under the large tree on the field for shade. As usual, I always ended up sitting next to the boys as my name started with the unfortunate alphabet ‘Z’. The boy on my right was the new kid in class and since 1st standard had just started, I hadn’t spoken to him at all until then.
“Idiot”, I said, getting more and more frustrated by the minute as he kept pushing me. I quickly realised that he was finding all this amusing. His cheeky grin and maniacal laugh proved it. As he smiled, I began to see how cute he was. I noticed how deep his dimples were and his eyes were a dark brown. “I’ll hit you”, I raised my hand over my head to beat him but he flinched and contorted his face. I immediately regretted my violent actions. But this boy was relentless. I didn’t understand why he was torturing me. “If you don’t stop I’ll kiss you”, I said pointing a stern finger at him in the hopes that he’d put an end to his pestering. Lord alone knows why I chose that as the ultimatum. As frightening as I thought my conditions were, this boy didn’t stop invading my personal space.
“I’ll do it. I swear on my mother”, I told him. He now seemed genuinely scared so he stopped. But it didn’t take long before he started to annoy me again. I was going to hit him on his head but then I remembered I swore on my mother. I quickly scanned to see if anyone was looking. When the coast was clear, I grabbed him by the shoulders and gave him a peck on his right cheek. He gasped loudly and turned around to look for someone to spill the tea to. Then I grabbed his arm and pinched it roughly. “If you tell anyone I’ll kill you.” “Ok fine, I won’t. Mother promise.”, he said to me. We left each other for the time being as it was time for our mass drill.
Later, while my classmates and I played running and catching, I caught the new boy staring at me. But every time I turned to look at him, he’d pretended to have his eyes elsewhere. He continued to do the same back in class. I decided it was time I smiled at him when I caught him staring. He smiled back. My cheeks began to feel hot and I felt like something was running around in my tummy.
It was lunch time now. The new boy came up to me and asked if I could play with him. I was excited and became even more so when he held my hand while we walked down the stairs to the field. But he let go as soon as he saw a teacher come towards our direction. We sat on a bench at the far end of the field and ate lunch quickly so that we could play. He invented this game where one of us would run to the other side of the field and the other would count till the other came back to see who was faster.
We loved to play this game together. This one time I decided to just stay at the other end of the field just to see what he would do. After a few minutes, I saw him running towards me carrying both of our lunch baskets. He asked me why I kept him waiting and he said he was very angry with me. I began to wonder whether I hurt his feelings.
When we went back to class after lunch break, he ignored me and started to talk Suprithi instead. I was very angry with him. I didn’t like Suprithi anymore and felt like pulling her two pigtails whenever she sat in front of me in class. So, I ignored my “boyfriend” too for the rest of the day. The next day, first thing in the morning, he came up to me and asked, “Do you still like me?”. How could I say no? We went back to our usual routine of eating lunch together and holding hands.
We sometimes wrote our initials in the mud with our fingers, enclosing it within a heart. But we would quickly cover it up so that no one would see. We would even share our lunch. But I noticed he’d only eat my lunch if there was chicken or Maggie noodles. Our other classmates would often invite us to come play with them but we’d always lie saying we’d come later. I loved talking to him. We’d talk about which teachers we liked the most, who our next class teacher would be and whether Lions or Elephants Team would win Sports Day. We were on opposing teams so we’d always get into an argument over this topic. We’d even talked about our future together. We decide that having kids was out of the question because they were too expensive and neither of us wanted to clean up their poop.
It wasn’t long before I noticed that we started getting bored of each other. It was initially a subtle change. Instead of eating lunch together we’d play with other girls and boys. When either of us talked to a boy or a girl, jealously would sit at the pit of our stomachs. After a while, getting upset seemed like a silly thing to do. We didn’t like to hold hands like we used to. By the end of the term we were barely talking. We still liked each other but not as much as we used to. I guess we just gradually drifted apart and were not “boyfriend-girlfriend” anymore.
My first crush was a little over ten years ago but still remains as some of my warmest memories.