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Posted by swell_sailor - Nov 9, 2013 - 8:17am

The summer after my 7th grade year I went to visit my father and his new family. They lived in a suburban neighborhood full of kids. Some older than me, some younger, a few the same year in school as me. Every day there was football in the street, or basketball until after dark under the floodlights in the driveway. I'd come from a rural community where I had no friends nearby to play with, to this paradise where there was always something to do and someone to do it with. I decided to stay. 

It didn't take long to notice the girl across the street. Everyone called her Dolly. I remember thinking it was an odd name, and eventually found out her real name was Barbara. I never asked her where the name Dolly came from. 

Eventually I developed a crush on Dolly. Why wouldn't I? She was a year younger than me. She was the sweetest girl. She wasn't beautiful, but she was cute in her own way. And she was right there across the street.  

At some point, somehow, we began hanging out together. We'd spend the summer days together sitting on the grass between the houses talking. I was shy, so was she. That didn't matter when we were together. We seemed to have plenty to talk about. Or we'd sit quietly together watching the clouds roll over.

Barbara and I started getting closer. Too close I guess, for a 14 year old boy and a 13 year old girl. No one got hurt, but we pushed the boundaries a bit. We eventually got busted kissing while sitting on the hood of the neighbors car. The neighbor who busted us told both my dad and her mother. I remember lying to my dad when he confronted me about it. He knew I was lying but he let me off the hook. I know now that I didn't need to lie to him. He wasn't busting on me for what I had done. He was just warning me to be careful. 

Barbara had a talk with her mother too. Being the sweet, respectful girl she was, she listened to her mother and took her advise to heart. The next day she broke up with me. It was brutal. She was still there, right in front of me, but I couldn't talk to her. We rode the same bus to and from school every day, but there was no eye contact, and never a word. I was heartbroken. 

I don't remember how much time went by. A year maybe, or two. Barbara's parents decided to move. The house went up for sale. It sold. I'd heard through the grapevine that any day Barbara would be gone completly from my life. 

Allison was Barbara's best friend and she lived in the house next door to me. For some reason Allison and I never got along. She was high strung and we always seemed to argue. It was clear from very early on that she didn't like me. Maybe it was jealousy. I don't know. Depite that, she came to me one day and said "Barbara is leaving tomorrow. You have to go see her. She never stopped loving you." My heart sank. 

I went to Barbara. We must have walked around the block together 20 times that afternoon. Our arms were around each other the entire time. She told me how much she'd missed me, and how unhappy she'd been since she broke up with me. In the end I promised to come get her after high school. Then we kissed  goodbye. 

I never saw Barbara again. 

8 comments on this journal entry.
About three bricks shy of a load
steeler Avatar

Location: Perched on the precipice of the cauldron of truth

Posted: Nov 14, 2013 - 7:51am

Kind of memory to which everyone can relate. Nicely done.


FourFortyEight Avatar

Location: The Dirty South

Posted: Nov 12, 2013 - 6:04am

Wow.  Now my heart hurts.
i need a bogle for my glotch.
lily34 Avatar

Location: GTFO

Posted: Nov 11, 2013 - 8:20am

swell_sailor Avatar

Location: The Gorge

Posted: Nov 10, 2013 - 9:46am

Living with passion
Alexandra Avatar

Location: PNW

Posted: Nov 9, 2013 - 5:36pm

Makes one wonder about all the parallel realities our lives might have taken, with the slightest change in word or action. I love this story, SS.

kurtster Avatar

Location: drifting

Posted: Nov 9, 2013 - 4:46pm

I was 14 and she was thirteen, too.  We got married the next spring by Marrying Sam at the Sadie Hawkin's Dance.  We were inseparable from that point on.  The next year, I was the one who moved.  All the way across the country.  Long distance stuff rarely works and this was no exception.  I saw her one more time on a trip back home after several years.  It was the day before she was getting married.  Last time I ever saw her.  Until over thirty years later.

Classmates.com.   We're one of them.  Next month will be the 12th anniversary of our second marraige to each other.

Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money,

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you ...

Shine On.
Coaxial Avatar

Location: 543 miles west of Paradis,1491 miles east of Paradise

Posted: Nov 9, 2013 - 8:48am

ab origine
oldviolin Avatar

Location: esse quam videri

Posted: Nov 9, 2013 - 8:29am

As I read this The Cars Moving In Stereo is cued up and I think to myself about my shoes and how often they seem to be familiarly filled with the existential footsteps of others...
One heart beats loudly; rapidly...the world bobs it's knowing head in unison...{#Good-vibes}