Awwww that was too dern cute of a story! Whoda thunk you could be so sweet?! =P
Years ago I found myself doing a bit of spring cleaning. The long winter was over and the trees and flowers were beginning to softly bud in the warmth of the sun. I opened the windows throughout the house to air out any stale air that would frequent my small townhome. The breeze blew gently and coolly through the upstairs and then made its way downstairs to the heart of the house. I can still remember the birds singing their songs outside to welcome the newly arrived season. Spring as a way of making you feel “new” again if you let it. Not only does the vegetation come to life but also our inner spirits.
I can remember this day like it was yesterday because of what unexpectedly transpired. I had gone to the kitchen to grab a large trash bag to start cleaning my chest drawers. I sadly had a horrible habit of placing anything that remained on my nightstand such as receipts, loose change, small bits of paper with scribbled writing on it and whatnot in the top drawers to it could be easily found again. (Yeah right) As I began to clean, I would often find myself opening old memories of things I have either purchased or maybe even a phone number I was lucky to get yet never used. I found myself smiling often at the silly things I began to unravel. Memories would begin swirling around my mind at the good, the bad and the ugly items that I ended up collecting. I was just about finished with the cleaning process, when I noticed several dimes and nickels were still strewn around the bottom drawer. I began to collect the small change but I wondered how much was hiding at the far end of the drawer. I pulled the drawer out as far as I could and leaned it downward to hear to my satisfaction the sliding of more loose change. “At this rate I might have enough to buy lunch tomorrow”, I thought. Just before I placed the drawer back, I heard a small noise come from the back of the dresser. As I pulled the drawer completely out, I found a large piece of paper that looked unfamiliar. It was covered in a small amount of dust and I could tell this had been there a while.
As I carefully unfolded my hidden treasure, I found my own writing staring back at me with the words “My Dearest…” placed carefully at the top. The handwriting was mine but I can tell it was from long ago. As I began reading, I remember exactly who and what this letter was about. I had just found one of my most cherished pieces of writing I could have ever found. I had just found one of my first love letters. For the ladies who read this, to a young man of possibly 10 to twelve, this was no easy task. For the first time, I was putting my heart on the line for the first time. As I read, I was amazed how open I was. I also found myself chuckling over the way I worded certain lines and phrases in hopes of sounding poetic or at best “romantic”.
I found myself pouring over each line like some sort of elementary, English teacher. I had so many spelling errors and run on sentences that it really didn’t matter at the time because my reason for writing this hidden treasure was because I had something important to say. Not only was it important, I wanted to say it to her.
Her name was Emily and I had met her many years ago at a summer camp. To be honest, I haven’t thought of her since finding this letter but I can remember her like I was seeing her photograph. She was a beautiful blond-haired girl with the most beautiful green eyes. Her innocence and outer beauty only matched her inner beauty and I can remember seeing her for the first time walking from her cabin to what we referred to the mess hall. I am smiling as I write this because I can still remember my mouth hanging open unknowingly and my eyes followed her every move.
Time stood still for me that day. From that moment, I was plotting to get to know her better. I was a bit shy back then so I had to be rather crafty and suddenly “turn up” where she was. I found out through a mutual spy (a friend of mine) that she had never heard of me. “My gosh” I thought, “How can she not know me?!” I had to think of something fast because we only had a week at camp and I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could. She had this way of walking that may have been perfectly natural to her but she floated as far as I was concerned. What did I know of love? I was probably ten or eleven at the time and had zero experience with the opposite sex. My only motive was to make her mine. (whatever THAT meant).
What was my plot? What do normal ten year olds do to win a girls heart in only one week? I started buy sitting by her a few times in assembly hall. Ok, who am I fooling, I sat behind her but I was technically close to her. I would inch my way up so when we were dismissed, I could at least see her. I would often attempt a very weak “Hey!” when she walked by. On the second say, she ever say “hey” back to me! Oh man, she knows me know! She made eye contact and even (I think she did) smiled as she walked by.
As it turned out, we just happened to be in the same activities group. What this was is that the counselors would divide the kids (there were about one hundred campers) into small groups for activities and discussions (like politics and eastern philosophy….haha YEAH RIGHT!). I found myself making too much eye contact with her and was often ‘busted’ when she looked up and stared right back at me. “Yikes, that didn’t go well”, I would say to myself. “I’m not supposed to get caught staring at her.” As it turned out, I got to know Emily and we became very close as silly puppy-love at ten years old could allow. I remember her reaching over and grabbing my hand at the evening camp fire for the first time and I think I melted on the inside. I knew I only had two more nights with Emily and I wanted to make it very special. I secretly asked a favor from one of the male counselors and he was in on my “shock and awe”.
For a ten year old me, this was indeed nerve racking since I have NEVER done anything like this before but it had to be done. As the evening grew late, the camp was lively with campfire songs. You could hear the frogs chirping in the night sky among the giggling and laughter the nightly campfire brought. From across the campfire, my partner in crime gave me a nod. I nodded back and he announced that there was to be a special request that evening. A hush fell over the camp and I slowly got up from my seat. I believe my friends were more terrified that I was but I announced that I wanted to sing a song I had written for someone very special to me. I picked up the guitar and sat beside Emily and sang the first song I had ever written. I can even remember how it went but I will spare you the details due to the lack of music. I cannot explain how my stomach was turning and the butterflies must have been using baseball bats to hit me from the inside because I was feeling so nervous. My lyrics were a bit shaky due to my present condition but under the stars that starry night so many years ago, I sang to Emily and it was an instant hit. When the song was over and the cheering subsided, it was time to walk Emily back to her cabin. She didn’t say a word. She didn’t have to. We walked silently hand in hand and I got the biggest hug from her and she whispered “thank you” in my ear. I smiled so big. I just said a simple “you’re welcome” and ended up floating back to MY cabin as well.
Whatever happened to Emily? I am uncertain but I do know that a boy of ten won her heart only for a moment. The note I was reading was a letter I never sent Emily. I never sent it because even at ten years old, I can remember telling myself “ya can’t top that”. I learned a lot from summer camp through the years. I hope wherever Emily is and whatever she is doing, I pray that she is happy. I miss you Emily. Though we were young, we had our week together so long, long ago.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." -Aristotle
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