Love stories , love quotes, love songs and a collection of peoples first love story.
Schoolgirl Love Story
I hated the plaid.
I didn’t mind the fact that we started the day with prayer, ended it with mass, and somehow had time in between to fit in a religion class or two.
I just didn’t like the plaid. Red and navy blue wool plaid skirts that itched and were a perfect argument for conformity.
Like most Catholic schoolgirls, though, I found my own way to claim my individuality. Navy blue fishnets and combat boots, for example — something that made the principal glower at me and ask me to go home and change from time to time.
I also found my individuality by my academics. I was a transfer from the public schools, something that gave me a fair amount of attention from the clean-cut boys and the girls in their skirts and loafers. Most tried not to notice me.
After all — I was the “weird one”.
Even though I was a senior, all transfer students had to take a sophomore-level speech class since the public schools didn’t require it. The teacher was an aging drama queen, as loud and vivacious as you can be while retaining a nun’s composure.
David Osborn was in my class. Unlike the other trimmed-and-suited boys, he was a little shaggy, with long blonde hair that gave the teachers fits and the nuns an excuse to discuss the sins of pride and lust.
I had to get him to notice me.
+ + +
We all sat in class, crammed five deep and four wide in desks made of pockmarked wood. For a Midwest school of only 150 students, this class was considered big — almost twenty.
Toting a large bag, Miss Rood came into class wearing civilian clothes and a beret.
“Today, I’m going to hand out a magazine. Pick one article and read it. Take notes. Tomorrow, you’ll give a three minute impromptu speech on the article you read.”
There was a collective groan. I had grim fantasies of giving a speech on new medical procedures to remove the pituitary or something equally as boring.
Instead, I got a Reader’s Digest knockoff with an article about Jack the Ripper. This, I thought, was sure to get some attention from the blonde boy.
The next day, I stood up in front of a freshly-scrubbed, rosy-cheeked group of plaid-clad students and described the brutality of the killings. I was happy to see the greenish cast that settled over most of the sophomores. All of them, that is, except David.
He was smiling at me.
+ + +
Nebraska is cold in the winter. That cold that sort of creeps in somewhere behind your rib cage and cuts through your lungs with razor blades when it settles in.
Unlike the public school that was only blocks from my house in Norfolk, the Catholic school was three miles away — too far to walk with nothing more on your legs than a short plaid skirt. The cold made a ride home not only pleasant, but necessary.
I stood in the alcove by the front door, waiting quietly for five o’clock to roll around. My father would be coming then to pick me up in the car that had once been my grandmother’s. By four-thirty, the school was pretty deserted except for the sound of a bucket being dragged to the janitor’s closet and the grunts of the football team practicing across the road.
Maybe that’s why I turned so quickly when I heard footsteps behind me. And it’s why I was so caught off-guard when I saw him standing there, his hair frazzled around his head like a halo.
“Why are you hanging around so late?” he asked, with a voice that was one part smoke and two parts angel.
I blanked. “Waiting for a ride,” I managed to choke out, hoping he couldn’t hear how my breath had suddenly failed me. I could blame it on the cold, I thought to myself.
Slowly, he leaned against the wall and I became aware of the need to touch his hair. He looked at me for a long time before continuing. “I liked your speech today.”
The english language left me. I was reduced to a sigh and something that sounded like a grunt in stereophonic hi-fi sound.
He leaned forward and touched my arm. All of the skin there raised in goosebumps the size of chickens. “You’re really incredible,” he said, and made it sound natural. I swore that I was melting into a puddle of goo.
And he turned and walked away. I didn’t even ask him why he was still there.
+ + +
Evidently, he told every single person he knew that he was conspiring to get me alone again. He told them also that he’d blown it when he was talking to me in the hallway. That he hadn’t been nearly as eloquent as he’d wanted to be.
I begged to differ.
In a school of 150, word travels fast. Notes travel faster. After english class, one was somehow dumped in my lap, though I hadn’t seen who did it.
It was his phone number.
+ + +
Six months later, we were standing together in a friend’s apartment, looking out the window at the street below. It was deserted. Most of them are in Norfolk, Nebraska at two in the morning.
Behind us, our clothes were rumpled in a pile on top of some blankets that we’d thrown together over the decidedly-seventies-era brown variegated shag carpet. I mentioned that it was definitely heading into summer, because my breath didn’t leave a ring of fog on the window.
He leaned forward, blowing on the glass to leave his breath’s mist. In the condensation he wrote “I love you,” and we watched until it faded back into clear.
+ + +
I left for college on a late August morning, when the chill was just starting to leave a layer of dew on the street signs every night.
Baton Rouge seemed a million miles away — another place, another life.
The phone didn’t ring. There weren’t any letters of goodbye. No tear-filled farewells at the airport before departing.
He was already gone.
His guardians had found drugs in his bedroom and had called the police. I didn’t even know where he was, and they weren’t about to tell me since they blamed me for being a bad influence. I’d sworn to them that I didn’t even know he took drugs, and they had turned away.
It had been five weeks since he’d gone.
I boarded the plane in Omaha and watched as the patchwork of farmland went from green to red while flying over Oklahoma. There wasn’t a reason to be sad, I thought. I’d find him again someday.
But I’d packed the plaid.
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