We take the bus to the debate tournament – Molly and I in our backless sweaters, convinced that feminine wiles are a major player in our offensive strategy.
Where do I meet him exactly? Maybe in the hall between rounds, maybe in the lunchroom. He’s cute, with a shock of wavy sand hair and puppy-brown eyes. We’re by the lockers – were we talking? The cumulative available getting-to-know-you time must be less than 32 minutes. We’re by the lockers and he’s nuzzling my face with his cheek and his nose and I know he wants to kiss me and it’s like come on, get on with it already and I’m lighter than air, wafting on a breeze of sweet longing.
He doesn’t kiss me.
“I want to take you to prom,” he says. I’m blown away. Yes, of course I want to go to prom with you. No matter that I know nothing about your family, no matter that you live hours away.
At the end of the tournament, I board the bus. High. He stands on the sidewalk of my memory.
I wave goodbye.