In my 6th year of elementary school I was in love with a boy named Billy. He was tall with dark hair and dark eyes and freckles that graced his slender nose.
He played the drums.
6th grade was the year we'd all meet by the big slide after stepping off of the bus to find out who asked who out the previous night, and who was still single. It was a small school in a small town, and so after a few weeks, our meetings focused on how long each couple kissed.
That is, except for me. I was not be asked out by a boy until 7th grade. And wasn't kissed until 9th. (But I digress)
Billy also avoided sweet coupledom just long enough for me to create a very romantic and unrealistic picture of why he chose to stay single. It was, of course, because he was in love with me! Oh, this shy, drum playing boy with chocolate colored eyes and spiky black hair...how he stole my heart.
Yes, he stole it, and gave it away to a girl months later. I found out in this manner:
Billy: Mags! I just kissed Tiffany for 17 minutes in the woods!
Billy B made my heart pound harder than anyone I had ever met before. He is the first boy I remember standing close to just so I could smell him. Our desks were often arranged side by side and by the end of the day, I would be drunk with love and longing. He made me laugh but also made me cry.
As the summer approached, my parents suggested I throw a party. It was the last year we would all be together as one and old friendships would be harder to uphold. And so it was that all but (about) 5 of my classmates came to celebrate our graduation. We played volleyball, kickball, and had a bon fire.
And then there was the dancing.
There's really no way to describe the level of self-consciousness that a slightly chubby, taller than everyone else by 2 inches, never been asked out girl feels when everyone at the party is slow dancing, but you. It's awful. It's terrible. It makes you want to run.
Some will say this next part is heroic. But to me, it's just plain mortifying...
My father paid Billy to slow dance with me. He even handed him the money before the dance, thinking I wouldn't see him because it was dark. I am sure he was drunk. My father, not Billy.
We never danced, Billy and I. I don't remember who said no to the proposition, but I'm sure it was mostly a mutual decision. Though we had a class together in the beginning of 7th grade, Billy and I hardly spoke after that. By 8th grade, he moved away.
Looking back, I'm not terribly certain what exactly I saw in him. Perhaps I saw him as the boy who would most likely go out with me, or perhaps he just smelled right, but in my 6th year of elementary school, a boy named Billy stole my heart.
I still remember his phone number.