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True Love

Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 in Memoirs, teenage tales

I’ve had crushes on lots of different girls in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as crazy for anybody as I was over Cheryl White. I first met Cheryl in junior high, and we went all through high school together. How can I describe her? Blonde hair — almost white blonde — perfect, smooth skin, clear blue eyes, wonderful oval teeth, a little dimple in the chin. I mean, I know it doesn’t sound all that incredible, but it was. But see, it wasn’t really any of these qualities that made Cheryl so special. It was something much less tangible. She simply had, well — some kind of magic.

Sometimes I didn’t think she was quite human. It was almost as if she’d been made from some other stuff than regular people are made of — fresh cream, perhaps. She always kind of sparkled, as if Tinkerbell had sprinkled some of that magic faerie dust on her.

Besides, unlike most really pretty girls, Cheryl wasn’t the least bit mean or snotty. She was actually a genuinely nice person. So naturally I was in love with her — I mean come on — what the heck do you expect?

Of course, so was everybody else. Cheryl never seemed to have one boyfriend though. She didn’t go steady with the captain of the football team or anything like that. In fact, she always liked more quiet, sensitive, intelligent guys. Guys like me. Somehow though, I knew that she’d never be mine — though God knows, I spent enough hours dreaming about us running off together and getting married and maybe living in a cabin somewhere in the mountains, or in a tiny flat in Paris. You know — all the usual sort of stuff you dream about when you’re crazy for someone.

Still, Cheryl and I did have this — ah, sort of affair — a brief but wonderful time together that I will never ever forget.

It took place in Biology class one afternoon. On this particular day, our teacher, Mr. Hanna, told us we were going to see a movie. Of course we all loved movies — because then it wasn’t really like you were in school anymore. I particularly loved them, because I sat right next to Cheryl…and it was dark and it was almost like being in a real movie with her, though of course I never would have tried anything tacky like grabbing her tit or the stuff that you tried with normal girls. No, just to sit next to Cheryl White in the dark — that was enough.

So, the lights darkened and the movie came on and the projector went clackety clackety clack–and there I was, sitting next to Cheryl in the dark. I remember that day it was real hot and sticky, and naturally the air conditioner in the room was busted so everybody was kind of sweaty and stinky…and as I sat there next to Cheryl I could actually smell her. Now don’t get me wrong — she didn’t smell bad or anything. No, she smelled absolutely wonderful!

I can still remember … she was wearing this sleeveless summer dress, and I glanced over — just at her shoulder. I can still see it — round and smooth and brown. An absolutely perfect shoulder.  I could see that she was a little bit sweaty…and with that wonderful smell coming off her, oh man  —  I just wanted to lick the sweat off of her body.

I sat there awhile more. I was dying inside. Soon I couldn’t stand it any longer. And then, I did something real brave. I don’t know, I just had to, you see? So, ever so gently, I slipped my hand over Cheryl’s lap and lightly put it on top of hers.

Oh God, was I terrified! But you know what? To my surprise, she didn’t flinch or pull away. Nothing. Then the next second, she did something truly amazing. She turned her palm upwards and clasped my hand in her own.

It’s funny — even the way Cheryl White held your hand was perfect. She didn’t squeeze too tight, or move her thumb all over the place like some girls do, you know… to try and show you how affectionate they are and stuff. God, there’s nothing worse than somebody who makes a big deal over hand holding. But like I said, Cheryl didn’t do that.

What she’d do is, every so often she’d squeeze my hand — just a little bit — sort of to let me know she liked me, I guess. I squeezed back, being very careful to apply just the right pressure so I wouldn’t seem like some creep who squeezed too hard and didn’t know the finer points of hand holding and all.

What’s more–even though it was hot as hell in that room — Cheryl’s palm never got sweaty. I’ll bet if it’d have been anyone else, that hand would’ve been slipping and sliding all over the place in about two seconds.

The only torturous element of the whole thing was that I was painfully aware of every second that went by. Oh, I know — I should’ve just let time stop, and, you know, basked in the Ever Present Now — the timeless eternal glory of True Love. But I just couldn’t. Because somehow I knew that when that movie was over and those lights went back on, whatever meeting of the souls Cheryl White and I were having would vanish forever.

And so we sat like that. Me, half in heaven, half in hell — and Cheryl, who seemed,as always, perfectly at ease and content. And when, at that dreadful moment when the last frame of the film clacked through the projector, Cheryl squeezed my hand one more time — maybe just a little bit harder than before–yeah, I’m pretty sure of it. Sort of saying goodbye. And then — well, I can’t really remember if she took her hand away first or if I did. Knowing me, I probably did, because, like I said, I didn’t want to be one of those guys that hung on past whe you were supposed to. But maybe she did — I can’t remember that part.

I guess I’ll never know that if it really was me that took my hand away first, that maybe if I hadn’t, Cheryl would’ve looked over at me with a new light in her eyes — you know, she’d have felt my Divine And Glorious presence — and maybe we would’ve walked out of class, our hands and souls firmly entwined…down the hall and out the school gates and off into the sunset together.

Mabye. I mean, who knows that kind of stuff?

But it didn’t happen that way. No, what happened instead was that the bell clanged and it was 2:45 and our hands unclasped, and Cheryl and I both got up and walked out of the classroom.

I remember I walked just a little bit ahead of her, and as I started down the hall on my way to 5th period, I thought about saying something, but I knew it was too late. Behind me, I could hear Cheryl laughing and talking with a bunch of her girlfriends. And she went her way and I went mine and that was it It was over.

Now I know what you’re wondering. You’re wondering: did he wash his hand? Well, frankly I don’t remember. I mean, I’m sure I didn’t wash it for awhile…but I don’t think I got all neurotic about not washing it and stuff. No, because I knew instinctively that whatever had taken place between Cheryl White and I was enouge. Somehow it was meant to last forever. Which I guess it did — because right this very second, I can still feel what it was like to have Cheryl sitting there next to me in that darkened classroom. In fact I can still smell her. Oh man, I’m telling you, she was incredible!

And…you know, I guess maybe Cheryl White truly was some kind of faerie princess. In fact, I’m absolutely sure of it, because, well — if that’s not magic, then I don’t know what the hell is.

(c) Stuart Goldman

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