by Laurie Bosley, 2003 copyright. All rights reserved.
In kindergarten, five year old Rachel fell in love. Boys and dating were a hot topic in our home at the time because I was 17 and Esther was 19. We felt it was part of our sisterly duty to share our limited knowledge on kissing and dating with our younger sister. Since most of our conversations were about boys, Rachel took our advice to heart and found a boyfriend within a few days of entering elementary school.
His name was Wynn. With brown hair and blue eyes, Rachel quickly became smitten. After several days of relentlessly staring at Wynn with stars in her eyes, he finally asked her to be his girlfriend. Of course, she readily accepted. Over the next few months they became best friends. They sat next to each other at lunch, wrote notes to each other with the help of their parents, and drew pictures for one another. Rachel would draw him pictures of cars and trucks. Wynn would draw her pictures of flowers and rainbows.
After school one day, Rachel was showing mom a picture that Wynn had drawn for her. Ten year old Aaron was sitting at the table doing homework and asked to see it. As Aaron looked at the picture he started making kissing noises and said, “So Rachel, how is ol’ Wynn, Where, Why and How?” Well that made her steaming mad. Rachel, who was just a head taller than the table, glared at Aaron. I believe smoke actually came out of her ears. With her eyes narrowed, she snatched Wynn’s picture away from Aaron and stormed out of the room.
From that day on, Aaron made sure to use Wynn’s new nickname as often as possible. After seeing her reaction, Esther and I got in on the name game too. Daily we’d tease Rachel about her beau Wynn-e-pooh.
Despite the relentless teasing, Rachel continued her infatuation with Wynn, Where, Why and How. At Christmas he gave her a candle with a goose on it. She treasured the goose candle and proudly displayed it on a shelf in her room.
One day while playing under a table in their classroom, Wynn decided that he wanted a kiss. Rachel, at first, refused even though Esther and I had trained her for this very moment. When she declined, he gave her a sad puppy dog look and said, “I will be unhappy for the rest of my life if you don’t kiss me.” Rachel was speechless. She didn’t want to be responsible for ruining his life. He had placed a terrible burden on her, so she did the only thing she could do at this point. She kissed him. The kiss was quick and on the cheek, but still she blushed and ran away.
In the spring, the school held a dance. Rachel got all dressed up in a pretty yellow dress with a white collar. Mom tied a yellow ribbon in her dark brown hair. As she twirled in front of the mirror, she looked like a princess ready for the ball. At the dance, she saw her prince on the other side of the room. As she walked gracefully over to him, her smile was radiant. She knew with her yellow dress on that he would surely take one look at her and say, “Rachel, you look truly beautiful. You are as bright as the sun.”
To her dismay, as she approached him, he didn’t notice her at all. As she stood there waiting, she cleared her throat. Engrossed in a conversation with his fourth grade cousin, Wynn kept his back turned toward her. She impatiently cleared her throat louder this time. Still, no reaction. On the third try, a very unlady-like noise finally got his attention. As he turned around, her scowl quickly disappeared. She smiled up at him expectantly, picturing herself glowing like a ray of sunshine – his sunshine.
As he glanced at her he said, “Oh, hey Rachel.” Nervously she replied, “Hi Wynn.” She batted her lashes at him and waited for the words of adoration to flow out of his mouth. Without another word, he turned back to his cousin and continued with his previous conversation. Unable to believe what had just happened, she stood dumbfounded staring at his back. If looks could kill, Wynn would have been a dead man. With a huff, Rachel turned around and marched over to where her girlfriends were sitting.
As the evening wore on, Wynn continued to hang out with his cousin and the other fourth graders. He thought he was cool hanging out with the older boys. As Rachel sat and watched him over the course of the next hour, she got madder and madder. Unable to concentrate on her friends’ conversations any longer, she thought to herself, “If he wants cool, I’ll show him cool.” With her head held high, she walked purposefully over to Wynn. This time she didn’t bother to clear her throat. She roughly grabbed his hand and drug him onto the dance floor with her. As he regained his balance, she looked at his shocked face and said, “I didn’t come to sit. I came to dance. So, let’s dance.” He didn’t say a word throughout the first song, or even the next several, but he continued to hold her and they danced. The determined princess got to dance with her prince after all.
Throughout the rest of the school year, during the summer and into the fall, the romance continued. During the middle of first grade, a new girl moved into town. Her name was Carrie and all of the boys were in a tizzy over her. She was a red-headed bomb shell, and all the boys wanted to date her. Wynn proved to be no exception. He came up to Rachel one day and asked her if she minded if he kept her as his girlfriend but also dated Carrie from time to time. These words were like a slap in the face to Rachel and she quickly decided that she deserved to be treated better than that. She instantly broke if off with Wynn. Their year and a half relationship was over.
To Rachel’s great satisfaction, Carrie decided not to go out with Wynn. She was interested in a boy named Junior. Even though Junior tucked his shirt into his underwear and had a mullet, he was the catch of first grade.
After that day, Rachel didn’t date anyone else in elementary school. She decided that boys were just too much trouble. Even when Wynn asked her out again in fifth grade, she quickly declined. As the years passed, they grew apart and dated various other people. One day as an adult, Rachel bumped into Wynn and his wife at a local restaurant. After a brief conversation, Rachel walked away feeling a bit smug. Surprisingly, Wynn’s new wife looked very similar to her. “Maybe,” she thought, “you never do get over your first true love.” At least, that is the way Rachel will remember it.