5 Stories in 100 Words: Middle School Love
Travis Sumner, Willing Contributor
She was the best second baseman I ever saw. Not until my thirteenth summer did I realize this. Early in the season, I took notice from the adjacent field. The effortless scoops and strikes to first, her ponytail playing tricks in the setting sun. Our Home schedules often coincided. On those nights, I anxiously hoped our innings would turn in lock step. One time, when my wish came true. I was unable to hear their yells and a long fly struck me square in the chest. As I had already been awestruck by the best second baseman I ever saw.
It was summer camp, 2004. He wore a purple furry hat (every day!) that everyone knew was from the local amusement park. Blonde hair poured out of the hat and tickled his shoulders. All summer, people poked fun of him for the hat, but I thought it was the coolest thing ever. We never spoke until he asked me to the end-of-summer dance. I was so surprised when he approached me, I couldn't speak to respond. We danced to Britney Spears "Toxic," and then never saw each other again.
Christopher Esperance, Creator / Comic / Producer
“You'll understand if you watch Sweet November”, she said by my friend’s pool.
Remembering that middle-school break-up makes me think we are too young to live those lives.
Or maybe this girl was just light years ahead of me. Referencing pop-culture to explain why a break-up makes sense feels lazy. Referencing a romantic drama film starring Keanu Reeves to explain why a break-up makes sense is genius.
Keanu's character (Nelson) in Sweet November says, “Everyone knows happiness is a myth, an extremely powerful myth.” Deep. If that doesn't make sense to you, you'll understand if you watch John Wick.
Never fall in love in third grade. Your mom will make you wear leggings. You will be a rebel and wear jeans underneath to quickly change at school to ensure your crush will notice you in a cute outfit. You will remove the leggings in the middle of class to reveal your jeans. What you end up revealing is far worse: a full moon, right in your crush’s face. Ian Fink and I did end up together two years later though. So you know what, screw it. Because the stars might end up aligning with your full moon.
All My Life
I was clumsy, wore a Rebecca Lobo jersey too often, and was taller (and paler) than most. I black out Middle School. I did have a consuming crush. He was cooler, more coordinated than me. It wasn’t secret; everyone knew including teachers and parents (horrifying!) Scene: The Valentine’s dance in eighth grade. My face: redder than a long day at the beach without sunscreen. Why? My crush infiltrated my oblong circle of friends, gently taking my hand. K-Ci & JoJo, “All My Life” played in the background as we danced at width. My diary was in for a treat.
Wasn't that fun?! If you want to write for one of the upcoming themes, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.