Her name was Jennifer Cobb. She was the original woman. Thus the initials JC. My first love. We met in eighth grade. I had begun to notice girls. But she was more than a girl she was smart, funny, and cute. Even though I did not know it I had a crush. We sat beside each other and recessed together most of the time.
In ninth grade I went from noticing girls to want them to notice me. We once on one of those modern dates where there are ten other people involved. I was convinced I had found the love of my life. My only problem was I was too shy to ask her out. Then Mike Williams appeared. He was my competition on the football field. I was the only starting freshman and he was the up and coming sophomore superstar. And he was a natural player with the ladies. Everyone liked Mike. Even I liked Mike. He was the most winsome person you have ever known. He was slowly becoming master of the school.
Of course this was no problem for me I did not want to be the master of the school. But one day he saw her and was captured by her beauty. Now it was obvious he was on the hunt for my Jennifer. Our competitiveness rose to heights unrecorded. The only problem was he had all the advantages. He had stubble. I had peach fuzz. He drove his own car. My parents transported me. He was confident around girls. I was a mess of hormones and silly around girls. Everyone wanted to date him. Few even knew me. The one-sided competition was on.
He kept on showing up between class breaks. God he was a master of the flirt. I would interrupt him and challenge him in that adolescent way. He ignored me as the young man he was. It was obvious Jennifer was attracted to him. But I could also see she had eyes for me too. I knew I had to ask her out soon or Mike would sweep in and I would be choking on the exhaust fumes of his move. But where and how do we get there. Finally, the solution came in the form of the year end school dance. I knew the clock was ticking. Yesterday Mike had worn his letterman jacket, one I had not received yet.
I was desperate; but I was shy. I picked up the phone several times for two days and would never make the call. But today I had to or my cause would be lost forever. I let the phone ring and then hung up. Thank God there was no caller ID in those days. And then with my heart in my throat I stayed on the line. She answered. I thought I heard a lilt in her voice when she realized it was me. After an overly few moments of awkward conversation I pounced. I asked her. There was a sigh on the other end of the line. Oh mike I am so sorry. I waited but the dance is tomorrow. I thought you were not going to ask and I finally said yes to Mike. My heart was crushed and if there was a God in heaven I would crush Mike Williams. But I knew it was my fault.
We talked for a while. She asked me if I was going to the dance and if I was she would save a dance for me. I said I did not know and to have a good time. We ended the conversation amicably. All of my dreams of a-year end dance romance followed by a summer of love were gone.
The vicissitudes of life robbed me of any hope with my first love. My family moved away that summer. In those days there ware no cell phones or social media to remain in touch. You could write a letter but I was never much of a writer. These many years later I wonder about the fate of Mike Williams. And sometimes I smile and sigh when I think of a little girl from Boaz, Al. who I will never know what might have been.
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