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My memory is faintly foggy, like staring through rose-colored glasses. But what I believe to be the beginning, was the Lifetime of Lydia.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly I knew all my life, I’d been wandering. A lost little planet meandering the infinite of space searching for my sun. And then there she was. Glowing like a ball of light.

She stared at me. Confusion written all over her face. She reached out to brush my arm “…for hitting your elbow. Does it hurt?…are you ok?”

I blinked. Like one is forced to do when stepping from the darkness into such a dazzling light.

Her eyebrow raised.

I stammered out a “yes, yes. I’m fine. No problem.”

A rather feeble beginning sentence directed toward someone who had so easily knocked askew everything that was my life.

“All right,” she slammed her locker door shut. “Gotta go to class. Watch out for rogue elements hanging around the lockers waiting to bash people with the heavy locker doors.”

She laughed at her own joke, wrapping her arms around her stack of books, as she turned and disappeared amidst the throng of school kids, who were wandering about the corridor, as if they had no direction without loud commands from authoritative teachers

I stared after her, completely in shock.

She was twelve. I thirteen. It still stands as one of our earliest encounters.

I could not let it end like that. I pursued her. And not so much in the gallant, love-stricken prince sort of way bur the full-on, stalker, boy-desperate-for-a-girl-out-of-his-league sort of way. I stalked her classes, lingered in the halls in case she would pass, wandered through the places she might be found.

Perhaps it was insanity or a young boy’s first crush, but something deeper woke inside of me. A drive. A mission. A love. That had to be fulfilled. I had no choice really. Not that I would have chosen otherwise. I just knew she was everything.

My first attraction deepened into much more. Deeper than even a crush. Her every mannerism, from her nose wrinkle to the way she expressed herself with her eyebrows alone, enchanted me. Her kind heart and infectious laugh seduced me. She was awkward and forgetful and acne-prone, but even her flaws took pieces of my heart. She was stubborn and, though slow to anger, it was strong when it came. She was not particularly ambitious but she was happy.

And she was beautiful. Those eyes. So dark brown and thoughtful. Her hair was long and straw-colored that she absently twisted about her fingers when she was nervous or bored. She was tall and slim with a turned-up nose and excessively long hands.

She began to notice me the tall, awkward, nervous boy who stared with big, green eyes a bit too obviously. At first, she was surprised and a bit annoyed but then she began to pity this obviously in-over-his-head teenager.

The next time she bumped into me, it was not so accidental, but I still dropped all my books anyway. Her self-inflicted penance was having me sit with her and her friends at lunch. And with every bite of lime Jello she ate, I fell farther in love with her.

(to be continued tomorrow….)