1st Love: the ChinaMan and the Spaniard
I was six, and so was he. We were in the First Grade and sat right next to each other in Mrs. Pelton's class. His name was Roy Chow. You got it... a Chinese kid, for this tall, blonde, white girl. Looking back, the mystery of someone different and foreign must have been the attraction factor for me.
I flirted shamelessly with him. He seemed to like it. One day, while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, I saw my perfect chance to get away with a kiss. I leaned over quickly and smooched him on the cheek right in front of everyone! But no one seemed to notice, their eyes were all on the flag. The public display of affection enhanced the kiss even more. Six years old, and already an exhibitionist!
I couldn't stop smiling, and looked over at Roy as he and the class finished with "liberty and justice for all." His normally porcelain complexion was the deepest crimson. He would not look at me for the rest of the day.
I was still grinning the next morning as I approached the desk next to my future Chinese husband. He boldly lifted his face up to mine and said in the most matter-of-fact tone, "My family said if you kiss me one more time, they will KILL you."
I was crushed. Duped by my first love and my life threatened all in one breath. I had visions of being karate-chopped to death by the Chinese Mafia. Love quickly turned to terror. I didn't look or speak to Roy for weeks.
One morning, Mrs. Pelton announced she designed a new and improved seating chart. I was moved to the back of the class. This time I sat next to a good-looking Spanish boy named Jose' Oxholm. He was much more fun than grumpy old Roy. And he flirted back! I soon began writing notes and poems professing my undying love for this dashing Spaniard. I would giggle as he softly read the notes back to me.
Mrs. Pelton came over one afternoon to see what all the girlish laughter was about and snatched a freshly written "I Love You" out of Jose's hands. She read the note and yanked me up by my arm, dragging me to the front of the class. I was flipped over on her knee and recieved a severe paddling in front of my peers. It did not thrill me to have an audience this time. I had been publicly humiliated and sulked even more when I was moved away from my beloved.
Later that night, I started to dial his phone number. My father asked me who I was calling. When I told him it was a boy from school, he took the phone from me and hung it up, telling me to never call aboy again, that I should wait for THEM to call ME. Not daring to defy my father, I begged Jose' every day at school to call me. It was the only way I could talk to him. I would wait by the phone night after night. Finally summer came, and Jose' soon became a memory.
One lazy afternoon, while I was bored enough to put on a puppet show for my disinterested Siamese cat, Jose' called! He invited me over to play. My mother was taking a nap. Not wanting to wake her (or be told NO), I quickly jotted down a note saying I went for a bike ride. I raced all the way to Jose's house and we spent a wonderful afternoon playing in his tree fort and running through his backyard. He took me inside his house after a while to play in the cool basement. It was dark and we were alone. We were older now, both seven. Having more romantic thoughts than the average seven-year-old girl, I saw my chance for a secret kiss. I asked Jose' if he wanted to kiss me. He was completely shocked. After all, we were friends. Friends don't kiss!
Instead of feeling rejected, I was happy he considered me such a friend and played with him the rest of that glorious summer afternoon, ridng my bike home with a smile on my face.