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  • It was sixth grade. There was a girl, who we’ll call Lisa. Lisa was a girl whom was no beauty queen, and without a great deal of friends. She had a silly crush on me, I kept skirting the line between politely telling her I was uninterested and making fun of her as so many of the other men of my age had done. I had to maintain a certain credibility as a male compatriot, after all.

    

Eventually, there came a time where I approached my bicycle after school as I had usually done, prepared my belongings for the voyage home, sat on the seat and readied myself to take off — one foot on the ground, one on a pedal, hands on the handlebars, with my pedal foot ready to do it's thing. However, the bike didn't roll away from the rack easily as it usually had done. I had looked again at the handlebars and noticed another pair of hands. Hands connected to bony arms, with bony legs below them clinching the front wheel of the bike. I looked up to see Miss Lisa with a smirk that could pry the trunk of a Lincoln wide open without the use of a key.


    
"Excuse me, I'm leaving," I said. 


    Despite my knowledge of her fancying me, I did not expect what came next in the slightest. It was desperate, and bold.


    
"I'm not letting go until you kiss me,” insisted Lisa.

    
After a brief back and forth, and staccato silence, I desperately sought the use of fear as a means of motivating her to move from my path so that I may venture on towards home where a hot meal would be waiting for me. I couldn’t stand to wait a moment longer. I warned her a first, a second and one last time that I would run her over if she did not move. The smirk shifted a little, but quickly morphed into the most defiant stare she could muster.



    I knew what I had to do. My honor was important to me, and I had just told her I would run her over if she did not move. I pushed the pedals with all my might, and paid no mind to the strange noise she made as she collapsed backwards and my bike wheels rolled over her. I did however give a brief glance back as I heard her howling like a hungry sea-lion. That was apparently the sound she made when she was in pain, but she was clearly overacting. There's no way an average sized boy and his bicycle could be the source of any sort of pain that could match the magnitude of the yelping and crying I was hearing. 



    I shrugged it off and continued over the horizon towards home.



    The next day, there was an empty seat in class. I had to think about it for several seconds before I realized who was missing. I turned again to the front of the room and continued about my usual ratio of mischief-to-pretending-to-learn. It was a fairly normal day, and perhaps a little boring.



    "Oh my..."


    Our teacher interrupted the flow of things with an unusual, surprised tone of voice.
    
Enter the girl, armed with two crutches, and a cast from toe to waist. And a glare that said "this isn't over yet."



    I was more concerned with what she'd say when the other kids asked "what happened to you!?" than what had actually happened to her. Her relative silence was slightly disturbing.

 She said nothing of the obviously horrific thing I had done to her and I kept waiting for the moment when she broke the silence, indicting me in front of all the other students and the teacher whom I worked so hard to earn a degree of favor with. The silence persisted.

    Weeks went by and after awhile I had become comfortable with the idea that she had decided that I was the worst of all jerks but that she was not going to testify of my crime. I couldn’t think of a better possible outcome. Later in the year, she jumped out from behind a tree and kissed me on the mouth. I didn't know how to react... there were no fellow mini-men around to play my artificial bravado to. I shrugged, and told her I'd see her tomorrow. She invited me to a birthday party that week. I was told "practically the whole class" was going to be there. I went to this "party", out of something that seemed a little like guilt. And guilt it must have been. There certainly hadn't been any other incidents involving student peers breaking one of the heartiest bones in her body with a bicycle, just as there certainly was nobody else there. Upon arriving, a strange family welcomed me, and beckoned me to a seat. I watched them place a movie in the VCR, one with an "R" rating that my mother specifically told me was terrible, sad and restricted when she refused to let me watch it weeks before. I watched with a locked stare and tried my hardest to shut off the alarms in my mind, but the "this is weird! get out!" sirens were just too loud. The movie ended and I was told the party was over and told to leave.

    It was the strangest and worst birthday party I had ever been to.



    Throughout the school year, she continued chasing after me, and flirted with an emboldened tenacity. I felt far too guilty and ashamed to say anything that would have been useful in disarming the situation, so I carried on like a scared child, performing the mentally equivalent maneuver of covering my eyes and pretending that none of it was happening. I certainly didn’t want to be banished from the social circles I was accustomed to. It was a delicate dance, trying to passively avoid hurting this difficult young lady whilst not giving off the idea that I was fine with her to my comrades. Eventually the school year was done and I did not have to see her ever again.



    All in all, it was a fairly uncomfortable experience, and it was of great relief when it was finally over. The mistakes I made brought shame and guilt. I did, however, learn an important lesson about women at a young age:
 If you must, break a heart. Don’t break a leg. A broken femur doesn’t prevent you from being subjected to drive-by kissings and terrible birthday non-parties.




    ---
    Photo by K J Payne (CC BY-SA 2.0 - http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)
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