Boys and Girls Together

Snapshots in Prose - Boys and Girls TogetherWhen she covered my eyes, I was about to take a bite of my sandwich. Daniel and my other friends laughed, and I put it down, turned, and looked for her table. She and her friends were sitting near the bathrooms. Her friends knew she was going to do it. When she ran back to them, they all reached across the table and held her hand. Daniel told me so. Maybe it was just a dare. But why had she picked me?

From that day on, Bonnie was beautiful and her voice was different, sweet and clear, and I listened to her answers in class. I never enjoyed catechism so much. She sat near the side blackboard in front of me, so I could watch her, but she would need to turn in her seat to catch me. Sometimes she did and smiled, but I'd quickly shift my eyes to an alphabet letter above the blackboard behind her. When it was safe, I'd look at her again.

Listening to her voice or watching her take notes from the blackboard and write in her notebook was better than watching dust float in afternoon sun bars—or playing "war," jabbing small drawings of German airplanes over an empty inkwell hole with a sharp pencil. Lying in bed at night, I thought about Bonnie touching my face, so I would dream about her when I fell asleep, and sometimes it worked.

They were always the same two dreams. Playing roller hockey in the park near school, I scored a goal. Or I'd hit a home run, winning the Yorkville Softball Tournament. Bonnie was always there, standing behind the chain link fence, watching me, smiling for me while I skated around the net or crossed home plate. I'd look at her but never smile back, because heroes are always humble.

After dinner I'd lie on my bed and wait for songs like "Earth Angel" and "Goodnight Sweetheart" on WINS radio, so I could see those scenes over and over. I wanted to see her face through the fence. I wanted to see her covering my eyes or turning to look at me in class. When my mother finished the dishes, I'd turn the light on and the radio off.

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