(First love was likely first grade. The story was previously posted. It was titled Dimples and Dreadlocks. In addition a Saint Valentine’s Day theme story is offered for your entertainment.)
Dimples and Dreadlocks
Virginia was black and Bucky was white. They were in the second grade. It was 1954.
Virginia was absent from school for two days. On the third day Bucky worried about Virginia. He thought about her all day. Her empty chair was no emptier than his heart. He missed her answers in class, her smile, her walk; her presence.
On his way home from school Bucky searched for pop bottles to cash-in at Sonny’s Grocery. He found five and cashed them in for ten cents. He bought two Mars Bars and ran to Virginia’s home.
He knocked and Virginia’s mother came to the door.
“Yes,” she said smiling.
“My name is Bucky,” he said. “I’m in Virginia’s class. Is she still sick?”
“She’s fine now,” she said. “She’ll be back in school tomorrow.”
“I got a candy bar for her,” Bucky said. “Can I give it to her. I got one for myself. Can we eat it together.”
Virginia’s mother smiled uncomfortably. She looked around as if being coerced into something illegal.
“Perhaps you should go home,” she said.
“Could you give Virginia the candy bar?” Bucky said.
Suddenly Virginia appeared at the door beside her mother. Her dreadlocks hung like bananas. Her dimpled smile that Bucky missed caused him to miss his breath.
“I got this for you,” Bucky said handing the candy bar to her.
Her delicate hand started to reach for it and stopped. She looked up at her mother. Her mother smiled and nodded. Virginia smiled and politely accepted the candy bar. “Thank you,” she said.
“Can I come in?” Bucky said.
“You better run along,” Virginia’s mother said looking around once again.
“They’re good with milk,” Bucky said. He smiled at Virginia and left.
Where their walk parts the hedges and meets the sidewalk that runs in front of Virginia’s home Bucky stopped and turned. Virginia stood in the front window. She brushed aside a dreadlock that hung on her cheek and waved. Bucky smiled and winked. Virginia winked and suddenly the dimple appeared.
Bucky ran home in love.
“Waldo,” Burton said. “What are you preparing to do with your wife on St Valentine’s day?”
“Absolutely nothing out the ordinary,” Waldo said.
“For heaven’s sake how is your wife to know your love for her?” Burton said.
“My wife is quite content with how she is treated the other 364 days,” Waldo said. “If all the sudden I was to pay special attention on a certain day she might think something is up.”
“It is a day for love, Waldo,” Burton said. “Make the best of it.”
“Frankly,” Waldo said. “I find the whole idea of Valentine’s a bit contrived and perverse; a priest, poison arrows, and an oversexed lad mixed into some sort of fairy tale. The whole thing is not fit for child or adult consumption. It‘s the sort of superstitions hillbillies and Irishman revel in.”
“It’s a happy time, Waldo, ole boy,” Burton said. “You should try it at least once.”
“We’re Englishmen, Burton,” Waldo said. “We don’t trifle with such things. This is the sort of thing they do in the Americas.”
“It was the Englishmen that elevated the day to what it is today,” Burton said.
“Not true Englishmen,” Waldo said.
“We colonized the world with Englishmen,” Burstyn said.
“Not by setting aside just one day to do so,” Waldo said. “It took a global effort.”