xlovebecomesher: (Lost My Heart)
[personal profile] xlovebecomesher
He fell in love with her in the 5th grade. Oh he'd deny it of course when the kids made fun of him. He wasn't going to allow himself to be vulnerable. Plus she announced to the whole class that she was in love with Noah, another boy in their class. There was no way he was going to tell her how he felt. Instead, he began to ignore her...and in a class of 7 students, it was a hard feat to accomplish. But every night he'd go home and dream of her.

In the 6th grade, they slowly became best friends. He wasn't sure how it started but one day he realized that the only reason he looked forward to going to school was to see her smiling face and to hear her stories. At home, his stepfather and his brothers made fun of him nonstop for not being able to read. Didn't they understand that no matter how he tried, he couldn't make sense of letters? His mom ignored his brothers and stepfather and him in turn. He had no one until her that just "got" him. She even understood how hard it was for him to read because she had her own problems with reading and spelling. He slowly realized that she was the sun to his darkness.

Then one day she came up to him and told him that she was in love with him and informed him that they were going to be together. He laughed but agreed. What choice did he have? For the few weeks they "dated" (which if he was honest, dating was only phone calls after school and sitting together at lunch as they lived too far apart), he never felt happier than when he got to spend time with her.

Until his world collapsed.

Nick came to school one day and offered to bring her a ring from home if she would date him instead. She debated it and got him to agree to bring a bracelet too.

She came to him during lunch and told hold him "unless you have something to buy me, we're breaking up." He had nothing. So they broke up.

He mourned. As much as one 6th grader can. He ignored everyone for a while, drew a flip book for a writing prompt to express his mood, watched his grades dropped and couldn't even bring himself to care. She tried talking to him but he wanted nothing to do with her; watching her with Nick was too painful. It was easier to go back to ignoring her as he used to do; you can't get hurt that way.

And then one day, she came to him crying. Nick was dating the new girl in the class and rubbing it in everyone's face. She cried during recess and he awkwardly held her; 6th grade or not, he couldn't deal with a girl crying. She asked him for another chance; she regretted breaking up with him. She swore up and down that she would never leave him again. He told her he would think about it and get back to her.

He thought about it...and thought about it.

On one hand, he wanted to forgive her. He wanted to be with her, he loved her. Sometimes he could see himself one day when they were older getting married; he'd be a mechanic like he wanted and own his own shop and she'd be a pop star actress like she dreamed about and they'd live happily ever after.

Then he thought about the devastation; the tears he hid, the bad grades that had his brothers making fun of him nonstop, the beating he took from his stepfather when report cards came out, his mom's snarky comment that he was just going to turn out like his biological father - rotting in jail. He thought about how alone he felt, the darkness. As much as he needed her in his life, he couldn't bring himself to trust her again. What if she dumped him again?

So despite everything inside that wanted to say yes, he forced himself the next day at recess to tell her "no, not interested." He walked away calmly and joined his friends in a game of tag. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched her curl up in a ball by herself next to the pond. He wanted to go over to her and tell her he changed his mind; then he was tagged and the moment had passed.

No matter how desperately he wanted to be able to do so, there was no going back.

This was written for LJ Idol Season 10: Fear is the Heart of Love. This is based on a real story that has been playing out in the 6th grade classroom at my school since September (and both the boy and girl mentioned were students of mine when they were in 5th grade). When my coworker showed me this flipbook the student had made after getting broken up with, I thought it would make for a great story if only I had a good prompt! The joys of being a teacher is that sometimes you get caught up in the drama that is your students!

This is the flip book he drew - story goes from top of this pic to the bottom!
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