I first met her at 8 years old. Her dad had just married moms best friend. I loved her hair, she was so pretty, so cool. She had a turtle, mom loved turtles, so I loved turtles too. Maya loved legos, Star Wars, and boy clothes. She had an older brother Alan, I didn’t know him, he was much older and lived with her mom, Maya’s dad, Evan, had pictures of him displayed in the house, however, not many. I remember the day we became friends just as it was yesterday, we played in the leaves at the park, it was crisp fall, photos from that day remain pinned to the walls of my mothers house. Weeks later, Halloween night, we went Trick or Treating together, she was dressed as a storm trooper, I was Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Despite our almost opposite personalities and interests we remained good friends, until our only connection broke. My mom, and her stepmom. We attended different schools, neither of us had cell phones, we were still young, it wasn’t until years later that we would see one another.
My first real day at my new school. Since my troublemaker phase, I haven’t been at public school. A whole year of attending only 2 days a week, which for an extrovert like myself was difficult. I had been on campus at this school, briefly, with few students around me. We at the time had been in distance learning for almost a year, blame the pandemic. Only the brave ones came onto campus, I had made a few friends though, and I had cousins at this school. I spent my days with Caleb, my cousin. I met his friends, they became my friends, then a group of people from the grade below us joined. Of this group was… her. Maya. My heart sunk, I knew immediately, it was her. She had not changed. Still the same beauty, she had such a bright smile, her eyes could be my flashlight in the forest, and it’s her hair could make the darkest night look like the sun was rising. We both recalled each other, not fondly at first, but as our trust grew, our feelings for one another did the same. She was the reason I came out to my mom, I wasn’t sure what as, and I expressed that. I remain unsure as to who I am. I know who I wish I was though, Maya’s girlfriend. The first time we ended up together, I asked her out. We had been heavily flirting, but we were young, I was only 14, she was my first relationship. We gave each other rocks, held hands, walked each other to class, and our first hug we both were convinced it was as big a deal as losing our virginity. I remember the electricity I felt when I grabbed her hand that first time, it was to write my phone number on it. She walked to class with a tomato red blush plastered atop the brightest grin I had ever seen. This was before I asked her to be my girlfriend. We lasted about a month, then I questioned myself. So we broke up, for I did not want to string her along. After that all I could think about was her. We continued this cycle until I met someone new. Dick, he was rather unimportant, my first boyfriend, we only lasted a week. Then she sat, resting in the very depths of my subconscious. I changed schools again after that year, back to my very first school, where I attended from kindergarten, until 7th grade. Her cousin went there, he was a sophomore as I was a freshman, I didn’t see him until about a month in. We talked briefly, and long enough for him to recognize who I was. This was back in September. It now being November, a long time to pass in the halls, exchange a brief “Ew, it’s you,” avoid making eye contact, wish we could both talk about her, and keep walking. I knew my story with her wasn’t over, and Chris was my reason for knowing. He was the hope I had for getting her back some day, he was my reminder that Maya is never going to be one I can forget. He is my reminder that she can never forget me.