In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Crush.”
The middle school gym was stuffy, filled with the bodies of young teenagers. It was 1987 and I was a gawky 13 year-old. A beanpole, I was taller than many of the boys in my class and probably didn’t weigh a hundred pounds soaking wet. The spring dance was on a warm, humid evening. I was wearing a cute dress and I had teased my hair to impressive heights with the aid of a half a can of Aqua Net (80’s girls can relate). I was standing in a group of my friends, safety in numbers.
When a slow song came on, I saw Randy approach. He walked right up to me, smiled and shyly pulled me away from my friends. He led me out to the dance floor and we began that awkward process – stepping into each other’s personal space, figuring out where to put hands, shuffling around stiffly in a circle. My heart was pounding so loud that I was sure he could hear it. Looking into his brown eyes set off a flurry of butterflies in my stomach. We had been friends and neighbors for years but there, on that night, we stood on the brink of something that neither of us yet understood.
We danced to Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. I still think of him when I hear that song.
After that dance we became an official thing. It was a typical middle school relationship that consisted mostly of hanging out and holding hands. He also gave me my first real kiss. About a year later, he moved away. This was long before email, text and social media so we quickly lost touch and our great romance came to an end. I probably wouldn’t even recognize him if I passed him on the street today. Funny how that happens.
I had to include the video because it is cheesetastic and features some totally rad 80’s hair: