Tag Archives: first crush

Nobody Knows

soccer

Nobody knew she had a crush on her soccer coach. Not a soul.

Except her parents, who watched her get ready every evening with just a little more gusto than anything else she did in life. She would always very carefully figure out what outfit would look good without trying too hard, you know, since she was learning soccer.

But that was it.

Well, maybe the elderly couple who passed as they did their daily pre-Wheel of Fortune walk. They could tell because of how she laughed just a little too hard at his jokes.

But not another person knew.

Well, except for the guy who was a little too old to be enjoying playing with his remote control car about two baseball fields away. He knew because he could see her smile from there.

Nobody else though.

Except the two strangers who ran every evening at the same time in opposite directions, nodding each time they passed one another on the circular path, each hoping the other would break the runner’s code and stop the other to have a chat. They knew because of how she would twist her arms awkwardly with her hands clenched during each break for the coach’s instructions.

Seriously though, no one else knew.

Except that dad who was taking his daughter for a walk in a stroller. He could tell because of the way she couldn’t stay on both feet, and was kind of hopping back and forth.

Maybe one or two more people knew.

Like the dog walker who had a little chihuahua and a larger spaniel. She knew, because she remembered those days and could just tell.

And the person driving by, who saw she stood just a little closer than was usually comfortable in that situation.

And how do I know? Because I was one of those people. It doesn’t matter which. But we all knew.

Even the coach knew. He was older, wiser, and used to this. But he loved his wife more than he loved teaching kids soccer, the most popular sport in his home town across the sea.

As far as she knew, nobody knew she had a crush on her soccer coach. Not a soul.

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The Boy in the Tea House

This was her third time in the tea house, but her first alone. The waiter, a senior at her school, had complimented her necklace last time she was there with her grandmother, and she was excited that he even noticed her, let alone talked to her in public.

She wrote his name over and over in a little journal she had.

She talked about him to her best friend.

Her grandmother had even said to her, “What a nice boy he is. Is he a friend of yours?” Which of course caused her to blush.

And now, after weeks of preparing herself mentally, she was back at the tea house, alone. She wore her favorite sundress, pinkish-purple, the necklace again (of course), and carried her money in a heart-shaped purse she’d bought just for the occasion. Also, as an excuse for going alone, she brought an old copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to feign reading.

When she entered the little home-turned-shop, he was by the door.

“Hey you, back again huh? No grandmother this time?”

She giggled, blushed and stammered something she hoped made sense.

“Well, let me show you to your table,” he said with a smile as she swore she noticed a twinkle in his perfect blue eyes.

She was so flustered that she slammed her purse down a bit too hard, the chain going wild.

“What will you have?” he asked.

She already knew her favorite tea, but still took a moment to gain the nerve to talk to him.

“Earl Grey, please.”

He smiled and left her.

She opened the book and tried to read it, but was mostly watching him walk from one spot to the next behind the counter, getting her drink ready. After a few minutes the sound of water boiling warned her of his imminent return.

“Your tea.” He said, holding up the teapot.

She nodded and pretended to read.

“Hello? Would you like it?”

She nodded again, face starting to turn red, wondering what he was doing.

“Um…your purse.”

She looked under the book to see that the chain of her purse had somehow ended up in the teacup, keeping him from pouring the water.

“Oops,” she said, redder than ever, ears burning, as she removed her purse from the table.

She would never, ever, ever in a million years live that moment down.

Heart-Shaped Purse photograph by the amazing Manon De Sutter. This photograph, along with a few of her others, inspired this story. Please check out her work.