Chapter 1 : Rebecca The First
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REBECCA THE FIRST
It was the summer of my childhood to which all other summers would be measured against. The April showers disappeared as if granting me the gift of playing out doors everyday and the scent of the air was pollen free as if giving me the permission to enjoy it.
I had become obsessed with living things and watching them as grew. The park was my haven and everything in it, from the caterpillars to ladybugs to the occasional stray garden gnome, was fodder for the imagination.
In my mind, everything was perfect and nothing could improve upon perfection.
Then I met her.
She was a vision in pink, like a twelve tier birthday cake. She had freckles under her eyes that looked like cat whiskers. She had sandy blonde hair that always had sand in it. She had eyes the color of toilet cleaner flavor jellybeans.
She was Rebecca Foster.
And I was in love.
I was five when we first met. She was eight, which made her the older woman in a closely gapped May-December romance. Something about her clear sophistication around finger-paints, her self-restraint around party candy and her polite way of asking people for the sugar flowers made me feel like biting any other guy who asked to push her on the swings. As far as I was concerned: we were made for each other! She had freckles, I had freckles. She had toilet cleaner jellybean eyes, I had toilet cleaner jellybean eyes. She had sandy blonde hair, and she was blonde enough for the both of us.
I told Bill that I would marry her one day so we could have play dates whenever we wanted.
Of course, being the sagely older brother, he offered me valuable advice to recognize my dreams into reality.
“That’s easy!” he told me. “All you need to do is get a ring and put it on her finger. When she says yes, then you’re married!”
Was it that easy? I thought to myself. Give the girl a ring and she would be yours exclusively? No more sharing cakes with other boys. No more letting them push her on the swings? No more standing in the side while someone else played with her in the sandbox? It seemed almost too easy, but being naïve and gullible, I took Bill’s word for it and went off in search of a ring.
It wasn’t that hard. I walked around Ottery St. Catchpole and in a matter of minutes; I found an empty soda can lying on the ground!
Perfect! I thought to myself. I twisted the ring off the top and shoved it in my pocket without a second thought and ran back for home.
I wasted no time. I went straight for my Mum’s crafts room and asked her to take me to the park. I knew Rebecca would be there. Her Mum always took her to the park for the afternoon. She would be on the swings and no boy would push her but me! As soon as I gave her the ring and she said yes, we would be married and Mum could take us out to Diagon Alley for iced cream.
I tired Mum out in a matter of minutes and she finally took Bill and me to the park. As I thought, Rebecca was there and she was making her way for the swings. I dashed out to meet her, leaving my mother and hers to talk amongst themselves. They were going to be so happy when I told them that they were going to be related!
Rebecca was getting on the swing but I tugged her perfectly pleated hair and bashfully handed out the soda can ring. She took it from me and examined it for a while.
My heart raced with anticipation. All I wanted was to hear her sweet voice say yes. The excitement ate at me! The suspense was too much! I could hardly breathe.
Then, she threw the ring away and asked Bill to push her on the swings.
I sank as they both laughed and took turns on the swing. My own brother shrugged at me as if he didn’t know what a gem he’d found. Rebecca Foster chose him over me.
I was broken-hearted and knew I would never to love again.