Monday, June 8, 2015
No, she really did. I spied her the very first day in junior high in Mrs. Nichols' homeroom. She and her friend Sophie were both curly blondes, wicked smart and oh so quiet. I mean 'didn't talk quiet'. They were cute too. This was a new world for me, away from St. Joseph's School where I had gone since kindergarten knowing the same faces every year. This was my brave new world. Cynthia and Sophie never got in trouble. Trouble found me. The girls both carried home report cards each quarter with nothing but an A+ next to each subject. I struggled for B's and C's and sometimes less. You might say, as a 7th grader, I was an 'active child'. Let's leave it at that. I loved PE (gym class) though. Well, I loved it until the day Mr. Atwood announced that the following day we'd start square dancing... with members of the opposite sex. Yikes! I was nervous. I couldn't sleep. I think I had a mild case of diarrhea. I was in tough shape. I even thought about 'playing sick' and staying home from school but thought that would only make it worse. 10:30 and Gym class came and Mr. A. lined the boys on one side of the gym and the girls on the other. The first day the boys would walk across the gym and select their partners. The next class the girls would. What to do? Walk fast and pick a girl I'd like to dance with or walk slow and get what was left. What to do? I'm just happy I didn't stop 1/2 way across the floor and breakdown in tears or worse. One kid did. As I was walking, I spied Cynthia standing there and made a beeline for her. I must admit she hardly gave me the time of day in class, except when I was up to mischief. Then I always thought I detected a small smile creeping my way. So I knew she didn't hate me. What to do? I had readied myself for rejection, but she nodded yes and we headed for the center of the floor. I must admit it wasn't torture. I think I had fun. She admitted she was as nervous as I was that day. I guess you could say we survived!
The next day she and Sophie were absent. It was a Jewish holiday. Darn. Now what?
Gym class. What to do? I KNEW she would pick me. What now though? My stomach wasn't feeling too fine. All bets were off. What girl would pick me now? Well, Bente did. It was fun again. After a couple more classes, square dancing was over for the year.
I had survived!
And thank you Cynthia.
You saved my life!