I do not remember the last time I had a life lesson. The thing about life lessons is that they do not happen on a daily basis but appear sporadically, lessons that are sprinkled in throughout our existence.
I was in fifth grade when I first crushed on a girl. Her name is Esther Chavez. I’ll never forget her. For a time we had to wear uniforms. They were simple, navy blue pants and white collared shirts. We all looked like doofuses wearing them; however, Esther looked the cutest. She had a birthmark under her left eye that I found adorable. We never spoke in class. In fact, we were in separate social circles. She hung out with the girls that jumped-rope and hula-hooped all through recess. My friends and I played marbles, pongs, backstop, and four square. Esther and I had different agendas.
During dinner with my family, I would talk to them about how much I liked her but too nervous to ever speak to her. I never spoke to her throughout the fifth grade. We made eye contact and she would smile when we were standing in the lunch line. It was great, but I only enjoyed from afar. The fifth-grade promotion was upon us and we were all excited for middle school. All my friends were going to Pershing but my mom wanted me to attend Lemon Grove. It was the end of the ceremony, and coincidentally my mom was speaking to Esther’s mom. They knew each other, and I was face-to-face with Esther. I said hi, and she said it back. She smiled and said she liked my puffy hair. I said I liked her. We both smiled at each other, then Esther left. The sunlight was pale-orange on her bright face, and it made her brown eyes sparkle. She waved and I waved back.
I never did see Esther Chavez again. She ended up moving to Kansas or Missouri, one of those states. Esther still comes to mind. I’ve tried searching for her, but she has such a common name that it almost seems impossible. I was ten years old. I am now thirty, yet I will forever remember that day. Life taught me something that day, it taught me to regret. I regret never talking to Esther.
Life lessons stick with you, they’re the lessons that make you ponder on a random day and hit you from a different angle that halts your mind to think. Since that day, I promised myself to talk to anyone that projects such attraction towards me that it provokes me to react. When Esther and I spoke, energy burst all around us. I want to feel that again.
By Derrek G
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