It’s two minutes into my first recess at a new primary school and a girl already wants to go out with me!
“What’s your name?”
We are both in Year 5 but she is the tallest student in school. I only reach her shoulder. She’s taller than some of the teachers. She is red headed and freckled. Tahlia also has a shy smile.
I’ve never heard anybody say no to having a girlfriend. All the cool boys have one.
“Well, okay then.”
“Let’s hold hands.”
It’s my first day and I’m already holding hands with a girl!
Her hand is dry and bony. We walk across the football field. A dark haired girl in Year 6 jogs to me to say hello. Her name is Shari. “I’m fostered too,” she admitted. “I live just down the road from you.”
Shari is to be one of my better friends the next few years, but Tahlia is stomping her foot jealously.
Time to move on. I am a boyfriend now.
The kids kicking a ball in the goal post. I used to be carefree like them.
And the two boys laughing near the wooden seats as they keep trying to stomp on their apple juice poppers? Alas, I yearn to join their mischief.
I cannot shirk from my responsibilities. I’m part of something bigger now.
And I have been tamed.
Tahlia tugs my arm again. “Hey you guys!” she shouts at a circle of her friends in the shade of a tree. “This is my boyfriend.”