He pushed the jacket sleeve into his face and inhaled deeply through his nose. The scent still lingered there. It was almost a week since she had rested her head on his arm on the drive home that day. A hint of strawberries tinged the floral aroma. He closed his eyes and replayed the memory.
She had been tired and chose to lean her head back to nap. He offered his arm as support and she accepted. For the next half hour, he dared not move. He purposely relaxed his arm muscles as much as he could to provide a soft pillow for her head. Her long, dark hair flowed over his arm and swung behind the seat as the car moved.
The driver said nothing and made no facial expressions to either encourage or disapprove his actions. It was not her daughter after all and he was not the driver’s relative either. Simply a family friend going our way who offered to drive us home. The three shared the front bench seat of the car without seat belts and the windows opened a few inches to allow the warm summer night air flow past without being a harsh nuisance.
He had always wanted to do this. Cradle the girl’s head in his arms. Provide comfort and shelter to her. Care for her. Always. He knew it would never be. She loved sports and art. He was a boy of thoughtful words who dabbled with occasional poetry. Maybe if they started their own greeting card company, she would design and draw, he would compose the words and phrases for others. But it would never work.
She was a gazelle and would run free. He would never catch her. Which is why he stood here in the doorway of the open hall closet and sniffed his jacket sleeve in the dark. Alone.
Who was your first childhood crush? What would you say to that person if you saw him/her again?