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Circa 1962

Circa 1962

My whole, young heart is filled with nothing but Mary Ann.  I follow her past the crossing guard.  On the other side, I bump into her like a tethered balloon.  She giggles and asks me if I am ready.  I nod.  She bolts.  Fifty yards later, she reaches her house three steps ahead of me.    

"You'll never catch me,” she says, her giggles now a full laugh.  At her door she twirls, blurring into a cloud of pink cotton candy that disappears inside.
Twenty years later I'm standing next to an ice cream kiosk in a mall watching her.  She's standing behind the counter of a candy shop.

She looks up and our eyes lock.  It’s only for a micro-second but in that short time our races flash before my eyes as if I’m dying:  I lose each race, day after day, but I am filled with oblivious joy.  And then that last of all days, she races another boy and my heart, like a lost balloon, bursts.

As quickly as our eyes met, she lowers hers.  She twirls and disappears through a door behind her.