I’ve always been fond of the name Michelle. Well, from the age of 10 onwards anyway. I’ve known very few Michelles in my life. All have been an integral part of my life and all have have left me with fond memories, except one (that’s for another blog post some other day).
I was reading in someone’s blog (Selma) about her first kiss and the way it made her feel thinking about it now. I must admit it that I haven’t had much luck in the lady department but my first kiss was at the age of 10!
Now hold on, don’t get your pitchforks and your dancing boots on. Don’t start calling me the cradle robber and all that. I didn’t initiate it. I barely even liked girls and except for a couple of my friends who I grew up with, I rarely tolerated them in the first place. I studied in Carmel school, Kuwait at the time and they had a strict policy about the ratio of girls to guys. I remember that it was about 11 of us jokers against 35 or so girls! I was in the 4th grade. I sat next to, what I thought much later to be, two of the most cutest girls I have ever met. On my right sat Asma, who was this sweet but naughty Gujarathi girl. And on my left sat Michelle.
Michelle was Philippino and she was so cute. Thick curly hair, doll like fair skinned face and she had eyes that made you want to cry. Now, I am basing this mostly on the photos I saw of her much later, the ones I found about 10 years ago, long after I last saw her in person. Anyways, Michelle was the quitest girl in the school. She pretty much kept to herself and was so quite that sometimes the teachers forgot that she was even there.
Well, once she was ill and had to stay at home on a day that we were given a big homework to do. I remember that it was in Arts & Crafts (why did they have such a subject in school like that, I will never know). So Michelle didn’t do the work since she wasn’t there when it was assigned. The next day, our teacher was coming to each kid and checking the homework and when it came to Michelle – ofcourse she couldn’t submit it since she hadn’t done it.
Now Michelle was so silent & scared that she couldn’t even tell the teacher that she had been absent the previous day. The teacher scolded her loudly and gave her extra homework to present the next day. I wanted to say something in defense of Michelle but…you know how boys are at that age. So Michelle started crying, very quitely I might add, and it was getting to me. I must have said something like “stop crying or I’m getting drenched over here” or something. But she kept on crying. The bell rang and we all headed back to our buses.
Suddenly I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle and I rushed back to get it from the classroom. There sat Michelle, all alone, crying her little heart out. I was sad to see that and worried that she would miss her bus. So I went to her and pleaded with her to stop crying and get into her bus. She kept on sobbing. So I….picked her up, wiped her tears and told her that I would walk her to her bus if she only would stop bawling away.
That stopped her and she said ‘ok’ and off we went. We go onto our respective buses and went home. The next day, she smiled at me and gave me a small toy (I can’t remember what it was). And when no one was around, she said ‘I love you’ and kissed me! On the lips. One big smack! And I said ‘ok’!
I sat next to her for another two months and then it was summer vacations. The next school year, I had to move to another school (since boys were only allowed till the 4th grade in carmel school) and I never saw Michelle again. But she is a part of my childhood no matter whatelse I will ever do in my life
Sigh. Childhood love!