Monday Evening, January 27, 2003....... Her name is Marla. She was my first crush. Our days in elementary school gave way to junior high, then high school, then senior high. And all along the way, she had no clue that I would have walked a mile just for one of her smiles, which would have made my day. In the sixth grade, she was a safety monitor, as was I. More than once, she wore a cute little pink skirt with a white sweater top which invited my inquisitive mind to wander. I still recall telling her more than one morning how great I thought that she looked. In high school, she would walk into the cafeteria every day at about the same time, to sit with her girlfriends. She liked Here Come The Brides and the Bobby Sherman character. It was the day of Paul Simon and Elton John, and the pop sounds would blare over the speakers as we would eat lunch. In our days at East High, we were among a select group to take a trip to a television studio in Greensboro, where the guy who played Jason on The Waltons was giving a press conference and answering questions. Marla's dress slacks had that creased-look at the knee, because she had hung them that way the night before. I still recall that outfit and, well, she looked great. Our senior year in high school saw her as the editor of the yearbook and me as the editor of the newspaper. Along about this time, she had been dating an older guy for a few years. Needless to say, she married him and settled down a few miles from where she was brought up. She didn't attend college that I know of, although she would've done very well. Her dad died a few years back. And she still lives about ten minutes away from me, and works somewhere in town. During my two years teaching at East High, her niece was in my theatre class. It is strange how, when you are in school, you do things like pick up the phone, dial every digit but one, then convince yourself not to place the call. High school can be interesting in that you can lift a person up to heights which are beyond the realm of understanding; put him or her on a pedestal, if you will. Then, there are people who truly do belong on them. Like Marla Leigh.
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