When I was in third grade the first time I was a year younger than everyone else in my grade.
That, combined with the fact that I was extremely antisocial (now I’m just antisocial, I ditched the extreme part) made it very difficult for me to have friends in my grade. I remember talking to some girls (I think I had three friends that I hung out with in the school yard) but I didn’t connected deeply with anyone.
I began wondering towards the back of the school during the lunch break. I think it was because the school was in a construction stage or something but there was a part of the yard that was unfinished, as if the earth had been freshly ploughed.
That’s were I saw him for the first time.
He wore his pants terribly high with suspenders in pure Steve Urkel fashion. His hair was always dishevelled and he wore very thick and large glasses. Some kids were screaming at him and throwing him stones.
I have no idea how I did it because I was the most introvert person in the world, but I said something to them and after a few cat calls insinuating that I liked the boy, they went away and our adventure began.
He was looking for rocks for his mom, he said. “These clear ones are quartz”. I picked a few for me, but mostly helped him look for them. The sun was right on top of us and I could feel my neck burning but somehow it felt nice. We talked and I laughed a lot. Being in his company was soothing.
Our feet kept sinking into the soft dirt, my mom nagged me about the state of my shoes, quartz and all. I found him again a couple of times, in the same place and then one day he wasn’t there and I never saw him again.
The only evidence I have that these outings happened are a couple of pieces of quartz that survived the carelessness of my mom, who even included them in the landscape of our house – which is outside and everyone could steal the stones.
Whenever I see someone digging I remember the boy with the suspenders and I’m thankful for the time he made me feel I had a friend.
You thought you were invisible, but I remember you.