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Janie's First Real Love

Your basket:

Main Ingredients:
physical therapist
condensed milk
white wine
lover's lane

Spice Pack:
1/4 pinch of eagerness
1/3 cup of depression

Allow me to take you all on a trip down memory lane. I’m seven years old and I have the biggest crush on my math teacher who's the best ever. My friends always make fun of me at recess, saying that he’s too old for me and that it’s gross to like your teacher but, I don’t care! I don’t even like math that much. It’s boring but whenever Mr. Trahan helps me solve a problem I’m having trouble with I feel my heart turn into mush like the condensed milk my mom uses in all of the desserts she makes. I know this crush is real because it isn’t like the one I had on Brandon in the first grade. Brandon was mean and didn’t understand how to treat a girl good. I know Mr. Trahan would never steal my spot on the swing set when Julia was saving it just for me, and he’d never pour the sticky juice from his fruit cup onto my hair just to be funny. He’s a grown up and is too mature for that kind of a mean joke.

Claire Everett likes him too and is always telling him stories and bragging about what she did over the weekend. She knows how much this bothers me so she does it even more whenever I’m around. I want to uninvite her from my birthday pool party, because I don’t think I like her anymore. She’s become more of a frenemy than an actual friend.

My parents don’t understand what’s going on with me but they don’t complain because every morning I’m up and dressed (without their help) twenty minutes before my school bus comes to pick me up.

“You must really love your classes and teachers this year, Janie!” My mom says one morning.
“Yeah.” I answer. I certainly love one of those things. But they have nooo idea.

A few weeks pass and on the second to last Monday of the school year, I decide I’m going to invite Mr. Trahan to my birthday party. So I put on my favorite white dress and try to sneak into my mom’s closet to get the pretty jacket she always wears when she wants to be fancy. The one with the stain on it that she says she’s gonna get out next time she goes to the cleaners even though she says it’s white wine. I guess white wine is harder to get out than grape juice even though my dad got the grape juice stain out of my green pants real easy that one time! My mom catches me the second I try and sneak out with her jacket.

“And where do you think you’re going with my coat, missy?”
“I wanna wear it to school!”
“Put it back.”
"But, mom!"
"Put it back."

And so I put it back and I’m off to school. I would have looked so cool in that coat but oh well, at least I have my favorite spring dress on! When I get to school I see Mr. Trahan, with his back facing me, in the hallway talking with the fifth grade homeroom teacher.

“Eric!” The homeroom teacher shouts. “Congratulations. How was the rest of your weekend as a newly wed?”

A newly wed?!?! Wed as in… wedding?

“Thanks, man!” Mr. Trahan replies. “It’s been a dream so far.”
“It was a beautiful wedding.” The other teacher adds.

I feel my legs turn to jello and I’m stuck like my feet are glued to the floor. Neither one of them have noticed me yet.

“I really appreciate it.” Mr. Trahan responds.
“So when’s the honeymoon?”
“Not happening until the school year ends.”
“Ah, so ‘til then it’s gonna be lover’s lane type escapades?”
Mr. Trahan laughs, “Sounds about right. We want to wait so that I don’t have to feel guilty leaving the kids here with a substitute for their last week of school.”
The homeroom teacher nods. “She teach too?”
“Physical therapist. But she used to teach middle school PE over at Spring Valley.”

The school bell rings and the two teachers part ways. My heart shatters into a trillion pieces. He likes someone else.

He turns and sees me right behind him. “Good morning, Janie! Ready for long division today?”

“Yeah.” I tell him.
“Don’t sound too excited! It'll be fun, I promise.” He jokes with me. Normally I’d laugh but today is not a normal day, and I can’t even force a smile.
“Sorry, Mr. Trahan. I really can’t wait.”
He smiles. “Well you better get to homeroom before you’re late! See ya in class, Janie!”

He heads to his classroom and I trudge along to homeroom, dragging my feet behind me, in my favorite dress.
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