By the middle of November, I'd been plunged into a crisis by forgetting my purse at school in my rush to catch the bus. The key to the back door was in it along with my brand new driver's license, and we started getting phone calls to see if we were home. My parents alerted the police, and we had to get new locks on all the doors, and postponed a trip to see one of the colleges I was interested in.
In the midst of all this, I suddenly realized I had singled out one of the boys in my AP English class to have a real crush on, as opposed to just having heart flutters from interactions with one or another of them. I characterized it as "nothing serious, a pleasant sensation, although aggravating at times. I've read enough advice columns to recognize a mild case of infatuation--and he is a great kid." Since he was the Literary Editor of Yearbook, I had more opportunities than just English class to interact with him. When I showed the Yearbook foreword and its layout to him, the advisor, the editor-in-chief and several other staff members, the reaction was positive, and I was elated.
When he won the Bausch and Lomb science award, my father told me that he had won it when he was in high school, and my best friend gave me a copy of the article in the local paper, which had his picture in it. I noted that he was very much like my father, "but different enough to make him very attractive to me. He is very cute, very smart, very adorable, and I just think he's fantastic!" At Yearbook meetings, I had a chance to talk about more personal things with him and we started to learn more about each other. On a hopeful note, I remarked that "he's come to respect me more, perhaps to like me a little." I began to use the article with his picture to mark my place in my journal, "so it will be where I can look at it, but no one will know the extent of my crush."
Curiously, he and I were elected class scholars. I could understand that he would be since everyone assumed he would be valedictorian, but I was new to the school and surprised that enough people even knew who I was to vote for me. As we went down the hall to get our picture taken for the Yearbook, someone asked if we were the class "Romeo and Juliet," and I remember wishing that we were!
A few days later, my mother called the English teacher to complain about the play that everyone in the class had gone to see except me. Mrs. Klein deftly defused the situation by telling her that I "was a catalyst in the class--and that everyone was trying to work up to my standards! It also explains why she read two of my papers and none of the others'. She also said I was a very mature and charming person! It makes me feel so happy when I find that someone likes and respects me." As the year crept towards Christmas break, my life at the new high school seemed rather like a book where as I turned the pages I discovered friendships blossoming and romance like a burgundy rose opening in the center of the garden.