A Child’s Love Story

Trace Vance

One day, more specifically February the thirteenth, Charlie started to walk down the playground of his school. It was about twenty minutes from the end of his school day and the teachers had let his class lose onto the playground to keep them out of their hair. 

Charlie was walking up to the monkey bars. He liked to swing around a bit there and let the blood rush to his head. It gave a nice sensation that could only be found while hanging upside down.

Charlie climbed his way to the top of the monkey bars. He struggled for a bit, trying to get his legs caught between a top and lower half of some of the bars. Once he had his legs wedged into a space that felt nice and secure, he let his body fall backwards. His torso fell backwards to the ground below. Charlie enjoyed the feeling of free falling that came before the bars stopped him from falling all the way. Charlie was now hanging down from the bars, and the blood was now starting to rush to his head.

Charlie closed his eyes and just enjoyed the moment. He could hear some of the other kids playing on the merry-go-round, the slides, and the swings. He found it very relaxing. He then started to hear someone walking towards him. He opened his eyes.

“How are you doing?” Karl asked with both of his hands placed on his hips in fists.

Charlie grunted. Karl was the regular school yard bully. He would go around to shove people off of the swings and slides. Just generally not being a very pleasant person to be around.

“Have you got a date for valentines?” Karl asked in a passive aggressive way.

“Nope.” Charlie said back rather proudly.

Karl stepped back in fake surprise at Charlie’s answer. “What. You don’t have a date yet. What’s taking you so long.”

Charlie shrugged, which looked rather awkward hanging upside down. “I just don’t want a date for Valentines.”

“Well only the loneliest of idiots don’t get a date for valentines day. I’m sorry dude, I didn’t realize that you were so alone in the world.” 

Charlie rolled his eyes around in his head. “Would you just leave me alone, you turkey.” He asked.

Karl squinted at Charlie. No one talked to him that way and got away with it. “Yeah sure.” He said. “Again i’m so sorry that you’re such a weirdo that you can’t get your hands on a date for valentines day.” Karl then started to walk away, and then he stopped. “Oh, yeah. One more thing.” Karl then walked up to Charlie’s legs and gave them a nice strong push.

Charlie’s legs came out from under the bars and he fell to the ground face first. Charlie jumped right back up to try to get a punch in before Karl could get away. It was then that he noticed Karl had already ran away and was nowhere to be seen.

Charlie brushed his pants off and then started to walk around the playground again. He thought about joining the group of kids on the merry-go-round, but that was already spinning at its maximum speed. Charlie shrugged and decided to walk over to the slide that was the centerpiece of the whole playground area. 

Charlie climbed up the staircase that went to  the entrance of the slide, only to see that there was already a small line to slide down the slide. Charlie grunted, but decided to wait his turn anyway. There were only about ten people in front of him.

While waiting, Charlie started to think about the things that Karl had said to him. He had never thought about getting a date before on Valentines day. He just thought that it wasn’t something for him, or that he would do it later when he got older. Karl was about two years older than him, Charlie began to wonder if Karl had a date for Valentine’s day. Who would want to go out with him? Charlie then began worrying about what it would mean not to have a date for the day. He started thinking about the rest of his classmates. Did they have dates for the day? Charlie didn’t think so, but he never really thought about it before. 

In the matter of a minute, Charlie had it all figured out. He was going to find a date for Valentine’s day. Not because Karl made fun of him for it, but because Karl had put the idea into his brain. The more Charlie thought about the idea. The more he liked the sound of it.

Charlie looked back over to see who was in front of him in the line. It was one of his female friends from his favorite time of the day, nape time. The girl in front of him was Caroline. She was the person that sat next to him during nap time. The two of them would stay up without the teacher knowing and just talk to each other about anything that just happened to come to their minds.

Charlie reached over and tapped Caroline on the shoulder. She looked over at him. “What is it?” She asked.

“Would you like to be my date on Valentine day.” Charlie asked in a matter of fact way that only a young child could.

Caroline thought about it for a moment before nodding her head. “Okay.”

Charlie grinned.

“So what are we going to do tomorrow together?” Caroline asked.

Charlie lost his grin and looked up to the sky as if the answer was somewhere up there. He then looked back down to Caroline. “I don’t know.”

“Okay.” Caroline said. She then held out her hand to Charlie. Charlie looked at the hand questioningly. Carline sighed. “If we are going to be boyfriend and girlfriend we must hold hands all the time.”

Charlie didn’t even think about Caroline being his girlfriend. He only wanted someone to date tomorrow. He took the hand anyway to not hurt Caroline’s feelings.

Caroline and Charlie looked back up to the entrance of the slide and noticed that there was no longer anyone to wait behind. Caroline looked over to Charlie. “Do you want to ride down the slide together?”

Charlie grinned and nodded his head ecstatically.

The two of them then walked to the entrance of the slide and sat down beside each other. Charlie and Caroline were still holding hands all the way down the slide. When they made their way off the slide, they were still holding hands.

They didn’t stop holding hands until Charlie had to go to his mom’s car and Caroline had to go over to the bus.

The held hands the entirety of the next day.