When Love was ‘Innocent’

Oh how I remember the joy of my high school days. I can still visualize my school uniforms; white short sleeve shirts, red shorts and a red tie. Every Sunday night, I would iron my uniform for Monday morning. Most students wanted to look their best, I included. The morning assembly was an assessment of your appearance - teachers would inspect you for unkempt hair and fingernails, dirty uniforms, and the list goes on. For the guys like me, our sparkling and starched uniforms was not solely to avoid embarrassment at the morning assembly but it was to attract an attention from the girls.

Some boys would also express their attraction for girls by writing a powerful love letter. This could sometimes be very intimidating because some of the girls loved to read the letter in groups. Such, it always take me so long to craft the letter, because I only wanted to say the right things. Each time I think I have written a perfect letter, I would get to school the next day and notice something spectacular about her like her hairstyle or a new outfit and I will have to go back and adjust my letter. Here’s a one of my letters to my high school crush. Please don’t judge me - I was just an innocent teenager...

Dear Benita,

Please before you open this letter, make sure you are alone.

You might be wondering why I'm writing to you, but it is evident that someone on the far left in the classroom has fallen in love with a damsel. The reason I wrote this letter is to express my magnetic attraction for you. I wish I could tell you in person, but you are always surrounded by your friends, and as a shy boy it is very hard for me. I hope you understand.

I have written so many letters that I intend to send to you but I couldn’t find the right one…I’m sure as you read this you are blushing. I can remember the day you joined the art class! It that was the day I knew that love can come in different form. As my classmates chanted and welcomed all the new students, our eyes connected, and I felt some goose bumps! It was the first time I ever experienced anything like that. While the teacher was assigning seats spaces to new students, I hoped you would sit next to me but it never worked out.

I have visited the library numerous times to search for words that might describe you but the words I found are not even enough. Anytime you smile, my brain takes a thousand photos and is stored in my memory. I am baffled why you have to seat very close to the window, the sun will dent your beauty please move over to my roll, where I will ensure your beauty is intact.

I am saving my pocket money for that dream date with you…I have to stop here for now, before my mom works into my room. Please Benita! Reply with a KISS on the bottom of the page

I remain your one and only secret admirer

Needless to say, I never got a response from her…but I put myself out there and I’m happy I did. In celebration of Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there for the ones you love!

Caleb Williams