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“Trevor!” I hollered as I ran after him around the playground.
“You’re it! You have to catch me!” he shouted, climbing the monkey bars. I stopped dead in my tracks at the monkey bars… he knew I hated them.
“What’s the matter Kitty?” he asked sitting on the bars atop, he sounded genuinely concerned.
“I don’t like the monkey bars.” I said looking down at the woodchips covering the play area. No sooner had I said that, the bell ran and Misses Calloway came and called the class back inside. Trevor hopped off the monkey bars, landing on the ground.
“Trevor!” Misses Calloway hollered, “What have I told you about hopping off of those things?”
“To not to…” Trevor said as he also dropped his gaze.
“That’s right… come inside then.”
“C’mon Kitty!” he said as we both started walking into the first grade room.
“Look Kitty!” He said pointing to a gone-by dandelion.
“Let’s make a wish!” I said grabbing the old flower. We both closed our eyes and made a wish before we blew the dandelion puffs away into the warm breeze.
“What’d you wish for?” I asked.
“‘Cause then it won't come true.”
“Oh.” I said seeming to understand. That’s where it all began… first grade. He was my best friend… we shared everything, our desk, our secrets, our food, and our always coveted crayons. We were always lucky enough to get the box that had all of the colors.
Fourth grade is when we got closer.
“Kitty!” he hollered as he caught up to me in the hallway. “You ready for the first day?”
“No.” I replied, hoisting my ‘Hello Kitty’ backpack further up on my shoulder.
“Hey that’s funny.”
“Your name is Kitty and you have a Hello Kitty backpack!” he said pointing.
“My name isn’t Kitty… that’s just what Daddy calls me.”
“I like Kitty… Katherine just sounds serious… Kitty sounds fun.”
“I guess so.” Later that day, we went outside for a nature walk. Trevor fell behind and I didn’t notice. I felt a tap on my shoulder and there he was, holding two gone-by dandelions.
“Make a wish Kitty.” He said extending one arm towards me. I took the flower, closed my eyes, made a wish, and blew the puffs away.
“What’d you wish for?” he asked when I opened my eyes.
“Can’t tell ya or it won't come true… remember?”
“Oh right…” he said giving me a wink. After the nature walk, a bully a couple years older than us was picking on me, but Trevor came to my rescue. That bully never bothered me again. We were inseparable after that.
Eighth grade is where it fell apart.
“Hey Kitty-Kat.” Trevor said as he hugged me from behind.
“I thought I said to start calling me Kate?” I said turning around to hug him.
“And I always said that Kitty was a better name than Kate or Katherine.”
“Oh, fine, you dork.” I said playfully.
“Look what I found in the parking lot…” he said as he held two more gone-by dandelions.
“Trevor, it’s the last three months of eighth grade, we’re starting high school in a few months… aren’t we too old for dandelion wishes?”
“I never thought I’d hear you say that!” he said pretending to be shocked.
“Oh, give me one you dork.” I said, snatching one from his hand. The bell rang and I told him I’d make my wish later after school. After we got home, I somehow ended up at his house in the backyard, it’s warm all year round here in California.
“Did you remember it?” he asked as we sat under our favorite tree. I held up the dandelion.
“Does that answer your question?”
“You don’t have to get all smart!” he said jokingly as he playfully shoved me. I stared off into space for a minute.
“Hard to believe that in September we’ll be Freshmen… high school Freshmen…”
“Yeah… pretty cool… now make your wish gosh dang it!” he said jokingly again.
“FIIIIIIIINE!!!!” I dragged out. We both closed our eyes and made a wish.
“What’d you wish for?” he asked.
“Haven’t you learned anything?” I began, “I can't tell ya or it won't come true!”
“I’m beginning to doubt that.” He said looking down.
“Kitty, I’ve been wishing for the same thing for years and it still hasn’t come true.”
“What is it?” I asked, now quite curious.
“You…” he said looking at me with a small smile. ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no.’ I said in my head, ‘he’s my best friend! I can't feel that way towards him… can I? But I do… but what if something goes wrong? What if we date then break up? It would ruin us!’
“I’m sorry, Trevor,” I began, “but I think of you only as a friend.” His smile faded and he sat there in silence. A very deafening silence it was. It stood there for a good fifteen minutes before I spoke,
“I’m sorry, Trevor. I’m gonna go home now.” I said looking up at the sky as I stood. It was clouding up and fast, rain was definitely on its way. I was heart broken that I had hurt him that way. As I unlatched the gate to leave, I could just barely hear him say,
By now I couldn’t stand it. I burst into tears and started walking. Running never was my thing. I had ruined it between us anyway… what had I done? Raindrops started bursting from the clouds and mixing in with my tears. I put the hood of my hoodie up, but then it started to down pour. It ended… I had ended my friendship with my friend of seven, almost eight, years. I felt horrible. We never hung out that summer… when school started it was like we were strangers. We talked occasionally, but it wasn’t the same. He never called me Kitty anymore, now I was Kate to him, just like the rest of our school-mates. I tried dating other guys to get him off my mind, but it didn’t work. I thought I had been shot when I found out he was dating the most popular girl in school during our Sophomore year. I thought I had died when I saw him making dandelion wishes with her… that was our thing… was… was our thing… ‘was’ is the keyword there. What he doesn’t know, is to this day I feel the same way. And I would always make a dandelion wish that we could end up together in the end. I would stay up until 11:11 every night. I would stare at my watch until it read 11:11 and I would make a wish right in the middle of class. I would make a wish on every eyelash that fell out. And I would wish on a star every night even if I couldn't see them. I would wish for him when I blew out my birthday candles. But they didn’t come true. I now lay here in my cap and gown on my bed after graduating today… I lay here still wanting him… I stare at my diploma… its worth nothing to me… I wish… no. I’m done wishing. Wishing is pointless.
(*Fast forward to January*)
I started my Freshman year in college in September, a year after graduating. I knew right away what I wanted to be… a first grade teacher like Misses Calloway… she always was my favorite teacher. I was walking through the court yard a week after moving into my dorm when I saw a familiar face… Trevor Baine… my ex-best friend that I so longed for in high school. He recognized me. He jogged over to me. We started talking… it was just like old times. I still had feelings for him, but never told him. But I hinted at it a few times. I spent Christmas with him and his family in December since mine went on vacation instead of staying home. After the Christmas morning rush was over I stood out on their front porch, looking at all of the kids around town playing with their new toys in the front yard.
“Merry Christmas Kitty,” Trevor said as he hugged me from behind… he called me Kitty. For the first time since that day in his back yard that February, he called me by my pet-name.
“Merry Christmas Trevor.” I said as I turned around to hug him. He held me close for a while before letting go.
“I was saving this present for when we were alone.” he said handing me a long skinny box.
“What is it?” I asked taking it from his hand… what a stupid question.
“Why don’t you open it and look?” I pulled the ribbon off and opened the box slowly, afraid of what might be in there. I pulled out a gone-by dandelion.
“Make a wish Kitty-Kat.” He said stroking my cheek as he wiped away a tear from my face. I closed my eyes and made my wish, I blew the puffs off and slowly opened my eyes again.
“What’d you wish for?” he asked wrapping his arms around my waist.
“You…” I replied wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I figured.” He said hugging me tight again. “Don’t go away… I’ll be right back.” He let me go and hopped into his car. He was gone about a half hour before he came back. As he got out of the car he held a paper bag and started digging through it. He pulled out a little plastic bubble, like the ones you get those little prizes in out of the coin machine outside of grocery stores, and struggled to open it. He carelessly tossed the paper bag aside on the porch and kneeled down on the floor in front of me.
“Katherine “Kitty” Maria Wallington,” he began as he struggled some more to open the plastic bubble, “if and when I can get this stupid plastic thing open, and although the ring isn’t real, I assure you my feelings are…” I was beginning to cry, “What I’m asking is…” he finally popped the foolish thing open to reveal one of those cheapie coin machine rings, “will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” I eagerly nodded as he slipped the ring on my hand. He held me tight before finally letting me go and kissing me. I wiped a tear away from my eye and pointed to the bag he tossed on the porch.
“What’s in there?” I asked.
“All the other cheapie things I had to go through to get that ring.” he said holding me close.
“You must have wasted a lot of money.” I said looking in and seeing the fair sized paper bag was more than half full.
“Actually, I only spent about ten bucks…”
“That store is going to love you… you were certainly their best customer.”
“I’d better get a discount at the grocery store now… I emptied the stupid thing…”
We both laughed at his joke, he took my hand and looked at the ring.
“I’ll get you a real ring someday when I have the money and the store is open.”
“I don’t need some fancy engagement ring,” I began, “all I need is you… you’re all I ever needed.” And with that, we went inside to share the wonderful news.
It’s now three years later, we both graduated from college and got jobs. We got married on Independence Day, and we are now expecting our first child. We both agreed that if it’s a girl we’re naming her Dandelion Rosetta Baine… has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? But now that I look back on it, all that wishing I did? It probably would have gotten me farther had I actually done something to help it out…