15 & In Love
Summer school is an unintentional punishment that single parents are sometimes forced to inflict on their young. In July of 1964, I was bundled off to my uncle who was stationed in Spain. It was in this exotic locale that I attended classes and it was here that I fell in love........
At five feet, nine inches tall, Cynthia was nearly three inches closer to the heavens than me. I was 15 and still growing. Cynthia was 16 and fully mature. With her silky hair cascading over her shoulders in saffron blonde showers, she moved with the confidence and grace of an athlete. Her fluid motion a study in poise.
Ignoring the second bell that warned students of the imminent resumption of classes, I remain fixed in place admiring Cynthia through the metal fence surrounding the tennis court. Her golden brown, summer-drenched skin glistened as I watched in the heat of the Barcelona sun.
When she finished her practice set, Cynthia walked slowly, but purposefully toward the exit gate, her racket and towel in hand. On an impulse, I ran to intercept her as she opened the latched door. Having responded to a biological instinct that required no thought, I found myself blocking Cynthia's way to the girls' locker room. Petrified, I stood there, groping for something to say, with a blank mind and an ex
Exhibiting a kindness that cannot be feigned, Cynthia smiled and introduced herself, adroitly banishing the evidence of my awkward inexperience. If I had been smitten before, I was in love then. With a wisdom and sweetness that belied her own youth, Cynthia chatted with me as we walked along the concrete path toward the gymnasium.
I do not recall the details of our conversation. But I shall never forget those private moments that I shared with her. Naturally, Cynthia had a boyfriend; a senior, I think. He was tall and manly and skillful with women in ways that were beyond my reach at 15.
I returned to my home in California a few weeks later. I never saw Cynthia again. Of course, I recognize that only by the most generous of definitions could those fleeting moments with this Marine colonel's daughter be called a relationship. Still, if young love has any enduring value, it is in the truths that we learn. I learned that women can be magical.