My Hand Game Girl

In third grade,
we took
achievement tests.

This girl and I
scored off the charts,
and were put
with the fifth graders
for English class.
I’d scored even higher,
but the school
only went to fifth grade.

Before we’d ever
talked,
I remember
watching her
sing “Rockin’ Robin”
at lunch time.
The girls had worked out
this elaborate
clapping game
to do while they sang,
and I always thought
it was cool.
She was really good.

Having been branded
weirdos,
we started holding hands
walking across the school
to weirdo English.

We decided we
were a couple,
and walked everywhere
hand in hand.
The teachers
all smiled and
referred to us as
“the cute couple.”

I held her stuff
and sat behind her
while she sang
at lunch.
We were
all kinds of
adorable.

The school
figured out
a transportation issue,
and gave me
the option
to go to another school
for sixth grade English,
and even seventh
if I could handle the work.

Loving a challenge,
I accepted.

I still remember
her crying
on our last day
of walking to class
together.

“I don’t see why
you can’t just stay,”
she cried.
I hugged her,
and she gently
pushed me away
and went to
the bathroom.

Oh, me and my ambition.

She came back
with dry eyes,
a different girl.

She never held
my hand again.

-GD Butler

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