Does anyone remember their first real love affair? I think I remember mine, and if these thoughts I’m thinking aren’t really how it went down then I guess nobody will be the wiser. Anyways one thing I know for sure her name was Faith Hammers and we were both six or seven years old, and in the same kindergarten class at Faith Baptist School in Detroit, Michigan.
The year was 1976, back when love was sweet, pure and completely innocent. It was a perfect childhood, untainted by the uncertainties of the world around us, all that existed was sweet naiveté.
Like I said her name was Faith, surprisingly I can still remember it, also it helps that I just found our kindergarten yearbook. But it was love at first sight for me. She had a lovely little pink sweater on (She is wearing one in the yearbook photo, so let’s go with that) she had a beautiful brown bowl cut hairdo, and one thing that really made her stand out from all the other girls in my kindergarten class was Faith’s propensity for throwing rocks at people, this skill of hers really drew me to her.
Now that I really think about it, that was really her thing, probably her most defining characteristic…throwing rocks at people. It was what brought us together. I was outside in the playground, I’m pretty sure it was only the second day of kindergarten, and I was climbing this tree that was out there and then I saw her, she was just staring up at me as I sat in the tree. Then out of the blue, she began hurling insults at me. Don’t forget, at that sweet young age, boys and girls were like cats and dogs, cowboys and terrorists, fat people and the gym…Sworn enemies for life. But with her, I sensed something different, something special.
If I remember correctly the first thing she called me was “Doo Doo Head.” And even at a young age I was never one to back away from a challenge, So I believe I responded with the classic reversal move, I informed her that “she” was clearly the “Doo Doo Head.” Unexpectedly she then challenged me to a fist fight, I remember being concerned, I had never actually been in a fist fight before, and I was still a delicate flower at that age. However, needing to prove myself in battle, test my metal, so to speak, I figured I would at least humor her, besides, she was a girl, and we went to a Baptist school so I figured she was just talking tough.
Unfortunately for me, I climbed down from the tree, I felt uneasy leaving the safety of the tree, but again, she was just a little girl. When I reached the ground, she slowly made her hand into a fist. I told her she was a chicken or something insanely stupid, because that’s when she punched me in the eye. Looking back now, it really was pretty cute, I think I instantly fell in love, she was beautiful and Bad Ass!
I know I said it didn’t hurt, but I think the face I was making betrayed me because I was crying when I said it. Threats to tell my mom and the teacher had no effect on her, it was as though she could see directly into my soul and she knew that I wouldn’t dare.
She then began chasing me as I ran back towards the school, towards what I thought would be safety. She was fast, like a cheetah, or I was really slow, anyways she caught up with me and tackled me. She pinned my arms down, but this time I could tell she didn’t want to hurt me. It was just her way of getting my attention. She also began barking at me, which then turned into a growl and through my tears I saw that she truly cared for me. But sadly at that time she was in denial of her true feelings. But I realized her voice was like an angel when she said “I know something that will make you cry even more!”
I learned a lot about love that day, I learned if you jump into it too soon things tend to go wrong. As Faith eased herself off me, I knew I had to make some type of gesture to show her I was interested in her, but I was new to this whole thing and didn’t know what to do. That’s when she picked up one of her trademark rocks, I saw the look in her eyes, it was the fires of hell that burned in them…An intense, and loving fire with room for only one other person…I hoped it was me. And when that stone of love impacted my young face, I could feel the stinging sensation of a burgeoning mutual attraction.
Later when the school nurse called my mom to come get me, I remember walking out of that school like I was walking on air, I decided it was best that my mom not know I was beat up by my lover. My mom inquired as to the origins of my black eye, I panicked briefly, but then came to my senses and informed her I was beat up by the school janitor. In hindsight, that was a horrible choice, I didn’t clearly think the ramifications out thoroughly, as my mom was screaming profanities and heading back to the school to behead the janitor, I quickly confessed that my best friend Timmy gave it to me, after my mom calmed down she told me I was never allowed to play with Timmy again, it was really too bad, that kid was really good at marbles.
So the next day at school, I came prepared to show my love that I truly adored her, I came armed with a bag of flowers I ripped from my mother’s garden, I would deal with that consequences of that when I got home, but Faith was worth it. At playtime I was back outside with my bag of flowers, I spied my love, she was beating up a boy named Jake, who lived down the street from me. My heart hurt, jealousy raged up to the surface, I felt betrayed “That’s my girl, that beating should be for me!” But love is based on trust, so I let it go.
It wasn’t long after she finished kicking Jake in the stomach as he lay motionless on the ground, that I sneaked up on her as her back was turned. When I got to within a foot of her I grabbed her shoulder and screamed “Aaaahhhh” while I held the flowers out with my other hand, because I had heard that girls liked to be surprised, or so I had overheard. I was hoping she would be so taken with my creative, romantic gesture that she would instantly embrace me.
Turns out she was surprised, so surprised she peed herself, and what I thought were tears of joy flowed freely as she ran, screaming into the school. I was left standing there, holding my flowers, thinking are girls really this complicated? In a confused daze I walked towards my teacher who was shouting my name, turns out the Baptist school administers paddling s to boys who make girls cry and pee themselves.
It would be two long days before I saw my love again, there she was sitting in the school yard, throwing rocks at boys who walked too close to her. I figured I had better act fast, there was too much competition in the school yard for me to waste time. It was now or never, make my move now or lose her forever.
She just finished throwing a rock at Scotty, as she looked up at me, I could see in her eyes that she may have really missed me the last two days, and my hunch was confirmed as a rock went whizzing past my head. I didn’t run, she was at a loss for words, so I broke the silence…”That’s a really nice throw you have, I hope I to throw that good one day” No response, I was blowing it. Time to go all in!
She stared at me with a confused look, but I could see the longing in her eyes, I crouched down, looked at the pile of rocks next to her, summoning all the courage I had, I grabbed a handful of those rocks, and began throwing them at my friend Billy who was walking by. I was shocked that I actually nailed him on my first attempt, he ran off yelling “Why?”… “Why me?” No one ever said love was easy.
Her smile made it all worth it, and her laughter, her sweet infectious laughter made my heart fill with joy.
From that moment on we were inseparable, our two souls bound as one, throwing rocks at other boys and wrestling around in the grass. It was meant to be, we would be together forever.
Our love affair lasted until school got out for the summer and I sadly moved away, but in my heart she was the ONE!