continued … He closed his eyes and pictured her as the young girl he saw the first time so many years before.

He knew she wasn’t fragile. He grew up with her! He watched her play sports over the years. She was a fierce competitor, wiry and fast. She played an aggressive game of softball as a catcher. She never hesitated to run base runners down. She was so aggressive it almost seemed like she was angry.

He used to sit against a tree in a field kitty-corner to her house and watch her play badminton against her sister. She was quick and agile but more than that, she was determined to win. She almost always won even though her sister was four years older.

They always had special feelings for each other.  It was love at first sight when he saw her face for the first time one wintry day while walking home from school. The world was a different place from that day forward.

Later that winter he gave her a chocolate heart with a handwritten poem on Valentine’s Day. She never felt quite the same after receiving the chocolate heart and the poem. Her horizons expanded. For the first time she understood she could be loved by someone outside of her family.  He was the first true love.  And she would never forget.

That summer he constantly rode his bicycle around the curved streets of the little subdivision where she lived, hoping to catch a glimpse of her.

One day, convinced he could be invisible he climbed the tree next to her house and waited so he could see her face more closely.

This, despite the fact that the tree was dead with no leaves!