He always wore a NY Jets cap. Short, brown-skinned and a cute smile. All these things mattered but I think I really had a crush on him because we shared the same birthday. We were never in the same class but we were in the same grade. His name was Edward Samuels*. This crush lasted on-and-off from fifth to eighth grade.
For someone I had such a big crush on, I didn't know much about him. I knew he had an older brother. I knew he didn't live in the neighborhood. His brother used to wait with him at the Q111 bus stop that went to Jamaica, Queens about 20 minutes away.
In junior high, I squealed every time he came close. I'd talk about him for hours. Once, our classes switched rooms and I chose to sit at his desk. I loved looking at the scribbles he wrote on it. I secretly hoped to see if he drew my name with a heart around it.
After eighth grade I ended up going to high school in Brooklyn. He wound up at a high school in Queens. And I didn't see him for a good four or five years.
I was on my way home from Hunter College when I saw him by the Q111 bus stop on Parsons Boulevard. Later, a friend who remembered how much I liked him, gave me his number. Much bolder now as an 18-year-old, I gave him a call. We had a nice chat on what we're up to. Me about my first year in college and him about completing high school. It appeared he got sidetracked and still had credits to catch up on. It was a pleasant conversation but there weren't sparks.
I called him on another occasion. He answered, I said hello and he replied, "Jessica?" Before I could explain he said, "I'll call you back." I'm not sure why it bothered me but it did. I could've just called later and cleared things up. 'No it wasn't Jessica, it was Roxanne.' But I decided not to bother.
I never spoke to him again. I've looked for him on Facebook but he's not around. I heard from a friend-of-a-friend he wasn't doing well. Jobless, but not really looking for work either. Living with his father, but not really contributing to the home. I don't know how true that is, but I hope it isn't.
If I saw him today, I'd probably ask him out for a drink or coffee. I'd laugh and say, 'you know I had a crush on you right?' But I'm sure he probably knew that already.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent