R.O.W.E. Week 6: To One of the Boys I Loved Before

I’m Brianna Kratz, a Chicago poet and literature enthusiast. In 2016, I’m reading only women authors for my Read Only Women Experiment (R.O.W.E.). For weekly updates on challenges, conversations, and monthly round-up lists of books I’ve read, keep up with me via goodreads or Twitter.

Why don’t we write more letters? Men and women writing letters used to be far more common. That was before e-mail, of course. As part of my month of romance, I read Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before which tells the story of Lara Jean who writes love letters to the boys she wants to fall out of love with.

I found this book so delightful that I was inspired to write my own letter to my first crush...

Photo courtesy Andrew Gingerich Photo courtesy Andrew Gingerich

Dear Doug R.,

When I was in 4th grade, you were in 6th. From the moment I met you on the crossing guard corner you shared with my mom, I knew I liked you. With your superhero button-ups and your easy way of talking with my mom, I was hooked.

I remember being in your group for the decades project (we were the 90s), and hoped against hope that we’d be partners for the historical figure project, but we weren’t. I was partnered with my friend’s crush (that’s another story).

The silly thing is, I wrote you a note like this before. On your graduation day, I asked my friend to get it to you because she was going to see her brother graduate. I don’t know if she ever got that note to you. I cried that day. Change is hard for anyone, but it’s especially hard for an 11-year old who’s had a crush on the same boy for two years.

I never saw you again, which is probably for the better. I don’t know what I expected to happen if I told you that I liked you. When you’re that young, you don’t really think about it. I just thought about how you were the nicest boy I knew, and it was cool to have a crush on an “older man.” You actually talked to me like I was someone who had opinions and things to say instead of ignoring me like the other older kids did. You were the first older peer to make me feel worthwhile.

Thanks, Doug R. I’m not in love with you anymore, but I’m glad I was for that little while.

Love, Brianna

Currently reading: The Highlander’s Touch by: Karen Marie Moning

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Brianna Kratz

Brianna Kratz has a B.A. in English Writing from Illinois Wesleyan University where she learned the importance of "the poetic turn," the difference between thee and you, and how to read Middle English. She lives on the Internet where you can find her on Twitter and Lens & Ink.