[dropcap]I[/dropcap] was in love with my mother’s friend, Vivian. Mother said she was the most dedicated nursing student God ever created. But she was more than that.

She was perfect.

Whenever Vivian was around, I was unable to speak in complete sentences. It might’ve been her long dark hair, or her almond eyes, which both seemed to say, “Run away with me, damn you.” And I wasn’t discouraged that Vivian was twenty years my senior. After all, in some third-world cultures, adolescent romances were considered modern. Trendy, even.

One year, when Vivian’s semester-final exams were nearing, she approached me with a proposition.

“Sean,” she said. “I know you paint and draw.”

I felt my face turn the color of a Venus Eagle cherry.

Vivian explained, “My professor’s agreed to let my class use notes on the final test. But there’s a catch. My notes have to fit onto this.” She held an index card. “Can you write small enough to do it?”

“Golly, your skin looks soft.”

“I’d pay you for your trouble.”

“The softest I’ve ever seen, and I’ll bet you smell like flowers.”

“Are you even listening?”

“A whole mountainside of flowers.”

Well, that night I stayed up thirteen hours writing with the tiniest penmanship conceivable, using a magnifying glass. When I completed the notecard, hardly any white was showing. On the bottom of the card, I wrote a singular sentence in the form of a question. Which would remain unanswered until the day of Vivian’s graduation; when she proclaimed from the podium, “No, I won’t marry you, Sean!”

The auditorium erupted in laughter.

Then that ugly hussy blew me a kiss.