Six months when by. The Toy Brigade was picking up new members, getting write ups in the local papers. I was making friends.
Then I met Jack. He was new in town, new to our school, and new in our Freshman class. Handsome. Outgoing. Not someone who I thought would ever pay attention to me. He said he fell in love with me the first time he saw me.
I had been asked to give a speech at an assembly about the Franklin Toy Brigade. I was so nervous I was sure I was going to make a mess of things, even though I’d practiced until I knew every word, every pause, every hand gesture I wanted to make, by heart. But as soon as I stepped in front of the mic, I forgot everything. I was shaking so badly, I could barely read my note cards.
Jack was sitting in the front row, smiling at me. I focused on him, and got through the speech, though I couldn’t remember afterwards anything I’d said.
He asked me out the next day. After that we became inseparable.
He told me I was the only person he felt he could really be himself around. That’s all it took. He needed me and he gave me all the attention I’d been starving for.