Over time I did make friends, and one of my first friends at Eglinton Public School was Jenn. Jenn is my oldest friend. She's all grown up now with a little girl of her own and another baby on the way - I was one of her bridesmaids at her wedding a few years ago. As we got to know each other I discovered that Jenn knew that red-headed boy who was so mean to me. She had done a photo shoot with him for Canadian Living magazine (the photos in the post are from that same article, Adam's mum kept them all these years) not that long ago, and he used to walk her home every day. It wasn't until years later I realised that Jenn's house was in the opposite direction from Adam's house, not on his way home at all! Suspicious!!
One day when we had become best friends and were swapping stickers out of our sticker books (she had a massive Micky Mouse one which I wanted forever and still have today), Jenn finally confided in me that she had a big crush on Adam. Back then I did everything that Jenn did, we even dressed exactly the same, so I declared "I have a crush on Adam too!" - I'm not sure if I was clear on what that meant exactly, but I was definitely excited about it.
The next two years saw us chasing Adam around the school yard. We wrote him love notes and tried to get him to tell us who he fancied more. One note said "we both love you, which of us do you love back? You can only pick one. Circle the name of the person you love more: Freya or Jenn". He wrote "I don't know. Both." underneath both our names and circled that. I even brought an old film camera to school and took pictures of his bum while he was playing on the monkey bars, Jenn giggling in the background. Goodness knows what my mum thought when she picked up the photos after getting the film developed for me!
I felt pretty grown up having a crush. I was only nine and Adam was ten, I thought the age difference which seems so huge at the time made me very mature. Jenn was old for our year at school and I was young, so she turned ten quite a bit before me and I remember being jealous when she pointed out that her and Adam were the same age.
One day we got invited to Adam's birthday party. It was a trampoline party and because I had been doing gymnastics for years I was pretty excited about showing off my trampolining skills. I practiced for weeks but Adam and I weren't in the same trampoline group, so he never got to see my moves. I'm still pretty sad about that.
We went back to his house for cake and I remember his Dad had a beard and his Mum wore a white top, I think. They lived off a park with a playground (and still do, three or four blocks from where my Dad lives now) so we went outside to play on the swings. Adam snuck under his neighbors fence and stole rhubarb out of the garden, then he rode around the park on his bike with rhubarb sticking out of his mouth.
He says he remembers offering to give me a piggyback on that day in the park which is a sign that he liked me back, but I refused. I don't remember that, but I would have refused. I was rebellious, but also quite prim and proper when it came to boys! Jenn wasn't though, she would have jumped at the opportunity.
Adam graduated from Eglington the year before I did. I don't remember him leaving, and I don't remember feeling any sadness about it. Jenn and I had been split into separate classes by then and so did not spend every second together at school anymore, we had different groups of friends now and while we still had the occasional sleepover, we weren't as inseparable as we used to be.