It’s the first week in a new school. It’s a class with boys, alien creatures in her single-child life. She has never felt so alone, friendless. And for reasons she never fathoms fully, the teacher makes her a candidate in the class election. Pitting her against a boy, whose popularity is so obvious, it seems faintly ridiculous to have an election at all. Heck, she wants to vote for him herself, though she does not. The defeat is crushing. Twenty six votes to four. She wonders for the rest of her life who those three kids were.
It is a school camp. In a forested area near the city. It’s her first night away from home and is exciting in only the way any ‘first’ can be. They find a group of older boys, college kids in the camp. With long hair and guitars. Curiosity drags them near. The older boys laugh at them and drive them away. They slink back to mosquitoes and bad food and the stern teacher. But not before the nice looking college kid casually says to her, ”You have the loveliest eyes I’ve seen.” It’s a line she holds on to, into an adulthood that does not find her that lovely again.