1. This goes like all the rest.
  2. So I'll try to stick to my bullet points.
  3. So that you don't have to read a 7th grader's drivel.
  4. And you only have to read the Best A 7th Grader Has To Offer.
  5. Emma Lou and I were both in "Schoolhouse Rock: The Musical" together in 6th grade, where we officially met.
  6. I played her proposing husband in a scene. She called me "kinda cute" (as per the script).
  7. Laura point-blank told me, "You like Emma Lou."
  8. Uh, no I don't.
  9. Like two days later, I officially did.
  10. Once, I was occupying myself at a late rehearsal by wandering the halls and smacking the walls.
  11. Rear back, thwack.
  12. Rear back, thwack.
  13. Against some sort of off-white linoleum brick that lines all schools.
  14. I saw a water fountain approaching, and eagerly anticipated its metal thwack.
  15. I reared back.
  16. And smacked rear.
  17. Emma Lou was getting a drink.
  18. It would have been impossible for my hand to cup more of her butt with more velocity.
  19. Mortified.
  20. But we...FULLY RECOVERED!!
  21. We ended up talking on AIM most if not all days.
  22. Around Christmas, she emailed me to say if she ever dumped this guy Andy, she'd date me.
  23. Revealed during a game of truth or dare with her cousins.
  24. I waited.
  25. I sat by the virtual door-opening sound effect.
  26. She and I sat together in French class once as an audition for couplehood.
  27. I nailed it.
  28. Then, one day, word spread she dumped Andy.
  29. I decided to play it cool and give her 24 hours before rocking her world with my breathtaking ask-out.
  30. But then I heard a rumor someone else was plotting.
  31. So I rush-emailed her?
  32. But then the next day, despite the email, I still found myself squatting beside her French desk and coughing out my first, "Will you go out with me?"
  33. She squirmed.
  34. After class, her friend Maggie handed me a note saying, "No, and I can't tell you why."
  35. "I hope you'll still be my friend."
  36. Of course I would.
  37. I couldn't imagine losing her.
  38. That night, amid the tears, I IM'd her, "I just drank vinegar lol."
  39. That was my icebreaker!
  40. I'd just had some vinaigrette dressing. It was a half-truth at best.
  41. I noticed her profile already said "LYL Dan".
  42. Dan! My friend Dan.
  43. I boldly asked her to explain. Turns out, there'd been a couple swap. Dan and Andy switched girlfriends.
  44. And it happened seamlessly?
  45. Congratulations to whichever agent negotiated that miracle.
  46. We kept in touch.
  47. We stayed friends.
  48. We never dated.
  49. Her birthday is in March.
  50. I'll never have to look that up.