- •In the fifth grade, I played football.We would wear our jerseys to school on game days. And on Homecoming, if a girl liked you, she would wear your jersey.
- •Her name was Holly.I told her I had forgotten my jersey. She smiled. Said that was too bad. She would have worn it.
- •There was a dance.The pee wee football players and the cheerleaders had a dance at the end of the season. I wanted Holly to be my date. Holly wanted to wear my jersey.
- •His name was Drew.Drew was cool. Popular cool. I asked him to teach me how to dance. I wanted to be ready. For Holly. Drew and I slow danced in the empty school hallway. "You can do this," he said.
- •I went to the dance alone.I would ask Holly to dance when the time was right. Another slow song. Not yet. Another. Not yet.
- •His name was Kyle.Kyle approached me. "Hey Patrick. Will you dance with Holly?" It was happening.
- •"Hey Holly, Patrick said he'll dance with you."Holly looked at me, standing in front of her and all our friends. I shrugged. Why not? Let's do it. "EW. Gross." And she ran away.
- •Her name was Mom.She parked the car in our driveway and let me finish crying before we went inside. It's okay. It'll get better.
- •EpilogueIt was the summer after sixth grade. I had a Harry Potter-themed dance for my birthday party. Holly was there. I asked her to dance. She said yes. Then I asked Kali to dance. She said yes. And I asked Ruthie to dance. She said yes too. It got better. And John Michael won a copy of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by guessing the correct number of jelly beans in a jar. Four hundred forty-four.