Puppy love

A first love at the age of nine.

Bronson.

He was Fonzie in a world of Potsies. I was his Pinky Tuscadero with a recurring role.

We really liked Happy Days.

He was sweet, funny and proud of his Italian roots; raised by a loving and gentle single father. He appreciated me for who I was. He was the only one who didn’t make fun of my impossible to pronounce name when I arrived in Virginia.

We were simply in love.

He took me on my first date, at the age of ten. Valentine’s Day dinner at Uno’s with his father and girlfriend. He arrived early in the day to give me my gift.

A ruby ring, my birthstone. Set in gold and way to big for my fingers. I don’t know if it was real or not, but it doesn’t matter. Never has, never will. It came in a velvet ring box and the gem shined like crystallized blood in the light; deep and dark. I remember my heart catching in my throat as we sat on my bed while I gingerly took the wrapping off, our parents watching with smiling faces from the door way. My face flushed with embarrassment at what I would have liked to have been a private moment. It was a bittersweet moment, we knew his time in our little world was running out. By the summer, he’d be gone. But we sat on the bed as I whispered words of gratitude to him.

After several moments that, in my memory, stretch out longer than a lifetime, his father collected him up to get ready for our date. When he returned to pick me up later that night, the ring was secured around my finger with sizers to insure it wouldn’t fall off. 13 years later, however, I’ve no idea what happened to it, lost in one move or another. I still will look through drawers from time to time when I go to my parents house, positive I would know it when I see it.

A reminder of the boy who taught  me what love is.Prompt: A memory of the color red without using the word “red”

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