I’d like to tell you this short story of unrequited love.
Maggie’s family had adopted her when she was very young, and although she had been disciplined in the early days, it had been well worth the effort because now she more or less got her way with everything. She was spoilt rotten and knew it, but she’d learned never to push the point too much because there was always a chance she’d get shouted at and sent to bed in disgrace.
One day, they were down at the beach and she noticed a rather nice looking boy walking towards her. She didn’t understand why she had this fluttering in her tummy, and when she smiled at him, he just turned his back and walked away. She skipped up to him, but he didn’t want to know and so she went back to her family and they continued on their way.
Over the years, she came across several suitors, but she’d never forgotten what happened on the beach that day and showed no interest in them for fear of being rejected again.
That was until about 4 weeks ago.
She’d known Arlo for about a year but didn’t see him often enough to strike up a full relationship. He was great fun to be with, they would play chase or hide and seek, and she came to think of him as her best friend. He was so handsome, with a gentle manner, always so considerate in letting her go first and giving her first pick of any treats on offer. He never rushed her, nor did he take advantage, and she felt the odd fluttering again, suddenly noticing just how brilliant he was at running and playing football, how well groomed he was, and what beautiful eyes he had. Typically female, she thought it was just the hormones playing up as it was ‘that time’, but it wasn’t long before she realised she felt more for him than friendship.
The problem was, would he be interested in an older woman? He could be so infantile sometimes, but that seemed to add to his appeal, so she decided she had nothing to lose and made a play for him. The next time they met, she sidled up to him, and playfully nudged his shoulder. He took no interest, so she brushed against him, batted her eyelashes and nudged him again, then ran away. He didn’t follow, so she tried again, this time waving her hips and bottom directly in his line of vision.
Oh, he was so infuriating! Couldn’t he see how she felt? Couldn’t he read the signs? Stupid boy! He was more interested in his damn football than making out with her. With one last effort, she pushed him over, then waited patiently for his reaction. Nothing. He just picked himself up, shook himself and carried on dribbling the ball down the path.
In a huff, she went back to her Mum.
‘Never mind Maggie,’ she said. ‘Arlo’s too young to understand. After all, he is a lot younger than you are.’
Maggie remained wistful. It was such a pity she wasn’t five or six years younger: