His mother called it puppy love.
She’d kissed his forehead and pulled him into a hug before running off to tell his father that, “Nikolas has got his first crush.”
Nikolas didn’t know what any of that stuff meant. Maybe puppy love was another name for a tummy bug. Nikolas knew he must be sick. If he wasn’t he wouldn’t feel the way he did with a stomach full of knots and other slimy, icky feeling things.
Nikolas wiped a sweaty palm in his Spiderman pajamas. He remembered that Jasmine, a girl in his kindergarten class, had been home for the week. The teacher said she had the ‘flu’. Nik didn’t know what the flu was but thought maybe he had it too. He placed his hand to his forehead the way his mother did when he felt poorly. Nope, he wasn’t warm. Maybe the test wasn’t as perfect as his mother thought. He looked across the room at Annalisa. She sat with her legs crossed on the carpet watching the movie his mother had put on. Why was he only sick when Ana was around?
“Nik,” she called looking up from the TV. “It’s started.”
Nikolas’ heart beat fast against his chest as if he’d just finished playing a game of tag.
He slowly sat beside the willowy girl with blonde pigtails and tried to focus his attention on the Power Rangers morphing into some thing or another on the screen. His stomach took another nosedive when Annalisa giggled at something the baddies said. He looked at her realizing with startled clarity that it was Ana who made him sick. The anger, shock, confusion and the unfamiliar feeling that swirled in his aching tummy were too much for Nikolas to bear. So he did the only thing that made sense to his five-year-old mind. Nikolas yanked at one of Annalisa’s pigtails so hard she cried.
© Rilzy Adams, 2014