It all started in fifth grade during recess at Cricut elementary school. I was a really shy, self-conscious girl and usually stayed close to my best friend at the time, Stacey. However, she was home, sick on this particular day, so I was sitting on a bench watching all the other kids play.
I remember being very bored and lonely, but I was too scared to ask other kids if I could play with them. It was probably halfway through recess when a boy from my class walked eagerly up to me.
It was Jonathon and he was asking me if I wanted to play tag with him and his friends. At first I was resistant because he was a boy which, at that age, are infested with cooties. I tried to say no, but somehow he pulled me into the game.
To decide who was going to be IT first, we had a race and I turned up last. Already I had regretted deciding to join Jonathon and his friend’s game. The round started and I was having a rough time tagging anyone.
At one point, I was behind Jonathon and closing in on him. He ran to the playground and quickly went to the monkey bars. In hot pursuit, I followed but ended up losing my grip on one of the bars and I fell roughly to the ground, breaking my arm.
It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. When I went back to school, arm in sling, Jonathan came up to me and apologized. He felt bad because he had peer pressured me into playing and was the reason I fell from the monkey bars.
This is when the deal came into play. I accepted his apology, of course, even though I was angry at him. He wanted to make things even because he knew that I had felt tremendous pain, having watched me fall and cry in agony as I was transported to the school nurse.
He told me that to make things right he would let me punch him five times. I declined his offer, but he kept insisting, so just to make him stop pestering me, I accepted. However, I told him that I would not punch him until my arm had fully recovered. When, in all reality, I was not planning to punch him at all.
About two years went by before I actually used my first punch. Due to that incident, Jonathon and I became good school friends, and he completely forgot about the deal. I never joined his friend group, but sometimes he would talk to me between classes.
By seventh grade, I had begun to grow feelings for him. He had such a positive charisma and seemed so confident in himself. If I ever looked into his forest green eyes, I would end up blushing.
My best friend, still Stacey, knew this and practically forced me to ask him out. She told me that he was probably waiting for me to ask. That he would not say no. I can not tell you how scared and nervous I was when I brought up hanging out after school.
I am pretty sure half of my proposal was in Filipino. To my surprise, he actually said yes. As we were walking to my house, he told an awful funny joke. He said, “Why are colds bad criminals?” I asked why. He answered, “Because they are easy to catch.”
For some reason, that joke jogged my memory about the deal and I punched him. Not softly, but also not hard. I could tell he was confused by my actions, so I quickly explained myself. He laughed when I reminded him and said,” Well, you only have four more”.