“Whatcha doing Andrew?” Gramps asked, finding nine-year-old Andrew alone on the steps. He had intended on tickling him, but this looked serious.
Andrew jumped a mile!
“You were deep in thought. What were you thinking about, if you don’t mind talking about it…”
Andrew looked up with a lost smile on his face. “What does it feel like to be in love?” he asked, quietly, “does it hurt?”
Taken aback, Gramps suddenly remembered his first crush. In seconds the whole ordeal unfolded again, the attraction, the longing, the joy he’d felt when she liked him too. But, he also remembered David Server, who embarrassed him relentlessly when he found out. And then he remembered another crush. Alice hadn’t liked him at all, and when she found out he liked her, she humiliated him at every turn. All these thoughts shot through his mind, as Andrew sat there, sadly looking at his hands.
Turning to Andrew, he said, “It can hurt, or it can be absolutely wonderful. Depends on who you’re in love with.”
“I’m not in love with anybody!” Andrew said, outraged, “It’s Judy Jensen! She’s in love with me!”
“Oh,” Gramps said, trying not to smile, “Well, that’s different.”
“I don’t want to hurt her, but I can’t imagine being married to her!”
Holding his serious look like a life jacket, Gramps said, “Well, sometimes these crushes go away if you just wait a little while.”
Looking suddenly hopeful, Andrew said, “Really? Oh thank goodness! I thought my life was going to be over!”
Gramps smiled and added, “You remind me of someone.”
“Oh yeah? Who?”
“Me!” he said, going in for a big tickle! Judy Jensen thoughts could just wait.