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04 Four

Lessons as a Child

School, when I was growing up was filled with the same people for the whole twelve years I was there. There were two school houses, one was the grammar school where we learned the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I think we spent the first five years there. The second was high school, it was a bit bigger and housed seven grades.
There were a few classrooms and a gymnasium. I had a couple different teachers, but spent most of my time in class with the same thirteen kids. They would be there from the time I started until we were supposed to graduate. At least, most of them would still be there by graduation. There were a couple of girls that left just a year or two before graduation, but it was likely because they were needed to help make money or had decided to get married.
It is a strange tale to tell after the fact. The rest of the world had already moved on and east Texas would soon as well. The idea that we lived in this bubble stuck in the past is almost aggravating. I imagine many of the young girls who studied with me missed out on so much because they believed it was not an option for them.
The one girl that stands out in my mind is Mary. When we were very young she would chase me around outside and try to kiss me. Back then, when I found girls to be more purveyors of cooties than anything else, I avoided her. I disliked her and had no idea why someone would act like her.
Over the years I grew up and she became more subtle in her advances. She would be shy and quiet around me and I learned to be respectful of women. I treated her just like anyone else even though I was aware of her interest in me. I willfully ignored it and went on with my life.
It was probably Brenda that taught me to be better towards women. I had become so close with her that I attributed most of my inner changes to her.

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