Instant Love

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My very first boyfriend went by the name of Ramsey Welsh. I was eight years old. We were at summer camp, and apparently I caught his eye during the singing and clapping part of the evening. I still remember what I was wearing: a hideous purple t-shirt and some jeans. I hadn't bothered to brush my hair that day.

Even though he noticed me, his attention wasn't reciprocated. Not then, at least. However, the next morning he sent his friend over to my friend. The message was simple: "Will you go out with me?"

No boy had ever liked me before. Not that I can remember, at least. I still remember the way my heart leapt and my stomach fluttered. The messenger-boy pointed out Ramsey to me in the lunch room, and our eyes met. He was small - much shorter than me - with blonde hair and blue eyes. He had a cute smile. Without exchanging one word, I agreed to be his girlfriend.

So many stories begin in the middle, just like that week at camp. What I mean is, there's no build-up. No gradual getting-to-know-each-other, clammy palms and hesitations. Maybe it's part of being a teenager. Maybe slow love is part of growing up. In so many of the books I've read lately the characters spot each other across a crowded room and boom. They're willing to die for each other. All I know is, if I were thrown into a situation where I had to choose between myself and some hot guy I've just met, I might look and him and go, "Uh, who are you now? And why should I take a bullet in the chest instead of you?" Of course, that could be only me...

Is this just young adult? Is there anything wrong with it? I honestly don't know. In certain circumstances I know I've gotten a bit irritated, but usually I can just roll with it if the story and the writing is good. (Of course, I may end up eating these words later if I decided I need to incorporate some instant love in one of my own books.)

What are your thoughts on instant love?

Oh, and you might be wondering what happened with me and Ramsey. Did we ever speak? Did we dare to meet under the moonlight and sneak a kiss? Uh, no. What we did do was exchange gifts we bought in the camp gift shop: a bracelet for me, a hackey-sack for him. Yeah. I know. I think he smiled at me and said, "Thanks." I blushed and darted back to the safety of my friends. The week went by - a week of shy smiles and quick glances - and camp drew to an end.

I dumped Ramsey.

Why, you ask? Because the romance was gone. My little eight-year-old heart wanted more. I returned the bracelet, and Ramsey returned the oh-so-significant hackey-sack. But don't worry, I didn't break his heart. He immediately gave the bracelet to my friend Sara. And asked her to be his girlfriend.

So, instant love. Is it real?

You tell me. Is it?