My Early Years

cheerful black woman waking up in bed with red blanket
Photo by SHVETS production on

I penned this piece as a response to a query on the theme of ‘solitude.’ However, as I delved into my musings, memories of my formative years emerged, compelling me to chronicle those cherished moments. Whether this narrative finds its place in a published book or becomes a treasured keepsake for my family remains to be determined. I eagerly await your valuable feedback in the comments section below.”

My Early Years

I’ve spent most of my life as a loner. I know, it sounds weird, right? I mean, I’ve always been involved in events and activities, even as a kid. But even when people surround me, I still feel lonely. I’ve never been able to start a conversation or to mingle sociably with others. As a child, I was afraid I would always be an outcast.

But the crazy thing is, a lot of kids liked me. They would try to draw me into their games and stuff, but I was never really close to any of them. There were two girls in elementary school, Barbara and Sandra, who were best friends but were constantly getting into arguments. Somehow, I became the mediator that always got them back together.

Outside of school, I had two friends who I was really close to. Geraldine and Earline went to Catholic school, which was unusual for black kids when I was growing up. We lived in the projects, and Earline’s family shared our porch. There was Miss Mary’s family between us, and later on, when the apartment next to ours became vacant, Geraldine’s family moved from the back to next door to my family.

We became best friends and did everything together. Geraldine was the tomboy. She could outdo the boys in everything she tried. Earline was a homemaker; she helped her parents care for her brothers and sisters. I was a reader and a Western movie watcher. I developed a love of reading in the fourth grade that neither could understand, but they accepted me. We were teenagers when we got a copy of Peyton Place. It was not a book parents wanted their children to read, so after school, we would go sit in the stairwell, hiding from our parents as we read the book.

Earline’s parents allowed her to have a birthday party for her sixteenth birthday. She made me promise to come. I still hadn’t come at about ten o’clock, so she and Geraldine came to my home. Each took an arm and dragged me across the porch to the party. They refused to believe I would come as soon as my western went off.

The real reason I delayed was that I knew I would stand in a corner and no one would ask me to dance, which was the case. In those days, I was still skinny and a plain Jane. Boys only saw me as someone to ask for advice about their girlfriends or help with schoolwork.

I had my first kiss on the stairwell where we used to hide to read Peyton Place. It wasn’t too good a kiss because he never asked me out or kissed me again.

So, that’s a little bit about my life as a loner. I’ve never been good at making friends, but I’ve been blessed to have a few close friends who have accepted me for who I am. They like me and have taught me how to share myself.

That’s it for now. Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

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