The Hat

I was pretty boy crazy when I was young. It all started in 4th grade when I got to wear Roger's hat. Wearing boys hat was a big deal.
But it didn't work out. In a fit of breakup rage I threw his hat away in the classroom garbage can. My teacher, Mr. Branstrator found it and held it up in front of the whole class. He said, "Who threw away this perfectly good hat?" No one said anything, certainly not me. I was just hoping he would let it go and we could play 'What's Up 7-Up'
But he didn't. He flipped it over and over in his hands trying to figure out why someone would throw away this perfectly good hat. (Obviously Mr. Branstrator had never been dumped).
Then he saw it....the letters I had written in sharpie marker inside the hat. BL+RG. Except he read them as BLTRG. So he started asking the whole class what BLTRG meant. I swear this went on for hours and hours.
It was probably only like 5 minutes though.
No one admitted it and he set it on his desk and moved on to long division (I HATED long division). I burned with humiliation. Roger had been looking at me the whole time. So I tried to glare back at him, but I just ended up crying.

It was awful. A few weeks later the progress reports were sent home to parents. Mine said that I was finally starting to come out of my shell (I used to be really really shy...I know! I'll wait for you to stop laughing) it also said that I was dotting my i's and j's with hearts. He asked my parents to tell me to stop being so cutesy and just write normal.
I knew. I KNEW that it was code for, "I know it was you that threw that hat away."

The next year we went on to middle school, another building and the bottom of the totem pole. We had to change classes and we had our own lockers for the first time ever. I had new friends since my elementary school best friend had moved to the next town over. But Roger was still there. I found out that his sisters name was Barbie and tried to mock him by asking how his brother Ken was; turns out his brothers name was actually Ken...whoops.
The last interaction I remember having with Roger is later that year in 5th grade. I was kneeling in front of my locker getting my history book out of the bottom when I heard him coming down the hall and he was making fun of me. I didn't look up, I refused to look up. So I didn't see it coming when he slammed my head into my locker and tried to close the door on it. I just froze, thinking if I stayed still it would all be fine.
It was, the bell rang and he ran along. I went to class and then went home and told my mom what happened.
She got pretty mad and the next day I was walking to gym when I thought I heard her voice. I paused in the hall and listened. Coming from the principals office was the unmistakable voice of my mom in her angry mode. Roger didn't so much as talk to me after that. I think he graduated with us years later but heck if I know.

But breaking up is really hard to do.

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