…One day in school, as I was sucking away on my caramel, Gerard inadvertently bumped into me during recess. I almost choked and coughed from the caramel laced spittle in my mouth.  Embarrassed, some of that spittle flared out and onto Gerard’s jacket. He looked at me somewhat miffed but then smiled and began to laugh.

“Smells like butterscotch caramels” he stated unquestionably. “You should be more careful. The teacher may find out. But I won’t say anything cause I love caramels too. Got anymore? He queried. “Can I have one?”

“Sure Gerard.” I took one out from jacket and handed it to him.  He took it and in one smooth singular motion had the wrapping off and the caramel in his mouth.  Sign of a true caramel sucking professional.  Admirable!

Nothing more was said as he walked away and met up with some of his friends.  It was, truly, the unspoken acknowledgement of a true caramel sucking professional.

I turned away, then ran over to some of my friends to watch them play Conkers all the while sucking away in peaceful contemplation, as if an eight year old can really contemplate anything.

Just before the bell rang to end our morning recess Gerard yelled over to me to wait up. I complied but had no idea what he wanted.  I didn’t really hang out with Gerard although I knew most of his family and had met his older brother Art under very inauspicious circumstances.

“Hey John, hey Gilly, so what are you doing after school?” he chuckled

“Um, well nothing Gerard. And don’t call me Gilly”

“Okay Gilly, so why don’t you come home with me after school today. I have a big surprise there just for you.   It has your name all over it”

Intrigued? You bet. He had my undivided attention

“Oh yeah, like what”

“Can’t say right now. See me during lunch and I’ll fill you in.”

We parted and went our separate ways to our individual classrooms.  For the next hour and 45 minutes I had to pretend that my mind was on the lesson at hand.  Not really. I could not even begin to ascertain or suggest to myself what Gerard had in store for me. And why me? Perhaps he was duly impressed with my shared experience with his older brother Art during a recent strap session. 

What could it be? The teacher seemed to be able to peer into my mindless eye and share his lesson with my soul.

“Morrison, pay attention or would you like to share your thoughts with the class? Try not to be so indolent”

Indolent? I thought. What the hell does that mean? I continued to daydream about Gerard, but in a good way, and what he had said to me. 

History, or was it Math. Don’t matter too me to much.  Perhaps English grammar or spelling is what we should be doing. Whatever, I couldn’t have care less for all of my thoughts were on Gerard’s words to me at this morning’s recess.  A surprise?  A surprise for me! What could it be?  What could IT be?

Finally, for what seemed like an eternity, the lunch bell rang.  We all ran for the door. School was like that for us.  The girls formed up in single file as good girls always do to await the teacher’s permission to vacate the classroom and go for lunch while the boys scrambled out and charged the door, en masse.  Pushing, squeezing and shoving our small frames through that opening: tripping, falling, yelling, and screaming brutes, all of us.  Somehow, we were able to get out at the same time, as we did every single day.  It is no wonder and no surprise to me that girls are far smarter and far more mature and patient than us lads…