Frog Hunting: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

We were in class. Giant windows overlooked the parking lot on the second story of the southern church building. The Sunday school teacher was talking about grace, or predestination, or God’s sovereignty, or something, but I was not fully engaged. You see, the crush who had brought me to that church was sitting next to me. I hadn’t strategically chosen my seat (this time) but when he sat down beside me in the second row, my body went nuts. I had shut all my sensories down in fear I would do something embarrassing—like look at him in a way that informed him I had the hots for him. If that happened, my life would be over. 

Calm down, Katherine, calm down. 

The Bible I held gripped in my hands was the first Bible I received the day I proved to my parents I could read—all the way back in 1stgrade. It still said “Katie” because that’s what my family called me back then.

I’d had this Bible for so long, it was literally falling apart at the seams. At a prompting from the Sunday school teacher, I opened it and flipped to the New Testament. 

That’s when a piece of the well-worn seam came off and floated down to the floor at my feet. 

Before I could lean forward to pick it up, my crush was already on it. Scooping up that tiny piece of brown leather with a slight edge of gold embossing. Delicately, he reached toward me, the piece of seam pinched between his thumb and pointer finger. I took it back, careful not to let my fingers touch his, and looked at his face to say a wordless, “thank you.”

But he wasn’t looking at me. He was intently focused on the words of the teacher. The piece of seam forgotten once it left his hand. 

My smile remained on my face, but I wondered, why didn’t he look at me when he handed it to me? 

But then, why had he picked it up in the first place? 

Clearly he was paying attention to me, to have noticed when my well-loved Bible began to shed its skin. 

But then, why didn’t he look at me? 

Was he shy, just as I was, and he didn’t want me to know about his concealed feelings? 

Why would he have chosen to sit by me if he didn’t like me? 

Or maybe he was sitting next to me because he didn’t like me. Maybe I was just a friend and he felt comfortable enough to sit next to me—knowing nobody would wonder why. 

Maybe the piece of Bible was just an annoying disturbance to the class, and he picked it up as a way of saying subtly, “Keep your shi—Bible—together.” 

I didn’t know. And it was killing me that I didn’t know. 

(To be continued).