The conductor asked me if I had ever been in love. I gave him a glance that must have surely given it away. He asks, "What's her name boy?" Shyly I replied, "Laura, Laura Brant." ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


I remember just having buried my father at the age of thirteen. He was the braviest, strongest and smartest man I ever knew. His death had been no surprise being called off to the war and all. I loved my father. The pain always ceased at least for a minute when Laura was near me....

"Iím sorry about your father Jess."

I could not mutter a word. The pain was overwhelming. She grabbed my hand. Words pour our of my mouth the way water pours out through a defective cup.

"My fatherís gone Laura. He ain't coming back. All I ever wanted to do was be like him. Be the son he could be proud of. But now I will never know if I ever made him proud of me. Now the only person I have is mama."

"That's not true Jess."

We stared at each other for a moment. I leaned in as if I had a secret yearning to break free from my lips.

"Who else do I have?" (though I knew the answer)


I leaned in slowly, as did she. That was my first kiss and SHE was my first love.