Carl

Carl

A Story by Lyn Anderson
"

the purity of that first preteen love

"
    I am setting out to write this not knowing how it will turn out. I saw it in my head. I rehearsed it in my mind in the car. The tears flowed as I talked it out - over the music that most people would think impossible to concentrate playing in the background - a constant song in the underneath.
    A couple great movies, such as "Man in the Moon" and "My Girl" come close to hitting the nail on the head as far as the subject of true preteen love goes. But attempting to capture such a magical thing in words, in pictures, is like trying to capture the essence of childhood - we can almost, but not quite, get there. Knowing this, I can only give you a glimpse of what it was to love Carl, and how much it means to me to this day, some 30 odd years later.
    It was grade seven. I was in love/lust with at least a Joey or Jay or two. But it was Carl who captured my heart. Carl was not like the other boys. For one, he was, what the unenlightened 1980s people referred to as a "dwarf". He had difficulty walking, and had several noticeable physical impairments. Carl, however, was a brilliant boy. He had this tremendous light. His sister, a buxom, beautiful senior in our grade 7-10 school, was his rock, his centre. It was amazing to see the two of them together. She loved him like a big mama bear. And because Carl trusted me, she took me into their confidence, and told me the awful story - how when Carl was born he had to undergo surgery after surgery and was not expected to live. How his father walked out because "he didn't sign up for this". And Carl, his mother, and sister became this inseparable, wonderful, perfect family, just those three.
    We were in a musical together, Carl and me. I had a bit part because, quite frankly, I am a pretty good actor, but only a mediocre singer. Carl had one of the lead roles, and he was truly fantastic. He lit up the stage and really stole the spotlight from the other two leads. He started leaving me little notes and things in my locker. He asked me on a date. I talked to my mom about it. It was a really big deal, because I was physically attracted to the Joey's and Jay's, but Carl had wiggled his way into my heart. I loved him, in that pure, innocent, preteen way, that I only felt once, and only with him.
     I wasn't the prettiest girl in school, but I for some reason always had lots of boys chasing me. Imagine their surprise when it was Carl who brought me to the school dance. Carl gave me a little handmade paper flower - I still have it, tucked away in a box of memories. Carl worried he wasn't good enough for me but he stole a kiss anyway. He held my hand. His sister took me under her wing. She could see I really cared for her brother, and that meant a lot to me. Carl taught me, above all else, that it is the inside of a person that you love, and not their outer shell.
     I forgot a lot of things from grade seven, but never Carl. Unfortunately, children are at the mercy of their parent's work transfers at that age, and I had to move away for grade eight. I wrote to Carl, and he wrote to me. Then one day, the letters just stopped. I tried to contact him and found out a horrible, unimaginable thing. He, his mother, and sister were in a terrible car accident. Carl was the only survivor, and his only living relative was his dad. He was shipped off to the east coast to live with the dad who rejected him at birth. The dad he never knew.
     This was pre facebook, internet, etc., remember, and while I tried every method I knew at the time to get a hold of him, I never saw or heard from Carl again. I have tried from time to time to search him out, and came up empty. I assume that due to his physical problems, he probably died. I only hope that he found some joy, some peace, and some love after being dealt such an unjust blow yet again by fickle fate, destiny, God, whatever way you want to phrase it. And I hope, that Carl remembered me the way I remember him.
     And if, by chance, by fate, a forty something Carl stumbles across this piece in a vast sea of internet chatter, Carl, I still hold your flower close to me.


© 2014 Lyn Anderson



Author's Note

Lyn Anderson
I wrote this in one shot, no edits. If there are mistakes in grammar, point them out, please.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Featured Review

There are no mistakes when the flow comes from the heart. Time supposedly heals all wounds... Some leave scars that we forever look upon with a vivid memory. Some we can study for hours and only give a shrug... Others we can only view in that cinema in the attic with such a sparkling clarity and emotions running wild. They are the souvenirs that never dull or fade. Beautifully told.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much. I am sorry I missed this review.



Reviews

KL, all I can say is Carl was one lucky boy to have had a friend like you. I often wonder what became of some of my past loves, but I think it's better to let them be forever young.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


This is excellent writing, especially for no edits!!!! You're a natural! Even tho I've always honored your natural writing talent (enhanced, of course, by hard work & constant practice) . . . it's your way of seeing the world that I find most attractive about whatever you have to say in your writing. This is such a perfect little glimpse into this childhood experience of yours, more about "love" in a general sense, than a romantic sense. I wish someone had taught me that lesson about loving the inside, much earlier in life. I'm sorry for the way Carl's life went & that you never got back in touch with him (((HUGS)))

Posted 1 Year Ago


Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

This story is one of my most precious. When people feel sorry for themselves, I think of Carl, and o.. read more
A beautifully and sad written story about a love that reads close to unconditional to me. Someone who touches your heart is far worthier when it comes to affairs of the heart than the handsome but superficial and maybe less loving version. I also do hope that somehow everything turned out to be alright for him. So it seems to me that today's the day for personal heartfelt stories because mine was too...;) Warm regards

Posted 1 Year Ago


Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

Thank you. This is a tough one for me. I appreciate your kind words.
Closed

1 Year Ago

You're welcome. I hope you feel a little relieved now that you have written it down...at least a tin.. read more
A great memory and a great piece of writing to describe your experience. Well done.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

Darling! I've missed you. Thank you. This is probably my personal fave as far as short stories go.
Kl, this is such a heart warming story/memory, heart wrenching as well... thank you for reliving these memories and for allowing us to hear them..

redzone

Posted 1 Year Ago


Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much hon. I still cry when I read it, so I can't look. I still look for him now and aga.. read more
Whew.
This world is filled with sarcasm. Being cynical is a must if you don't want others to mock you.
So when someone shows up and is brutally honest, we are often found speechless.
We are left gaping, our minds swirling.

''..How can they just say it like that..?''
''...Doesn't she care that he is poor..?''
''...Doesn't he care about her big nose..?''

We are often found baffled. We don't know how to react. Years later, when we mature, if we ever do, we feel bad for not speaking up. For not doing things different. For not standing up for people.
But that is the thing about Carl.

He didn't need people to stand up for him.
He seems like a wonderful person.
He just needed someone to give him a chance.

You've actually touched my heart with this one.
Thank you. I hope things turned out for the best.

Posted 1 Year Ago


Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

Thank you. I do too. I still look for him. I don't know if he lived or died, or got the family he de.. read more
I can relate to this. You can't help but remember.

Posted 2 Years Ago


Lyn Anderson

2 Years Ago

Thank you, I appreciate it. I keep hoping he is still alive and will stumble across this.
Jon Roggie

2 Years Ago

A true love missed me by a month. I can't help but think about her.
Nice piece of writing, very lucid, and then the last fifth or so is so sad, an enjoyable read, taking you from childhood through to the present effortlessly.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Lyn Anderson

3 Years Ago

Thank you very much.
I loved the very last few words....

"Carl, I still hold your flower close to me."

xo Winter


Posted 3 Years Ago


Lyn Anderson

1 Year Ago

I missed this review. Thank you.
A very good story and memory. Funny how some people stay with us. I like how you described life. I did like the sister a lot. I hope you find your friend. Thank you for sharing the excellent story.
Coyote

Posted 3 Years Ago



First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

763 Views
18 Reviews
Rating
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on January 4, 2014
Last Updated on March 19, 2014

Author

Lyn Anderson
Lyn Anderson

Toronto, Ontario, Canada



About
I write under a pseudonym. I don't do Read Requests, but you can PM me if you want me to read something specific. I make friends with people who I read and interact with. I won't accept random reque.. more..

Writing
Solid Solid

A Poem by Lyn Anderson



Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..


Friend Friend

A Poem by Saumya