The year was 1990; Long before Barney the dinosaur existed. The boy’s name was Jeff and he had a penchant for following me around at recess. He had black hair and blue eyes set against surprisingly pale skin for someone growing up in Hawaii. I was still an only child and – quite honestly – was oblivious to the existence of anyone else on the planet besides myself, my mom, and my best friend Bridgette. Oblivious, that is, until this boy walked up to me behind the Kindergarten room with a picture of a purple dinosaur.
“Hi Chelsea,” he said, thrusting a piece of paper into my hand. “I drew you a picture. He’s a dinosaur and his name is Fred.”
Fred was a friendly-looking tyrannosaurus with a purple body and a big green stomach. I kid you not. The boy had impeccable artistic skills for a five-year-old. He’d neatly sketched Fred’s outline and kept all the color inside the lines, adding details like a toothy grin on the dinosaur’s face and a singular heart towards the edge of the drawing. I was enthralled.
I pulled myself away from the page to see the boy staring at me, wide-eyed in anticipation. “What’s your name? I asked.
“Jeff,” he blinked for what seemed like the first time since he’d walked up to me.
“Jeff,” I reached out and clasped his hand. “I like you.”
And just like that, I had a crush on a boy named Jeff who drew me a dinosaur named Fred.