When Aniela Zielińska was ten years old, she fell in love with a boy who rode around her neighbourhood, throwing newspapers at people’s yards, and who did that a little too slowly near her house when she was playing in the yard with her sister and her friends. She loved him with alove stronger than a young person should love with.
She made eye contact with him for the first time when on the first Thursday morning of July when he was distributing her mother’s gardening magazine. As he rode, the wind moved his shirt from side to side, and the morning sun played with his hair, setting some strands of it on fire. That scene reminded Aniela of the ones she saw on television when her sister and her watched romances. Everything was right. The world would seem to slow down when their eyes met, the wind would ruffle his hair in a perfect way, and at that time she would sigh heavily in his direction.
When she saw him for the first time, she threw the toys into the sandbox and lifting the ends of the dress, so as not to get dirty, she ran towards the stairs in front of the entrance where the boy would throw the newspaper. She caught it, panting, and read “monthly” in small letters underneath the price with sadness in her eyes.
She tried not to think about him, to take care of other things. Instead of analysing the look they exchanged, she invented scenarios in which they shared more. Instead of writing about him in her diary, she addressed love letters she would never give him. Instead of drawing him, she painted a dog they could have in the future when they were married and they would have three children.
A month of vacations passed quickly on not thinking about a boy on a red bicycle.
On the first Thursday of August, since the sunrise, she sat under the front door and looked through the glass part to see if anybody was approaching.
Point ten o’clock in the morning, she noticed movement in front of the door and without thinking, quickly opened it and smiled broadly at the boy who was putting the newspaper on her doormat. The door that opened hit him and caused him to lose his balance, knocking him over.
Aniela inhaled sharply and ran to the boy, on the way stepping on the gardening newspaper, to which a sachet of blue flower seeds was attached.
Although the child was already getting up from the stairs, the girl already caught his arm, a little too excited.
„Come on quickly, I will take care of that! Mom is just at work, dad too, and my sister is sleeping at her friend’s. We are alone here, but it does not matter, I learned first aid at school”, she spoke quickly, dragging the boy into the living room, where she sat him on the couch and put a pouf under his feet, and pillows by his sides. „I’l be back in a moment”, she said. „Do not move anywhere.”
He didn’t have to wait long for her- he only managed to quickly look around the place.
„I think I should head back now, I really didn’t get hurt”, he said quickly as she stepped into the room, proudly holding a white first aid kit in her hand.
„Nonsense, I cannot let you out in this state, your arms are all scratched and bloody almost, and it’s my fault! Oh, I was so careless, I’m so sorry!” she exclaimed and sniffed, hiding her face in her hands.
„Hey, hey, don’t cry. Will it be okay if I stay just for a moment longer?”
She nodded slowly, resigning from the tears and only sniffing a few times. He smiled at her awkwardly, putting a hand on her shoulder, and she thought she would melt under his touch.
He told her about himself. His name was Antoni Zienkiewicz (she would be okay with that last name), he was fourteen (perfect age difference, she thought), he had siblings (sisters, so he certainly would treat a woman well), and his parents were wealthy (and despite that he worked in the summer – he was an adult, responsible and hard-working).
With every word that came out of his mouth, hse fell in love with him more and more, she saw their common future more and more clearly.
„I think I should go back”, he said uncertainly, slowly getting up.
„What?” she exclaimed, a bit too loudly and a bit too aggressively. „But you just came. You need to rest! Convalescence is very important”, she added, proud to have used a rather unusual word, always trying to look the best and give the best impression.
„I really have to go”, said Antoni, this time more confidently, albeit with an almost undetectable note of fear somewhere in the background. However, Aniela caught it right away.
„Are you afraid of me?” As she spoke, she also stood up and began to approach him slowly. „Don’t you think I’m worth your time?”, she growled, quickly peeking around in search of things that could help her stop him.
She grabbed the scissors she used to cut the bandaids, and without thinking much about what she was doing, she pressed him against the wall with them. Theoretically, they were in such a position that they could not do anything to him, it was more of her hand she put on his chest (his heart was beating almost as fast as hers when she thought of him) that was pushing him against the wall. Antoni, however, did not seem to take it that way. He stepped out swiftly from her embrace and began to run towards the door. Closed.
With horror in his eyes, he turned to Aniela who was standing at the end of the corridor with the keys hanging on her finger.
„Are you going somewhere? I can forget how you treated me if you apologise nicely.”
The boy panicked, seized the vase on the table standing near and threw it at the glass door, which shattered into thousands of sharp pieces, which he rubbed against, getting out.
Aniela reacted too late. When she stood on the doorstep, a blue pack of forget-me- not seeds appeared from under the broken glass. They would later grow on her patch in the common family garden and remind her of her first and only love.