Sweeter Than Fiction (2): Childhood Crush

"Kyo and Stacey, sitting in a tree, K-I-S..."
It was a Monday morning and eight-year-old Kyo was typically falling asleep on his desk. This was the usual routine, when he stayed up all night playing games on his Playstation 3. Even though his mother scolded him for doing this, he would sneak downstairs to play. He was resting his little, scruffy head on his desk, snoozing away, as the teacher announced news.

"A new girl, Stacey Hopkins will be joining us. Say 'hello' to her, class!"

Kyo's blond friend, Evan, poked his head with the ruler. "Oi! Wake up!"

The boy merely groaned in response and continued sleeping, until the bell rang.


Kyo jolted up from his seat, suddenly feeling energized, as he pushed past the other children and ran outside in the spacious playground. As usual, he raced to the football field - his favorite way to pass time in school. Sometimes the older children refused to let him play on the pitch, which made Kyo steal their ball and ruin their play.

However, this time, they accepted Kyo into their pitch graciously. Excited, the little boy kicked the ball hard and watched it fly high. It whacked and bounced off a girl's head.

"Ow!" She gave a little cry.

He ran over to retrieve the ball, but he stopped in his tracks when his dark eyes met her. Her golden curls that flowed past her shoulders like a majestic waterfall. Her dazzling blue eyes. Her cute button nose. The blue ribbon on her head, matching her blue-and-white checkered dress. She looked back at him with a scowl on her face, waiting for an apology. Yet all he could do was stare at her with a gobsmacked expression across his little face.

Evan came along and said, "sorry," to her before pulling Kyo away.

"Who's that?" Kyo asked, feeling his breath taken away by such beauty.

"The new girl."

The following week, it was time for Physical Education. The children were in the massive hall with the apparatus, climbing frames, skipping ropes, and balls out. Before the children could run to the equipment, the teacher demanded in her loud voice, "Everyone stand around in a circle and hold hands!"

Kyo was standing next to Stacey and he held out his hand to her. Stacey looked at him, then looked at his hand, hesitating. Her friend warned her that Kyo had 'snotty hands'. She didn't want to touch him.

"Everyone must hold hands. Don't be silly. We're all friends here!" The teacher boomed.

Begrudgingly, Stacey accepted his hand. Kyo could feel a surge of warm energy shooting up his arm. He didn't like girls before. He wiped his boogers on them and pulled their hair, but this new girl made him feel butterflies in his stomach. "I like your hand. It's soft," he whispered to Stacey, making her eyes widen in shock.

While Kyo expressed his interest for the girl, Stacey didn't want anything to do with the boy. During sand play, Stacey liked to be on her own - even away from her friends. She would build the highest sandcastle, where her dollies would live in. Just then, a monster truck suddenly zoomed past her dollies, spraying sand everywhere.

"Vroom! I will eat you!" Kyo growled, as he pushed his toy truck along the sand viciously.

"No! Go away!" Stacey howled. She grabbed her dollies and held them close to her protectively.

"Let me in your castle!" Kyo continued, speaking in his 'monster' voice. He smashed his toy truck against her sandcastle, causing it to crumble down. Stacey threw her head back, crying. Eventually, this became a pattern for the little girl, where Kyo would invade her games and ruin her play. It resulted in her crying numerous times.

Soon, everyone - especially Stacey - knew that Kyo liked her. In particular, on Valentine's Day, Kyo would show up with chocolates, animal-shaped balloons, and colorful flowers - an extravagant display of his affection for her. Once, he nicked his grandma's necklace and gave it to her, but his mother found out and scolded him. After that, Stacey avoided coming to school when it was Valentine's Day, as she dreaded facing him and his bizarre gestures on this occasion.

To make matters worse for the little girl, almost everyone in the entire school knew about Kyo's crush. It was a small school and news traveled around quickly. This upset Stacey terribly, as every day, someone would tease her about Kyo. Whenever he was nearby, her own friends would push her onto him. "There's your boyfriend! You go play with him today," they trilled.

Not a day went by when she didn't hear someone singing: "Kyo and Stacey, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-"

"Shut up!" Stacey cried out, covering her small ears.

Year Eleven. It's the last year before the children leave for secondary school. In the small, dusty classroom, everyone was talking excitedly about prom. Kyo, who was sitting behind Stacey, tried to grab her attention.

"Psst," he hissed, poking her back with his pen.

She ignored him.

"Pssst!" He hissed louder. Other children turn to look. Then he chucked a paper note at her.

"Ow!" Stacey howled, picking up the note and glaring at Kyo. "Leave me alone."

"Is there something you two would like to share with the class?" The teacher barked, making Stacey jump in her chair. The little girl shook her head furiously, as the note dropped to the floor. The teacher picked it up and it read: "Roses are red. Violets are blue. I can't stop thinking about you."

"Oh, this is interesting. It appears we have a love note from Kyo to Stacey," the teacher announced. Stacey was shrinking in her seat, while the class chortled in delight. "Shall I read it out?"

"No! Please..." Stacey pleaded, her eyes watering. She knew that it will be embarrassing. The teacher could see her distress, and she threw the note away into the bin.

Finally, prom had arrived. A special occasion to celebrate the children's time in school together. The prom king and queen were elected by their peers and, unsurprisingly, the pair that were chosen were Kyo and Stacey. Kyo was dressed up in a suit and Stacey was wearing a light-blue ankle dress with a sparkly tiara on top of her styled hair.

Slow dance music began playing. It was time for the prom king and queen to have their dance.

Stacey glared at Kyo, but her mother pushed her forward gently. "Go on, Stace."

The little girl sighed. She thought, 'I will never see him again after this,' so she decided to accept the dance and get it over with. 'We don't have to end things in a bad way.'

Kyo held both of her hands, while he jumped on the spot in his vain attempt to dance. Stacey stumbled forward and stomped on his foot accidentally.

"Sorry," she mumbled.

"I don't mind," Kyo replied with a big, goofy grin across his face. As the dance was nearing to the end, the boy pulled her close and whispered, "I'm gonna miss you."

Blushing, Stacey looked away with a thoughtful expression across her features. As she looked back, her eyes widened when his face was so close to hers with his lips puckered. The little girl shrieked, her scream filling the entire dance hall, while she pushed him away fiercely. There was a loud crash, as he toppled over backwards, knocking over the table and its food and drinks all over the floor. The music stopped abruptly.

Kyo's mother, who observed this chaotic scenery, shook her head. "Dammit Kyo," she muttered.


It's been almost 5 years since he last saw her in person. He was surprised when she contacted him online two months ago. In her profile picture, she was lying down on the grass; the sun highlighted her bright-blue eyes framed by her long, thick lashes. She wore a figure-hugging summer dress, decorated with silver stars on her ears and glittery nail extensions. She looked more beautiful than Kyo last remembered.

He viewed her message.

Stacey: Hi Kyo, let's put our past behind us and start fresh.

The words that he always wanted to hear.

He typed back: Damn you got hot as hell, you could get it! Then he quickly deleted the message and decided to settle for something more discreet.

Kyo: Yeah good idea. How's your school and everything?

From that moment on, they began to text each other on a regular basis. As soon as Stacey texted him, Kyo would drop everything he was doing (mainly pausing his precious video games) just to text her back. He felt himself falling for Stacey all over again, especially as he learned more about her. She's a chess fanatic, she's a food junkie just like Kyo, and her dream is to become a head chef in a five star restaurant. She is also an intellectual that is interested in philosophical discussions, which sometimes puts Kyo to sleep, and she loves science too - particularly biology.

Kyo hasn't invested so much time and effort for any other girl. It has always been Stacey that grabbed and kept his attention. Even after she left him, he'd merely chase other girls half-heartedly for the thrill of the game. He has never considered being in a serious relationship, until now.

Today, he is lying down on his bed, whipping out his phone to text her as he usually does.

Kyo: (Three seconds ago) hey, you back from school yet?

Stacey: (Five seconds ago) Yes! I joined Debate Mate today, do you know what that is?

Kyo: (Two seconds ago) never heard of it.

Stacey: (Eight seconds ago) It's a club where you join and you debate over certain issues that are trending worldwide. We're competing against your school hehe.

Kyo:(Three seconds ago) so if I joined.. can I meet you?

Stacey:(Ten seconds ago) Don't join just to meet me, that's so deceiving! It took me ages to get in that club. I was on the waiting list for a year. Some poor kid that actually enjoys debating might have to wait too if you take up the spot.

Kyo: (Five seconds ago) but I really wanna meet you and I wanna say sorry to you in person.

Stacey: (Two seconds ago) For what?

Kyo: (Four seconds ago) for upsetting you all those times...

Stacey: (Three seconds ago) You're so thoughtful...

Stacey: (Three seconds ago) I just wanna ask.. when did you know you love me?

Kyo: (Three seconds ago) when I kicked the ball at your head lol.

Kyo: (Two seconds ago) accident obvz.

Kyo: (Five seconds ago) you know valentine's day is coming soon.. that's the perfect time to meet up. Can we?

He stares at the screen, until his eyes begin to tear up. 'Ahhhh, am I pushing it?' He thinks, frustrated. There is a pause, which feels like the longest pause in the world for him. Eventually, he gets a reply.

Stacey: I'd love to.

Kyo punches the air in triumph. 'Aw yeah! I'm too good.'

Stacey: (Four seconds ago) I regret not being with you in the previous valentine's days.

Kyo: (Five seconds ago) I waited for you all the time in v day. It didn't help that Fatty Mcpatty would always ask to be my valentine's.

Stacey: (Three seconds ago) Haha, she was sweet.

Kyo: (Four seconds ago) not as sweet as me. If I get any sweeter, I'll give you diabetes ;-)

Stacey: (Five seconds ago) Hehe, you're so silly. Can't wait to see you again! Gtg now, got boring hwk to do :-( byee x

Kyo: (Two seconds ago) later x.

He bounces on his bed in child-like excitement, clapping and swaying his arms in a circular motion. "Who's the man? I'm the man!" He chants, as he thrusts the air madly with his hips.

Just then, the door swings open and his mother is standing there, holding a tray of food, while watching him with raised eyebrows. He stops and stares back at her.

"I'm not even gonna ask," she murmurs, placing the tray down on his bedside table and leaving.

Kyo shrugs and calls his best friend.

"Yo, Evanna! Guess who I've got a date with on Valentine's Day!"

"It's Evan, you prat. And what unlucky girl did you hypnotize with black magic?"


Today is the day that Kyo has finally been waiting for. He's been wanting to meet her ever since she messaged him. He's wearing a black blazer with a navy-blue shirt underneath, with black trousers pinned by a golden belt. He feels drenched in sweat under the blazing sun in the azure-blue sky. He recalls Evan's words: 'Idiot! Are you seriously wearing black outside? It will only absorb heat.'

"Stupid Evanna, always being right," Kyo mutters, wiping away the sweat droplets forming on his forehead.

He wonders how long he will have to stay seated in this rusty, red bench, waiting for her. They've chosen to meet up here in Sunnydale Park, the midway point for their travel. Stacey attends an all-girls private school, which is an hour away by train, while Kyo attends the public school half an hour away from here.

Kyo scans the area. It's quite a big, grand park. The grass is neatly trimmed and there are oak trees decorating the place. There are even bench swings, where couples are usually seen embracing together. The large blue lake is the main attraction, as it sparkles vibrantly under the sunlight, surrounded by the ducks and swans that roam around freely.

Staring at the ducks quacking away, Kyo recalls a memory of when he last came here with Evan. He tied treats onto his friend, which made the ducks chase Evan for a solid ten minutes. Kyo merely recorded the whole scenario, using it as blackmail footage to get Evan to do his homework for a week. He snickers at the flashback.


His head turns snappishly to the direction of the noise. Right there, standing before him, is the girl that he's been texting for the past two months.

She is wearing a bright-blue dress with a matching blue ribbon tied around her turkey neck. Her cheeks are puffy and red, her ginger hair is tied into pigtails, and she is wearing a blue dress with a white petticoat underneath. Her look is completed with flat black ballet shoes. She is bigger than he last remembers.

Fatty McPatty, he thinks.

She grins, revealing her misshapen white teeth.

"Kyo! You came for me!" She chirps, as she holds out her flabby arms, wanting to hug him. Immediately, Kyo jumps back, as if he is afraid that she has a contagious disease. A blood-curdling scream tears from his lungs, much to the girl's surprise.

"Oh my god, is everything okay!?" A nearby jogger asks, stopping and eyeing the pair in concern. "I heard a girl scream."

Kyo is clutching onto his chest while breathing heavily. Sweat is forming rapidly than ever. He shakes his head furiously in disbelief, "No... this can't be happening..."


Kyo watched as Stacey ran away, crying to the teacher that the little boy ruined her sandcastle. She was always telling off him. Just then, he felt a light tap on his shoulder and he turned to see the familiar, chubby, little girl. She had ginger hair, bright-blue eyes and a goofy grin across her round face. Bertha McPatty.

"Look what I got!" She said, holding her Frankenstein toy figure in her hand. She waved him around and said in a deeper voice, "Can I play with you, Mr. Monster Truck?"

Kyo shook his head and smacked the Frankenstein toy out of her hand with his toy truck. "No Bertha!" He exclaimed before running away. She sighed in dejection.

During Valentine's day, Kyo would turn up holding balloons and chocolates in his hands. He scanned the area, searching for Stacey but she wouldn't be anywhere in sight. He turned around, bumping into a heavy figure. There she was - holding flowers and chocolates in her hands too with a big smile.

"No Bertha!" Kyo snapped.

When the teacher paired Kyo and Stacey together for their class trip to Lime Dawn Zoo, Stacey burst into tears and protested in defiance.

"Who wants to be Kyo's partner then?" The teacher asked with a sigh. Instantly, a chubby little hand raised in the air.

"No Bertha!" Kyo cried out, his bottom lip wobbling and his eyes welling up with tears.

"Don't be silly, Kyo!" The teacher barked.

During Physical Education, as the children held hands in a circle, Kyo was whispering sweet nothings to Stacey on his left side. Then he felt a sharp pain in his right hand.

"Oww! Will you stop that?" He growled, glaring at the chubby little girl with her cheery smile.

"I love you," she said, squeezing his hand tighter.

"No Bertha! Bad Bertha!" He wailed.

On the day of prom, hidden under the dimmed lights, were miserable eyes that watched Kyo and Stacey dance together. Tears rolled down her cheeks and only one thought haunted her mind.

I wish I was her.


Comment Replies

Lin: Thanks for your lovely comment! It motivated me to write this long chapter! And I don't think a kiss-sensory mannequin head is around... yet!

K: Haha your comment made me laugh! Thanks for reading.
Published: 3/1/2018
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