It comes to me in a flash: I am becoming that woman who slept with a kid in her fifth-grade class and got pregnant and the whole thing was all sleazy and bad. A 12-year old has a crush on me, and he is a sweetie, and I like it.

Patrick has a broad tan face, a mouth that's used to smiling and eyes that go all crinkled and disappear like Paul Newman's, help me. It took me a while to realize that he looks out of place in the school uniform only because I've been imagining him mowing hay by hand, somewhere lonely in the Midwest.

Last week at Youth Group he gave me his pillow when it was so crowded we both had to sit on the floor. He insisted I take it. Today he does not pick a spot without finding out where I'll be sitting, and makes Will Smith jealous by grabbing the spot next to me.

I'm gossipping with Robin before the movie starts when I feel something brush the back of my head. I turn and Patrick is only slightly emabrrassed to have been caught touching my hair. He leans closer and I think this boy is going to kiss me but he doesn't, he cocks his head to the side and says "What color?" Huh? "What color is your eye stuff - close your eyes." And I do, I close them without questioning. Open them and he is there with his wide true smile. "Purple. I like that' it's pretty. Well - I mean - they're pretty when they're open, too." He laughs and sits back.

More about my eyes. We watch an X-Files episode he's already seen. A creepy zombie not-quite-dead guy sits up on the autopsy table and scares the shit out of Scully. I watch the tv; I don't realize Patrick's eyes are on me. When the commercials come on, he whispers "Awesome, you didn't close your eyes!"

When it's time for Patrick to go home, he makes his mom wait in the lobby while he runs round the place looking for me so he can say goodbye. He makes his mom wait a little more because a kindergartener fell and needs a band-aid for her knee and he happens to have one in his pocket. Once I asked him if he would wait for me for 12 years or so. He said "sure;" he won't; it breaks my heart.

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