When Shawn Hunter was six-years-old, he knew his life had changed for good.
He had been sitting at his table, coloring a picture that he had drawn for his dad, and everything was going well. The girls were playing jump rope and hopscotch, the boys were playing with the baseballs and basketballs, and his best friend, Cory Matthews, was sitting next to him.
He had been so proud of the picture he was drawing and so focused that he failed to see the figure approach him before it was too late.
"What's this?" He looked up to see a fellow classmate standing in front of him.
"It's a picture I drew for my dad," Shawn smiled as he looked down at the picture, happily. Sure it wasn't a mosaic, but it was one of the best drawings that he had ever done.
The boy noticed how proud Shawn was of the picture he drew and frowned, he didn't like that at all.
"Your picture is stupid!" The boy shouted before he snatched the picture from Shawn's grasped, internally smiling at Shawn's reaction.
Shawn let out a cry and tried to reach for the picture, but the boy held it high above his head.
"Hah! Look at the baby!"
Shawn felt tears well up in his eyes and his lower lip wobbled. This wasn't how he expected his day to go.
"Whatcha gonna do, baby?" The boy teased, "Cry?"
A loud cry caught Shawn's attention and his head snapped towards the girl who was approaching them. In awe, he watched as the girl threw out her arms and shoved the boy to the ground.
"Leave him alone!" The girl cried, "You're being a meanie, Michael!"
The young girl snatched the paper from Michael's hand before turning to face Shawn, a big grin plastered on her face.
"I'm telling Miss. Kirk!"
It was like he was in a trance. Shawn could hear Michael's threats to tell the teacher but he couldn't stop staring at the girl in front of him. She was so different from all the other girls on the schoolyard. All the other girls would run away from him and Cory, shouting that they had cooties, but she willing stood in front of him.
"Here," She said, staring up at him with her light grey eyes, "My name's Melanie."
Shawn wasn't sure what to say, "I-I'm Shawn Hunter."
Melanie gave a light giggle before holding out his paper for him to take, "Just ignore Michael. He's a big meanie and nobody likes him." She paused and tilted her head, "Also, you're a really good drawer."
Shawn gently grabbed his paper and watched as Melanie skipped back to her seat, her brown hair swinging behind her. Yes, she was definitely interesting... and she was definitely nice.
"Cory," He started once he sat back down into his chair.
"Yeah." His curly haired friend looked up at him.
"You see that girl over there?"
"I'm going to marry her."