The Summer of Pierre

Like any normal 13 year old girl, I fell in love with every boy I saw.

Every. Boy. I. Saw.

Red hair, black hair, curly hair, no hair, it didn’t matter. There was even a time when I thought my soulmate was the guy who developed photos at CVS.

Don’t get the wrong idea though, I did have some standards. Actually, I had very high standards. Especially for an awkward 13 year old girl, who wore more cargo than the army.

But this particular crush was different. It was by far the biggest crush I’d had in my life. The only problem was, he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him.

He was tall, tan, and perfect. I called him, Pierre. I’m glad I never found out his real name, because if it was something like, Rich or Dan…actually, no, it wouldn’t change anything. He worked at the French restaurant across the street from my mom’s gift shop, so the name, Pierre, seemed fitting. In my mind he was the head chef and came up with these really revolutionary dishes, but in reality I don’t think the head chef of a restaurant takes out the trash and gets dropped off for work in a car full of five to six Mexican guys.

But none of that mattered, he was still perfect. Although, I knew we could never be anything. He was a little older than me, maybe 28, and while I was ok with that, I knew he wouldn’t be interested in dating a 13 year old.

He was a working man, probably struggling to make ends meet and I was in middle school trying to perfect my mom’s signature so I could sign my own tests. We were just in different stages of our lives.

But, regardless of the age difference, from the moment we first met, there was this connection between us.

It all started when I offered to watch my mom’s store one Saturday and I invited my friend Bridget along to keep me company, and also witness the beauty that was “Pierre.” The day was going by and there was no sign of Pierre. Bridget and I were running out of things to gossip about, so we decided to keep ourselves occupied another way. We decided to do the Mentos & Diet Coke experiment.

I took a twenty out of the register, told Bridget to man the store, and I went and picked up the supplies.

As I walked back holding two bags filled with Diet Coke and Mentos, I was suddenly struck by a blinding light, it was Jesus Christ. No, wait, it was Pierre, dressed in a white short sleeve button down, with white pants, and white slip-on shoes…probably not the ideal outfit for a dishwasher, but it worked for him.

We stared at each other for a while, well I stared at him until I regained consciousness and realized I had just been standing there for a solid five minutes. He probably thought I was just another American with diabetes, getting her fix of soda and candy, but in reality, I was just another American about to do something really stupid. — Like I said, I assumed Pierre was French.

When I got back to the store, everything was missing; the whole store was empty, Bridget dropped the ball.

Kidding. Everything was fine.

Bridget and I felt that the best place to perform our experiment was right in the middle of the store. Knowing very well that intention of this experiment is to create a soda explosion.

And, it did.

Two Mentos into the bottle, and there was soda everywhere. It really was cool, and I recommend trying it.

But it was in that moment, when the soda was overflowing all over the carpet, that Pierre walked in and my mind went from thinking, “Oh my god, this is a bad idea” to “God is real, the 11:11 myth works, Jesus has risen and his name is Pierre — the dishwasher.”

The room went silent.

(French Accent) “Hi, uhm, sorry if I am interrupting.”

Bridget and I stood there, unable to move or blink, and honestly I think I stopped breathing.

“I think you may have dropped these.” He handed me a pack of Mentos.

I made noise I had never made before and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to recreate.

Pierre just starred, probably wondering if he should call 911 because two teenagers girls just had strokes.

He was perfect.

I didn’t speak to Pierre again that summer, but that was OK, because that one conversation was enough.

Pierre, I’m 26 now. I’m assuming you’re rounding 40, if you read this, I’m still interested.