By Brittney Hiller

I want the romanticism of my childhood. The moments where I stood out overlooking the houses, the canyons, and the ocean from the park I would often visit as I grew up. Southern California has a romantic feel to it in itself, yet I can turn the memories I have to make it much more fanciful.

One day, as if written from a Nicholas Sparks novel, this happened – I was a mere kindergartener and yet, already life was showing me romance did indeed exist.

He showed up on a bike and he was my age – I’d never met him, yet I believe I had seen him at school. He made his way up the hill, bike and all to stand next to me. He placed his arm around my shoulders gently and we gazed at the sun as it was beginning to set off in the distance. With the light hitting just perfectly, we could see our school as he softly pointed out. Just past that we could see the ocean. I don’t know the details of conversation, but I know it ended with a gentle hug and a soft kiss to my cheek.

Oh, how I wanted to see him again.

In that brief moment I experienced romance, longing, and joy. In that moment I didn’t know what I was actually experiencing, but I knew it was nice and I felt special.

In the days before texting and inappropriately aged children having cell phones; I was on my own. Living with a mind full of imagination.

What if I see him again? I hoped.

With this wild imagination I continued to visit the spot where he met me, hoping to re-live that very moment.

It never happened again.

To this day I find myself looking to recreate these moments, often having to be the sole provider of them to other people. Almost as if I am gifting to them the moments of spontaneous romance I long for – just so I can experience it somehow.

It’s moments like this I wonder… Will my younger sisters ever experience such a memory? I ask this because our society has turned ‘nose down to device’, often missing out on the simple moments that were created once when we had the pleasure of chatting face to face. Back in the time, which was a mere decade ago, if you wanted to “like” something, you had to stop and verbally express your interest. It was a time that if you wanted to “poke” someone, you had to use your index finger to their shoulder and in turn receive the gift of their immediate reaction and endure the pain of a slap to the shoulder or the joy of a boisterous laugh from their face.

I wonder if those that are a decade younger than I will experience these moments the same way. I wonder if they will experience the beauty of longing and creativity our mind creates as we imagine ourselves bumping into that one person – the person who randomly stopped to say hello and shared with you the beauty of the sunset.

I wonder…