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Child In The Park
A story of a young boy in the park.
High School student who enjoys writing about love and life.
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
Fall Breezes (Short Stories) Love and Leaves. [1,242 words]
Stop For Flowers (Short Stories) Memories of an old love, never to be again. [1,135 words] [Relationships]
Child In The Park
Tap, Tap, Tap. His fingers made a light noise as he patted them against the bench. Josh noticed that he had been tapping pretty hard, and the tip of his finger was aching. He stopped, and sat up straight. Can’t make a bad impression, he thought. He looked around him for the, what seemed like, hundredth time. The park seemed to have very little people in it on the Sunday afternoon. He thought, that could be good, less people to make a disturbance… but it could be bad, it will seem as if I have secluded us. He watched some birds as they gracefully danced through the air. The sun seemed to catch them in their mid-flight aerobics and vibrantly present their colors to the world. He thought that he had picked a nice spot here, under the old tree by the pond. This was his park. He knew every nook and cranny, every hiding spot, every Climbing Tree, every creak in the swings. But today, it all seemed foreign as he waited. It seemed like there was an imperfection in everything he saw now. The ground was to dirty, the air was too dry… he knew it was all trivial annoyances that had never bothered him before, but today was different. Today mattered. Every other day he had just been a boy in boyhood bliss, with not a care in the world for his playing environment. Today, he had every care and every worry. Today he was no longer a boy, and everything mattered.
He stood up and walked around the tree, his tree. He remembered summers long past and games long finished. He looked upon the root that had broken his leg when he fell from this tree three summers ago. He examined the nails still stuck in the tree, remnants of the many tree forts, which he had helped to forge. He saw the rope still hanging from the lowest limb, ready to be climbed. Ready to lead him on another adventure. For a second, he was tempted to jump up and grab the rope, but held back. I don’t want to get my clothes dirty; this was a foreign thought to him. This tree and dirty went hand in hand. He could remember the countless times his mother had scolded him for ruining a new white shirt, or getting grass stains on his nice pants. Josh turned his gaze to the playground, where he had spent his youngest days playing and imagining in the sandbox. He remembered how the height of the slide had once frightened him, and how he had conquered those fears one summer morning when no one was looking. He was so proud that day; he had run home just to tell his smiling parents the good news. He remembered how he used to experience what the birds seem to take for granted on the old swings, when he and his friends would jump off at the highest point, and see who could get the furthest. As he looked at the now empty and rusty swings, he let out a small sigh. The yellow tape, which read “CONDEMED” that now encircled the swing set, was an eye sore. This park practically raised him. He rode his first two-wheeler here, he kissed his first girl here, he caught fireflies in the night here, and he looked up at a cool summer night and wished he were an astronaut here. He was a child here and all his dreams could come true.
But now, that would all come to an end. The city had decided to demolish his childhood and to build new luxury condos. They had argued that no one played here anymore. That was a lie, and Josh knew it. All his friends had grown to old for this park, and the younger children had other hobbies, and even they grew up too fast. But he still came here; it was still his park. But, even though he fought hard, big money and developers won out in the end. The least he could do now was serve the park some last justice by having this day, this oh so important day, here.
He looked at his watch, 12:32. Late by two minutes, he thought. He sat back down on his bench and felt the grain under his fingertips. He was going to miss this park. Suddenly, there was a rustling behind one of the bushes. He felt a sudden fear, which he could not explain. What if someone sees me here? They will wonder what I am doing in this old place. But then, he saw who it was, and all his fears left his heart as the monsters leave a child’s room at the first light of day. He could not remember why he worried in the first place, for when she was near, all worries seemed to vanish.
They greeted each other with a hug and a smile. She had in her hand a small basket, which contained their lunch. He laid the blanket down under the tree next to the pond, and they began to set out the food. As they ate and talked, there was only her and there was only him. No other worries, no other fears, only two children acting as mature and as in love as they could. When the meal was completed, they laid their heads next to each other and stared up through the leaves at the sky. She complimented on the beauty of this place and told him she was sad it would soon come down. Then, a thought came to Josh. He asked her is she knew how to climb a tree, she smiled and nodded.
They ran through the park, climbed every tree, and hid in every hiding spot. He was a kid again, but this time, she was with him. And every childhood memory, which he held so dear and so wonderful, was topped by this memory, this memory of her. That day, the day in which he tried to be so adult and so mature, he fell in love with her as a child running in the park.
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"When i read this story, I felt like a kid again running through the park. It was very delightful to read. Great work!" -- ashley, mckeesport, pa, usa.
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© 2001 Justin Kile
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