A brisk chill had set in, the leaves that held on were a dying breed. They used to be green and vibrant, now look at them. The branches resembled roots. It made me think, maybe we're the ones that are upside down. It was a foolish thought and as fleeting as the falling leaves. Despite my wonder, I still enjoyed sitting beneath the giant oak tree and watching the clouds. It was a peaceful day, I didn't have a care in the world, and like most days, I waited for the sun to set to get on my way.
If it wasn't for my curfew, I'd stay well into the night just to watch the stars, but my mom wouldn't like that. She wants all us kids to be home by the time Dad got home. Although to be fair, even if I were to watch dawn, I'd still get home earlier than him. Not that it matters much to me, I just want to enjoy the feeling of the sun hit my face while I lay against the grass. Like most days, however, I'd be forced into whatever reality my brother and his friends made next. Almost as if on cue, my little brother runs up the hill with his little group of friends.
As they hobbled up the hill, I heard him scream with all his might, " James! Come play with us!". You'd think by now I'd realize not to sleep under the school's tree, but it's right there, and if you sat under it, you'd understand. I tried my best to ignore the sound of his shouts, but as I shifted under the tree, a girl softly kicked my side. The girl's name is Lilith, she is the most beautiful girl in school, and definitely the most popular. Why she always took time out of her day to befriend my annoying little brother is beyond me. She scolded me, " James don't be like that with Len".
I let out a deep sigh and quickly got up from my bed of grass. I've always been weak to her charms, since grade school. Even then, she'd pester me into following her around the playground. Back then she was the classic tomboy, complete with overalls and a stick. Now, she was a woman in every right. She styled her hair into wavy curls and wore innocent blue dresses. She had an award-winning smile and her painted skin. Which, in my opinion, didn't suit her. I was used to seeing her high cheekbones and small rounded nose without the disguise of makeup. The first time I saw her dress like a girl, I teased her mercilessly. Sadly, even though her clothes had changed, she was still the same tomboy I grew up with.
When Len finally stopped in front of me, he was a tall kid. He had sandy blonde hair, green eyes, and an innocent air around him, he takes after our mother, so did my sister, but she was barely old enough to walk. I noticed he was wearing a black piece of cloth around his eyes, and a silver star on his shirt. Without the slightest bit of interest, I asked, " who are you supposed to be?". He's such a spoiled brat. He shed crocodile tears and Lilith quickly ate them up. She pinched my arm and gave me a death glare. I screamed out in pain, " ow ow ouch, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!". She nudged her head to the laughing group of kids. While I turned red, I muttered, " I'm joking Len, I know you're the lone ranger".
He puffed out his chest, " come on then Tonto! Grab your stead, and what not!". I looked at Lilith with pleading eyes, but she didn't take the bait. It's easier to go along with their charades. The kid standing next to Len, Benny, mumbled, " I thought I was going to be Tonto...". Len looked down while rubbing his chin like our Dad does in his study. After a moment of thought, and my yawn, he excitedly screamed, " Reach for the sky, robber!". His posse of friends followed after his lead. They all pointed their fingers at me. After a brief moment of thought, I yelled back, you'll never capture me alive, copper!".
While the children shouted, "bang", I shouted back, " you ankle biters will never take me alive!". They chased me in circles around the tree until I finally fell from exhaustion. Len tied the black cloth around my wrists, and with shallow breath, I gasped, " okay... I'm done". I used my knees to pull myself from the ground and quickly crawled my way home. Lilith had walked away halfway through the running, so I didn't have to worry about her pestering me later. Len yelled out, " tell mom I'll be home in an hour!".
After shaking my head, the endless bags of energy went back to playing cops and robbers. As I walked along the sidewalks, I waved to every familiar face. In a small town like mine, everyone knew everyone. I waved to Mrs. Johnson, smiled at mister O'Neill, and gave a crude smile to my arch enemy and rival, Johnathan. Despite our grudge, a offered a polite wave. By the end of my stroll, I walked through my front door and fell onto the couch.