Stuck In The Park
Currently, I was pissed to all hell.
“Excuse me?! EXCUSE ME, CURTIS?!” I snarled into the phone. I could hear him take in a breath, about to rant on me again. “NO, NO NO. Don’t you DARE go and say that you’re stuck in traffic. Traffic doesn’t take three damn hours, even in the worst of it!” I was beyond furious at the moment. I was freezing my ass off, waiting for Curtis to pick me up at the park by the lake, and he hadn’t. I pulled my grey sweater around me tighter- I had dressed lightly, since we were SUPPOSED to go on a date. Well, that flopped. That flopped big time. I watched as a few passerby’s quickly darted by, throwing glances my way, maybe on their way to see all the fall leaves and sit on the bench by the lake, but some girl was screaming into her phone. A very under dressed girl. Light blue washed skinny jeans, black boots- that were just for fashion- a red tank top, orange scarf, and the previously mentioned button up sweater. And it was... maybe somewhere in the forties.
The phone slightly crackled, as he yelled back. “WELL EXCUUUUUUSE ME! WHAT, YOU THINK I’M RUNNING AROUND, SCREWING OTHER GIRLS BEHIND YOUR BACK?!? YOU KNOW WHAT?! YOU KNOW WHAT?!” It continued to escalate, as it always did with this jerk. I was just pissed he wasn’t here to take me to Marcellia’s, a nice little diner. He thinks its because I think he’s cheating. He could be jerking off, for all I care. “SCREW OFF, EVALINE, SCREW THE HELL OFF! HAVE FUN GETTING BACK HOME BY YOURSELF!”
Before I could say something back, the line went dead. I stared at my phone for a good few minutes, and the background, of Curtis and I snuggling together on his pristine white couch. His messed brown hair, dark green eyes. With me next to him, in my red dress, my face twisted up in a smile. As always, my own blond hair kinda fell over my grey eyes. Not grey like a storm, grey like city pollution, I like to think.
I kinda wanted to throw my phone in the lake, but it was a expensive phone.
I huffed, watching the little puff of air fade into the distance, looking at the city from over the lake as i sat on the worn bench. There were leaves everywhere, the trees vomiting them off in spectacular yellows and reds and oranges and browns. Normally? I’d have Old Digi- my digital camera- out, and snapping pictures, but I didn’t really take it, as you don’t take cameras to a restaurant. I began to mentally prepare myself for the long walk home, since I didn’t really want to get on a Taxi or Bus. I wanted to stop at somewhere and get myself a nice, hot drink to brood over for... a few years-
Suddenly, I felt like there was someone watching me. And I'm not typically wrong.
I whipped around...
to see someone holding a leaf.
He blinked, looking down at me with a smile.
He was insanely tall, somewhere over six feet. Six foot five? I dunno. His fluffy, short black hair made him look like he just took a bath and fell asleep without toweling off, his bright blue eyes kinda glittery, with the dim light reflecting off the lake. He was wearing black jeans, and a oversized grey hoodie. I didn’t even hear this guy coming-
Was... Was he offering me a damn leaf?
I stared up at him some more.
He pushed the leaf a little closer.
It was a mixed leaf- a bit of orange, and red in it. Or maybe it just looked that way. He shook it slightly, tilting his head.
He really wanted me to have that leaf.
“Um… thank you.” I took it hesitantly, peering at it, and he just... darted off. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with this- it was a leaf. A damned leaf. Just a damned leaf. I mean, it was a nice leaf... but this was fall. If I wanted a leaf, I could just lift my hand up and it would casually float into my hand like I was some kind of leaf wizard.
After a few minutes, I heard more footsteps, and looked up again, slightly annoyed. Was it Curtis?
No, it was leaf boy.
With another leaf.
“...Buddy, i don’t know who you are, but... I don’t need a leaf.” I tried to explain to him. This one was... well, nothing really special about it. It was a plain, old brown. As I continued to talk, and stare at it, I realized it was in the shape of a heart. “...If you like leaves, well, that’s one of my business, but I don’t really need them.”
He tilted his head.
I sighed, now more annoyed then ever. “Seriously. Dude. No want leaf. Who the Hell even are you, anyways? I just went through a bad fight, if you care, and I don’t need a-...” after a few seconds, I realized he was trying to cheer me up with leaves. “...Leaf.”
He gently set the leaf beside the other one, and started to sign something with his hands. With another start, I realized he must be kinda mute. He sure wasn’t talkative, at least. “I... I can’t understand you...” now, I just felt embarrassed at this point. I don’t know this guys life, or why he likes giving people leaves.
He hesitantly sat down on the bench, and tugged out a little drawing pad from his hoodie pocket, and flipped to a clean page. I noticed, before he did, that it was filled with drawings of the area. He scribbled something down, then offered it to me.
I peered at it, and read his messy, scrawled handwriting. I’m Joseph! And I just thought you needed a leaf.
I couldn’t help but snort. “...That’s... weirdly nice. Thanks. Um...” I paused, kinda shifting. “Just how much of the conversation did you hear..?”
He scribbled down more, and gave it to me again. I just heard yelling. And you didn’t look happy. You should be happy!
“And... why should I be happy that me and my boyfriend,” I spat it like it was venom in my mouth. “Decided that I wasn’t worth his time to pick up, or something?”
He paused, peering at me, his eyes showing sadness. For someone who seemed to not be able to speak, he was actually quite expressive. After a few seconds, he went back to writing something, then showed it to me again. Well, you shouldn’t be sad, about that. You have a nice leaf, now, and you’re a nice person, and nice people shouldn’t be sad. No one should be sad.
I couldn’t help but laugh a little about that. “But... what if people like being sad? Like watching a sad movie, or something.” I was slowly beginning to cheer up, kinda forgetting about Curtis. Well, Curt is in his name...
Then, that’s OK. But you don’t look like you want to be sad.
“Your right, I don’t. And i wasn’t sad, just... upset.”
He did the cutest thing, and blushed a bright red, the color staining his pale skin, looking silly with his blue eyes. After a few seconds, he wrote back, Oh.
“Aww, now its OK. It was very nice of you to... try and cheer me up with a leaf.” It took a lot not to just openly beam at this odd fellow. He was a good conversationalist, really. For someone who couldn't speak. “Um...” I didn’t really want the conversation to die, though. So I went with a more general route. “Where are you from?”
Oh, Canada. It’s quite nice there, specially in the fall. I miss it sometimes. He had a smile on his face as he wrote it down. What about you?
“Oh, I’m a Jersey White Girl, born and raised.” I grinned at him, and... well, he kinda looked like he was laughing, but there wasn’t much noise. Or any at all, really. His mouth was open, and he was smiling, though, “If you miss Canada, why can’t you go back?”
He looked somber. I am he paused for the longest time. Stuck here. And I can’t really go back.
I decided not to pry. “Well, do you like it here?”
He nodded eagerly. I laughed slightly, smiling at him. “Well, as long as you like it.”
After a few seconds, he started to stare at the darkening horizon. Maybe he was worried. “Do you... have a place to go to?” I prompted. Maybe he should start headed back-
And then he pointed at the park.
“What..? What do you mean? Do you live on the other side of the park?” I turned, peering at it.
He shook his head, and pointed again. After closer inspection, I realized that his clothes were dirtied, and he was overall... messy.
he meant the park, didn’t he?
“You’re.... staying in the park?” I heard the twinge in my voice.
He nodded, with a smile.
“Bud- Joseph, it’s going to snow tonight. You realize that?” I just stared at him, then somehow remembered I was supposed to be cold, pulling my sweater tighter.
His smile faded, and he shook his head a bit.
“is there anywhere you can go? A shelter, a home-”
He suddenly looked scared, frantically shaking his head, and pointed aggressively at the park. He didn’t seem to like the idea of a shelter.
“Well, ok, ok...” I wanted him to calm down. “Um... would you...” I paused, chewing this over. I didn’t really know him, But he had a bad disability, and... being homeless, and mute at the same time..? That’s a bad combo. “Would you... want to stay over at my place?” I offered. “Ya know... you could get a shower, and... well, more food, and a bed to sleep in...”
He blinked, then tilted his head, a small smile appearing.
“Was that a yes?”
He nodded eagerly. I don’t think he liked the cold, that much.
“Well... alright. Follow me, Joseph.” as I started walking, I heard him follow after, eager. “And... I’m... i’m Evaline. Evaline Smith-Wes.”
He caught up to me, still clutching his pad, as we both started to walk. I kinda wanted to find out more about him...
But I also just wanted to get home.