Snapshots of a boy, a man, at various points in his life.
The boy lay on the side of the hill, hands clasped behind his head, staring up. Up into the clear blue skies, at the clouds that wafted by on the breeze that swept over the countryside. Idly the wind played through his semi-short black hair, casting living shadows that danced across his hazel eyes. Suddenly a cloud he had been tracking was eclipsed by a much larger shape that shut out the sun and most of the sky with it, causing the boy to start out of his reverie. With a jerk the boy sat upright, shaking his head to clear the stray blades of grass that had found themselves mixed with his hair and brushed his hands across his maroon colored shirt. Taking a moment to settle himself, he pretended to be engrossed with his left arm, determining the time. 10:42.
“It’s a school day, aren’t you supposed to be in class?” The voice behind him asked with a hint of mocking and more then a hint of playfulness. The boy half turned to catch a glimpse of the speaker but the sun silhouette the figure and left most of the features indistinguishable. With a wince at the brightness of the sun, the boy faced forward and levered himself into a standing position, stumbling slightly on the steep slope of the hill. Moving slightly so that the sun no longer shone in his eyes, the boy turned towards the girl. She smiled at him as he stuffed his hands into his blue denim jeans, the beginnings of a scowl forming on his lips, his eyes brooding.
“I don’t need to hear that from you.” He shot back, defensively hunching his shoulders and looking away. His gaze moved down the hill and over the pond to the far bank where evergreens covered the horizon. “Besides, anything you say to me applies to you too.” The words were muttered, half under his breath, but apparently the girl heard him. She cocked her head at him, her smile fading, replaced with a slight pursing of her lips as she regarded him quizzically. With a sigh she stopped holding her hands behind her back and carefully sat on the grassy slope, resting her arms on her knees, following the boy’s gaze off into the distance.
“It got boring, so I came to look for you. You know that you’re gonna get it from the teachers when they find you ditched again.” The first part was only a whisper that rose in volume as she completed her thoughts.
“What do you care? The boy grumbled, turning his head to look at the girl. His eyes fell upon her tight fitting blouse and bounced away. He cleared his throat and took a step downhill. For some reason it was getting awfully hot, the breeze becoming a welcome distraction. The girl sighed again and sat forward, leaning her head on her arms, still staring at the shifting incandescent surface of the pond. The silence dragged on for a while longer before the boy spoke again. “I’m going to leave, I don’t want to stay here anymore. This place is so…” He paused, struggling for the right word, “boring.” He kicked at a loose rock, sending it rolling into the pond where it created ripples that slowly traveled across the water to lap at the far bank.
“Really?” The girl shifted her head slightly, turning her gaze towards the boy, trying to read the expression on his face but only seeing the back of his head. Feeling her eyes on him, the boy turned and met her gaze. In that moment, while their eyes held each other, he reached a decision that he hadn’t even been aware he had been contemplating. Breaking the connection, he made a full turn, casting his gaze back over the hill, back at the quiet town in the distance. His shoulders relaxed and he leaned back slightly, lifting his head to once again stare at the clouds.
“Yea. One day. Someday.”