The Fall dragged on nearly endless as the thought of Summer became nearly extinct for any city dweller. The winds changed gears with quick precision and the leaves showered down, hiding all of Summer's tiny imperfections. It had reached the moment in which a breath clung onto the air particles of a sky that was fearful in accepting the coming of Winter. Mothers beckoned their children to come back and fix their gloves or hats or scarfs, and to make sure that their coats were properly zipped up.
I step outside of my house and watch the silent leaves rain down from the trees surrounding our front yard. The gathering leaves on the lawn are reminiscent of a time when I didn't see all of my father's flaws and addictions. Back then, I only saw him as my own version of Superman. I had giggled and ran and he'd run after me for what had felt like a childish infinity. Then he would fall back into the cushioning of Mother Nature's embrace and I would lay beside him with my head on his outstretched arm.
"Daddy," I'd said, "what was mommy like?"
He'd go silent for a moment or two long enough to let me know that he could remember everything. "She had the biggest smile when she heard that she was having you."
I would always frown and beg him for more, but he always limited his stories; his own way of controlling himself. "One day," he had promised, "I will tell you everything."
But now I stand in the middle of the foliage and I know that if not later in life, my dad perhaps would never tell me all that I wanted, needed, to know about my mother. Perhaps, I think to myself as I lock the gate behind me, I remind him too much of her and having me is enough of a reminder of what she was like.
I walk quickly towards school with the sound of the passing cars becoming nothing but background noise. When I arrive at school I stand in front of my locker without looking around. My eyes are closed as I do some self-made meditation to prepare for the day--a mantra that I had created when I had been in the third grade, is put on repeat in my head every morning:
I am me, you are you, forget everything and do what you must do.
This simple line is my savior every morning.
I am jolted back to reality by the slamming of the locker beside me. "Hey," it's Paul. His smile is crooked, childish and his green polo brings out the color of his eyes. "Missed you at the party!"
I know very well that if Paul were in fact missing me it would not have been at the party that he had gone to. It would be my secret, as I am sure it would be his, that he had been outside of my gates. Not only will it, I am sure, embarrass him to have the entire school know of his sudden interest in my house, but it had been a private moment that, though it had been my house, it had been his own personal memory. His secret rendezvous.
I simply stare at him and I catch a sudden glitter of understanding in his eyes. "I'll see you around Lorena." He walks past me with a smile that hides everything that he is storing in his memory.
I turn back and stare at his back as he disappears. To the left of my line of sight is Charlie. He is staring after his brother and after a few confused seconds he looks back at me. I pull on one of my two long black braids as I begin to wonder what could possibly be beginning.