Turns out we couldn’t prank your father today because both he and the witch had an apparent short notice business meeting to attend; as if! They probably went somewhere to redo her plastic surgery and fix the nasty bump on her head. If she had a heart, I’d wager it’d be just as large and ugly! So when we realized we had nothing to do, you proposed that we go to the lakefront and see what exhibition was going on now. The lakefront (as its name implies) is really just a large field in front of, or rather, beside, a lake. It’s a place where people are constantly putting up stalls and selling, well, practically anything! There’s a very nominal fee you have to pay to enter and an even lesser one to set up shop so there is always something going on and more often than not, it is some kind of silly competition.
Exactly as I’d suspected, there was a competition going on- a seed spitting one! The objective was to eat as many slices of watermelon as you could in under a minute and then spit the seeds as far as possible, the prize money only increasing with the distance. Of course, you volunteered as the next participant (didn’t see that coming) and stood at the stand with these two huge men (imagine toothpick to a tree trunk). You didn’t stand a chance. But of course, I’ve never actually seen you gorge on something before, so when the timer started and the watermelons were placed before you…I didn’t know who was more surprised- me, or the evergreens standing beside you watching you go a mile a minute on those slices. Sigh; if you only thought as fast as you ate….or as much! Barely twenty seconds left and the skins on your plate were piling high. The other men combined probably ate as much as you did and you’re still skinny as a twig! Fast metabolism…Why, oh why, are guys awarded with wonderful metabolism?
Anyway, once you’d finished eating and spitting the seed (fifty feet), we decided to walk along the pier and just enjoy the breeze (your words, not mine) in our hair. But we had barely begun walking when you stooped and made weird expressions, probably trying to remove a stray seed from your mouth. Told you not to do it. Soon enough however, you had on your ‘seed spitting face’ and you spat whatever was in your mouth a few feet away, right at the unsuspecting girl who had just walked into its path. She must have eyes of a hawk, because no sooner had she turned, than she swerved to the left to avoid the incoming food missile. But unfortunately for her she must have moved too fast because she lost balance- and fell right into the water! And her scream, I would recognize it anywhere. Oh Ravi, you had just accidentally sent Alia tumbling into the lake! It was amazing though…especially when she got out, sputtering and looking like a drowned rat and you had the audacity to point out the seed that had stuck to her face. Gosh, she sounded like a banshee yelling at us, trying to push us in as well. High school…Where else do people get sent to act like idiots?
People have the right to be stupid, but some just abuse that privilege. It doesn’t take a lot of intellectual thought to deduce that when a sign says ‘wet floor’, it means that the floor is wet and one should proceed with caution. Why on earth would you run like that? Now you’re on the ground groaning, with papers spilling from your pockets onto the water on the floor. The ink was blurring, making the writing almost illegible. Sighing resignedly, I made my way toward your mess and started picking the papers up while you worked on making it off the floor. I was nearly done when something caught my eye- it looked like a list but I wasn’t too sure so I carefully opened it up trying to decipher the writing. It looked like a bucket list…but why would you need one now?
There were several items crossed off:
- Wake up to see the sunrise
- Win a seed spitting/ watermelon eating contest
- Pass a math test
- Sing in front of a crowd
- Break into school at night
- Get thrown out of a restaurant
- Watch a meteor shower
- Revisit the past
- Fall in love
You haven't passed a single math test yet?
The last one looked like you’d tried unsuccessfully to scratch it out. It was a nice list of things to do, and most of them were appealing, but what I still didn’t get was your reason behind it. I’d understand if it was senior year, but we’ve still got a long way to go for that…Before I could ask you though, you snatched it out of my grasp and walked briskly forward (in the wrong direction)…..only to fall down again. What do I do with you?
As we (finally) walked out of the café, I asked you what the list was about. The things I’ve always wanted to do, you’d said. But why now? Why is this year any different than the next? You gave me a grave look, chilling my bones and told me that after the last summer, when you came back, you realized the real meaning of life. You felt that you’d been wasting yours listening to mindless gossip and you just wanted to make this year count; do something to make it worthwhile, imprint it into your memory and what better way than to do the things you’ve always wanted to? And when I accepted your apology, well, you found the perfect partner in accomplishments.
I think your bucket list is brilliant and I can’t wait to complete the rest of them with you…Maybe even the last one? You had erased that out though. Was it because you weren’t expecting it to happen, or because it already had?