Saturday, January 18, 2014

Today I Met a Champion

We parked maybe half a mile away, so I held my phone, camera, and keys in either hand as I sprinted towards the Aquatic Center. I effortlessly slid between cars, clumsily darting in front of those moving in the parking lot, my breath catching on the January air. I opened the first door triumphantly, sighing in excitement. I opened the second one and took two steps in, looking side to side.

And there he was; My red-headed, goggle-faced champion. There were hugs.


Plot twist: I hadn't actually seen him face-to-face before. He and I had been friends online for two years and he slowly became one of my best friends. Chin up, my Champion.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Red Fireman Boots, Yellow Fireman Jacket

"I still have them, you know." 

It was nine years following the boots and the jacket, a choice six minutes still remembered from fast-fading kindergarten days. I hadn't really talked to Jean* that much in kindergarten except for the last day on the "little" swings before he transferred to a Montessori school. I saw him once in the fifth grade and we were just as good friends as we had been on that one morning. Middle school arrived shortly, and he and I remained very close friends, sharing lunch money and jokes.

As it happened, my best friend became his loving girlfriend.

"She's got her firefighting jacket on," my dad chuckled, watching me swing back and forth, hunched in retaliation to the spring nip in the air.
"Ha! He's got his fireman boots!" Jean's mother exclaimed, her voice thick with a French accent. I looked to Jean and giggled, as did he. We exchanged a few lines of conversation that I've long forgotten.
"Hey!" I called out in my cracking seventh-grade voice, "Jean!" Today, he admitted that he didn't know who I was for some time and I appeared as just some overly friendly person. It soon became obvious that we had been friends. Seventh grade English was spent through grammar wars. 
"I still have them." I sleepily glared up from my computer. "I found them while looking for my tie in the closet." Lily scoffs beside him, laughing and leaning in closer. My mouth drops, and she is confused.

"You...still have them," I repeat, then collecting myself. "Of course you do."

Saturday, January 11, 2014


(Sorry for the long absence - schoolwork and other things have really been a pain. I'll try to get back to work with shorter but more frequent posts.)

He ties his shoelaces, sitting on the hard floor and leaning forward to reach his sneakered feet. Two people are ahead of him in line, and two behind. A badminton racket is dropped beside him. He's fined with pushups. Standing, he's fairly tall, towering over me. His hands are massive; no wonder he plays basketball. In his presence, Canadian jokes are thrown back and forth, a few of the more clever ones coming from him. Angela sighs, smiling while shaking her head.

"Clayton, Clayton," she snickers, watching him refuse the pushups from the other side of the court. I'm standing behind Jacqueline, who is in turn behind Angela with a faulty badminton racket. I think back half an hour. I once more feel the tension of English class swerving around me in search of their closest, leaving me standing in the middle of the room. The teacher stares me down like a hawk, and I glance upon a yellow slip stating permitted tardiness. Boys laugh; something about hockey is sputtered. I collect myself.

"Clayton?" I mumbled, looking to my feet - it isn't considered "like me" to ask such a troublemaker of such a favor, "Do you have a p-partner yet?" he shakes his head, finding that everyone else sat down.

"D'ya...d'ya want to work t-together?" My voice is hushed; the growing silence is overwhelming.