Reflections in Landscape

April 13, 2009
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Somewhere within the confines of Porton New Jersey there was a subpar suburban neighborhood. The grey, cracked sidewalks held a deep contrast to a newly paved road. This road would in turn make way to its former condition. A bold disparity in color would serve to outline where the project had ended. Now, construction signs could be seen placed alongside an array of potholes. On the outskirts a main service road was to blame for the piles of beer or soda cans and bags of chips that lined the woods. The neighborhood was never a bright place to live. The sky always maintained a darker color than the rest of the state. This gave it unique beauty to it, for it always captured a near sunset color in the sky.



At the end of this neighborhood was a small park. Atop a field of grass and dirt, lay a small slide that would give off a screech should someone go down it. A wooden course, which could only be described as an upheaval of bolted planks served as the main attraction. A short sprint away was a tire swing and in the far corner a pair of swing sets with one swing stolen, one broken, and all the others rusted. Though no one dared to ride, it was always kept busy by a constant rush of wind. There were three little ten year old girls playing hide and go seek in this park. One girl counted next to the big oak tree in the center of the park. Sitting on a park bench adjacent the gate was a boy drawing the landscape. He was fifteen with muddy-brown hair and a pair of eyes that looked like polished wood. This boy always wore clothes that were too big for him. Even though he was tall, these hand-me-downs never fit. His clothes were just colors with no brands on them. The Nike High tops on his feet, he had bought with his own money. Judging by the condition they were in, this was apparent. He was a quiet child, who only spoke when spoken to. Everybody knew of him, but only few actually knew him.





“Shane, Kelly hid next to the base, isn’t that against the rules? Doesn’t that make her it?” the younger, delicate girl wined to her older brother.


“Its not cheating, and I’m not it. You are.” said her friend in a bitter tone.


Only now did he pick his head up from his sketching. “I guess…,” he paused. No matter what he said, one girl was sure to be angry. “Did you make that a rule?”


“No!” Kelly said as if addressing the sister instead.


“Well, then no. It’s not.”


“See!” Kelly said and then ran off to join the others.


“But Shane” said the little girl in a plea of exasperation. Her brother would not look up at her. Frustrated she made a quick shriek and too ran off. He couldn’t believe he was spending his weekend acting as referee to an argument over hide and seek. He got up and started walking.



He stopped at the first house to the right of the exit. It was a plain house, white with a yellow tint. The door was white and plain as well. Shane knocked, waiting to enter. A moment later the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a girl of fifteen. She had bright blond hair, with bright, misty, hazel eyes. Her features served her justice because she was truly deserving of such beauty. However, nobody could tell she was beautiful, not even Shane (her best friend), because of her cloths. She wore guy skating sweatshirts and jeans: a veil to cover her true form.



“Hey Hailey. What’s up?”


“Oh, Hey Shane. Not much. I found a pretty good movie on TV. Want to come in and watch it?” her voice was welcoming.


“Yeah, sure” Shane responded. He followed her into the living room and sat on a big, soft couch. It was on this couch that they had watched so many movies over the years. When they were younger they would pretend that it was a fort and play for hours.


“I just made popcorn. I’ll be in in a second.”


He placed the rolled up paper on the table in front of him.


“You want something to drink?” she called out from the kitchen.


“No thanks,”


She came back with a big bowl of popcorn and put it down. In doing so, she came across his drawing which had unraveled just a bit.


“Is this more to add to the Shane Delvin collection” Hailey jokingly responded.


“No, it’s a doodle. I was watching my sister and had nothing to do, but draw.”
Hailey opened it up and saw a beautiful landscape.


“Wow,” she paused, admiring the technique and eloquence used. In her mind it was nothing short of magnificent. “This is…amazing.”


“No, it’s just a doodle, don’t give it more than it deserves.” Shane replied. It was funny. He didn’t consider himself to be improving all that much, and yet ever time he came over with some sort of a drawing she treated it like it was the Primavara.



It took them a few minutes before they realized the movie wasn’t all that great and went up the stairs into Hailey’s room. They relaxed on the bed, watching videos on her laptop. They laughed so hard that they could feel pains in their lower stomach. After a while they both feel asleep on each other, in a peaceful manor. Hailey awoke at 6 p.m. to find a note taped to her arm that read:


Hailey,



Sorry had to leave, but my dads getting home from work early tonight. I don’t want to miss dinner and get grounded. If I do, then we can’t hangout for a while. I’ll see you in school tomorrow. By the way, we have a history test!













See you at the bus stop,



















Shane





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HaileyS This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 15, 2012 at 1:53 am
This piece is rather different from most of the things I've read on Teen Ink—It's refreshing. I really love it! It's excellently written and perfectly captures the innocence of youth. Sort of brought me back to my younger years. So...thanks. That was beautiful :)
 
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