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Bouncing towards Oblivion

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Pat pat pat. There she goes again. Smack! Oops, she must’ve forgotten about the second sliding glass door once again. Today felt different than any other day though. The wind, still blowing east at about 10 mph and the temperature, a consistent 68 F yet something new was in the air. She came running out, diving into her netted hands of joy as usual, but something was strange. The bounce and bend of her knees, the same, but the spark in her eye twinkled more than usual. The flame of her soul erupted. Puberty.


She jumped for a little more, maybe about 10 minutes, and then she got off and went inside. Disappointment ached your heart. Why isn’t she staying? Why isn’t she allowing herself to be free? You creak your old bones back in your worn chair not realizing your cat, Thomas, is nestled in your lap until he starts ferociously purring. You must’ve fallen asleep because once you open your eyes again, darkness surrounds you. You start to slowly rise from your chair and go back inside and crawl into bed when you notice her standing at her door, peering through the glass. Is she looking at you? You stand up and walk toward your fence under the sheltering arms of a yew tree. Just enough room for you to see her and for her not to see you. All of the lights in her house are off except the back porch light, shining into your eyes. The doors squeal and screams in protest as she opens them and steps outside. Thank God she remembered the second door this time. Instead of hopping onto her trampoline, she tiptoes to her tree and climbs. How unusual, for she hasn’t climbed that mysterious no named tree, for over two years. She climbs to a thin branch, sits and looks down at the trampoline. You cringe when the branch crackles. It’s her risk, her decision to follow through. It may hurt, but the nets there to protect you; right?


You remember one year when she was young and running around the trampoline and how she tripped over a string tied across the opening. Still to this day you don’t know who tied it or even why. She somehow tripped over the string and flew about 20 ft through the air and landed on her palms and knees on the cement. She was fine, but the net didn’t protect her that time did it?


She continues to look down at the trampoline and you continue to look at her. Wanting her to show herself, to take risks, to not be afraid. Her feet sway and your heart fills your throat. Her arms fly up and she free-falls feet first onto the trampoline. She is now momentarily out of your sight. Giggles carry faintly across time and the sounds of her getting off the trampoline and climbing back up the tree echoes through the night. Again and again she climbs the tree and jumps onto the trampoline giggling each time she hits. Always protected, even while she’s taking risks and disobeying. An hour must’ve gone by because before you know it her mom came out yelling for her to come inside. She took her last jump and hunched back into the house. You decided it was time to go back inside but your feet wouldn’t move you. Jealous, for she had had enough courage to take risks and not be smashed hard into the ground, crumpled by everyone’s harsh words. The words that sliced through your soul, leaving scars in your forever lost heart. You’re jealous her net protected her and you remember your net failed you. Your net, woven with lies, not love, broke and fell apart at about that time of life that is supposed to be your most joyous. Your net, weak from the unseen lies.





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