My side of the Fence

October 27, 2010
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Grandma remembers a time before the wire. Mom and I are too young, the current arrangement the only thing we know. I never really felt weird about it either; it was the logical separation of beings that kept the peace. I though I had my own ideas about what was true, about how people could love. We all think we came up with the thoughts we have, but in my day nothing is your own. This I have learned, that you can’t even trust yourself to not give in, to not give yourself away.
There I go again. If I want anyone to understand what I’m talking about I’ve got to start at the beginning.
I called her Kellie. I don’t know what her real name is, or even if she has one, but that’s what I called her. She was tan, like the sun kissed type from the magazines, and tall, like a pole. Every time I saw her, she had this eternally sad look to her face and was always staring at my side. Dark eyes and short black hair that made the night shy away in embarrassment. Skinny too, like she didn’t eat much. In my eyes, she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I’d never be able to talk to her under the current situation, but I just wish I could say something.
I was out late the first time I saw her. I had a lot of stuff in school I had to worry about, and really just needed a walk. I normally don’t go anywhere near the fence, but I just kept right on walking, past the end of my street into the meadow, and stopped at the rusting wall of chain link. The sun was just starting to fade below the tree line far off in the distance, and the rays were glinting off every petal of every daisy in the meadow, and yet I wasn’t seeing any of it. I was focused on the other side of the wall, at a tree to be exact. We didn’t have any trees on our side, and I remember that one was an old oak, covered with moss and without any leaves. The grass around it was brown and dead, and yet that tree had survived. I stood there for a while, studying from afar the bends of the branches and twists of the limbs, when I heard something that nearly scared me. A girl, no older then 18, slapped her hand against the fence, catching my attention. She was staring at me with a curious look in her eyes, one hand on the fence and one hand in her pocket. I knew the question that ran through her head; why are you staring over here? Your side is so much better. If I could have answered I would have said at least your side has a tree.

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