Fields of Lavender

January 14, 2009
By Amie Apodaca, Salem, OR

Looking into the rearview mirror my eyes fill with nostalgia. The bright October sky, covered in clouds of gray, gave everything an ethereal quality. The old house was a cold stark gray, no longer the warm, welcoming brown it used to be. There were no bikes and balls lying out on the lawn, for they were all packed up. Closed in tight cardboard boxes making escape not an option. The doors were shut, windows covered in still white curtains. No peeking faces waiting for dad’s old jeep to come rumbling home. It was as if no one had lived there for years, but I did. I wanted to scream and shout, throw my hands up in the air and say, "I did! I lived there! You can see me there, can’t you?" and it was true. I was there. The bushes lining the dirt road, a conspicuous hole missing from when I decided to play gardener, the bend in the gutter from when little Danni and I played fireman and had grabbed a hold to keep from falling. Broken branches from bikes, an old tire swing hanging by a frayed rope a small cross where Sir Chlementine the gold fish would forever lay. It was all me and my life, impressioned in to the wood, giving life to the still house.

And the field. Oh, that wonderful field of lavender, the only color on this dreary day. I meet a boy there, but no one knows him. He came and went like the wind, only staying when I was there. A head of white and a body of gold, he was my best friend, my confident. When little Emily called my dress was ugly, I had cried to him until he told me

"What does Emily know about pretty dresses?" and we laughed and smiled.

When I told Mama about him, she said no one was there and to go and get Danni, they had something to tell us. Daddy got a new job in the city far away. We had to move. I remember crying and screaming, but I had no real voice. My words couldn’t reach them. Running and crying to the boy, I told him the news. He did not cry but held me while I did.

"Don’t worry, it’ll be ok." He told me running soothing fingers through my hair. "It’s not over."

"But I won’t be able to see you anymore!"

"Maybe not, but I’ll always be in your heart and memories. Now please do not cry anymore, I makes me sad."

Not wanting our last moments to be remorse, I wiped my eyes and put on a smile

"Now then, let’s plat!"

We ran and sung songs of little meaningless words. A marching song to a nursery rhyme beat, making crowns of lavender and staffs of magic. We talked and remembered, creating our own little bubble of time.

A call from mama made me come back

"Anna! Time to come in!"

I nodded and turned to the boy.

"I have to go now but I’ll see you tomorrow." I started to turn but stopped myself. I had finally realized something.

"What’s your name?" a simple question so common but he always avoided the answer. "Can you please tell me?"

He leaned down and whispered in my ear not a name that I had ever heard.

" ---"

I tried the name out and liked its’ feel on my tongue. I nodded once more and smiled and said my good-byes, running towards my mother not looking back. But why would I? I would see him tomorrow after all. But we were packed and moving the next day. We moved far away.

To a place where the lavender didn’t grow.

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