Freedom Knockin'

June 2, 2011
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I hadn’t really known what freedom was until the summer before my freshman year. It was July and it was sweltering. The heat stuck to my skin, even though my clothes didn’t. I had lost my virginity at the beginning of the summer, and I was late to the party compared to most of my friends. My virginity, or lackthereof, had nothing to do with freedom. One hot evening in July, my parents decided to go out for some drinks. It wasn’t uncommon, but my girlfriend Katie came over when they were gone. However, my parents had failed to tell me that someone else was coming to the house – a new girl in the neighborhood that ran a lawn grooming service and who didn’t know how to open our garage. So when I opened the front door after the doorbell rang, which was quite unusual because we had a large, rather intimidating-looking dog and a TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED sign in the front yard. And I was wearing only my boxers, my hair falling into my face and covered in a sheen of sweat due to very personal activities when I first laid eyes on the embodiment of freedom.
I was partially blinded when I first saw her; she gave off the appearance of a slender tennis ball. She wore extremely short denim shorts that left very little room to the imagination; they were neon yellow. She also wore a low cut workout tank top in the same neon yellow that displayed sizable cleavage; you could see a black sports bra through the shirt on it in the right light. She wore her hair in a long, loose ponytail and dirty tennis shoes, and long black kneehigh socks with rainbow polka dots. I stared at her blankly. She stared back curiously, panting slightly in the heat.
“Um. Hi,” I said awkwardly.
“Can I borrow your lawn mower?” she asked, looking up at me. She was short, and I had shot up several inches this summer and h*rny enough to try to glance down her shirt, but enough of a gentleman to stop myself despite the fact that I was pretty dang h*rny at the time.
“Sure,” I said, letting her into the house. She followed me silently towards the garage door. I opened it for her, the door creaking open, and I pointed at our old lawn mower. She smiled, and I was taken aback; she had a really pretty smile.
“Thank you!” she said in a sing-song voice, and she hopped down the steps and rolled the lawn mower out of our garage. I stood there for a moment and then retreated up to my bedroom where Katie was waiting rather impatiently for me.
About an hour later, when Katie and I were both so worn out and relaxed that all we could do was lie on my now unmade bed and pant in the heavy heat until Katie got annoyed at the sound of the weed whacker and left to go shower. I toyed with the idea of joining her – after all, I had never showered with a girl before – but decided not to. Instead, I laid on my bed in the heat, listening to the keen whine of the weed whacker. It soon turned off and then I heard her voice. It was out of tune, much too flat, and it strained to hit simple notes, but it held the words with such love and compassion and feeling that I hoisted myself off my bed and found myself at the window.
My new neighbor that resembled a tennis ball was dancing around my yard, picking up my dog’s toys and tossing them into the bin where we kept them. She leaped through the sprinkler that was watering the flower garden that she must’ve just weeded; trash bags were positioned beside it. The lawn was cut; the fenceline was clean; the patio sparkled. She had done a good job. She was singing a song I didn’t know, spinning in circles and belting out notes that made me wince because she sounded so bad. But the expression on her face was clear, even though I was two stories high and she was in constant motion; she was free. She was happy and at peace and full of life. She was personified freedom. And soon after my parents returned home, she was gone.
I didn’t even get her name.

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