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Ryan

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I used to have this friend named Ryan. He was a boy, and I am a girl, and I couldn’t possibly make it plainer that our friendship was commonly perceived as “odd”. Eleven year old boys and girls don’t usually mingle. My belief in the fact that boys had cooties ended promptly at the age of five-in-a-half, when Andrew drew a smiley face on my band-aid after I fell at recess. So, really, when I told people my best friend was a boy named Ryan, I didn’t understand what they found so funny.
Ryan and I spent hours and hours together. We went for swims in the small river behind his house, made collages out of random scraps of paper, spent hours sitting in his tree house just listening to the rain and eating candy until our stomachs were on the verge of bursting. But our favorite past-time was board games. Ryan loved board games. He probably owned at least one version of every game ever invented on the face of this earth. But his favorite ever was Monopoly.
My favorite memory of Ryan is the one time we played Monopoly for 14 hours straight. My mom had to go on a business trip out of town and my Dad took that as a chance to get away with his wife for a few days. So they left together. I was at that age when it was still considered safe to leave me at a boy’s house for a few days; I stayed with Ryan and his mom. It was raining heavily, and prone to tradition we grabbed Monopoly, a boom box, and a bag of twizzlers and climbed up to the tree house.
We began playing fair and square- following the rules and everything. Ryan was a special kind of player. He bought every damn property his hat landed on. In result, he usually went bankrupt within about the first half hour of the game. He wasn’t a very strategic player. I was – but no matter how hard I tried, I usually went bankrupt pretty quickly too, and that was that. Every time Ryan rolled the dice, he’d softly whisper under his breath: “I hear the double sixes rolling” (such a cheesy line; he got it from some old Vegas show; it was a favorite) and then he’d hum the theme from Mission Impossible. And then whenever he actually rolled some double sixes he did a victory dance, remotely like the hokey pokey around the tree house on his knees (by then we were much too tall to fully stand up in the tree house, but there was no way we could ditch our beloved hang out spot). It drove me crazy.
This time however, Ryan managed to keep a significant amount of dough, constantly getting profits from the countless properties he owned – basically dominating the whole board. By hour ten though, our ice cream stores were exhausted and brains as well. By this time, our eleven-year-old selves were positive that we had just played the longest game of Monopoly ever played. We were both severely in debt by then, so things got a bit crazy. We’d be lending each other money to pay off the rents on Park Place and Marvin Gardens, and give the 150 dollars to the hospital. Neither of us cared about the other winning, but rather cared about the other losing. If we had made up the rules, no games would ever be won. They’d just be lost – by both parties. It was just somehow fairer this way when no one really wins. Or at least, it seemed that way to us. Finally the Zeppelin CD on repeat got annoying, and our eyes were beginning to give out on us and just plain old close. So we just stretched out on the floor right where we were and slept for twelve hours straight.
When Ryan died a couple months later, his aunt gave me all his old board games. I still have them – they’re somewhere up in the attic. I haven’t played Monopoly ever since though. Not out of nostalgic understandings, no, not at all. I’ve just never been in the mood for it. And to play a board game, you’ve got to really be in the mood for it.
I thought for a while what to write about for this assignment. I even began writing at first about a surfing trip I went on in New Zealand this past summer. I figured though, that this piece of writing ought to be about something dear to me – it didn’t have to be impressive. This memory is by far the summer memory I treasure most. And writing about it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Nowadays, as September comes to a close and it’s getting colder, warm and fuzzy is greatly appreciated.





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DifferentTeenThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm
Oh wow, this piece was simply amazing! I could feel evry emotion you were descibing perfectly, and the shock of Ryans death was so unexpected. I wish there was a bit more at the end. But I really just loved the way this is written. Thank you!
 
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