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Peri and the Pole
Grey clouds engulfed the sky, and the frigid wind sent shivers through my body as I walked across the field. Fog gathered in the distance creating a dismal setting. And yet oddly enough my mood could not have been farther from that.
It had been about a week since I’d landed in London, and reunited with one of my best friends, Peri, who I’d not seen for three years prior. I’d planned on staying with her for a few days and going to her school in Poynton, a small town outside of Manchester. It was strange, going to a school in another country. It felt familiar yet different at the same time. Even stranger was being with my friend, after going so long without seeing her. As much as I loved her and had fun with her, I couldn’t ignore the fear that I had when I found out I was going to see her. The fear that after all this time we weren't going to be as close as before, that we’d both changed, that all our memories from before were just memories, and because of that we’d no longer be friends.
A strong gust of wind blew, nearly knocking me off my feet, bringing me out of my thoughts and to the conversation going on before me.
“We’ve been walking for ages,” a girl with blonde hair complained. School had just finished, and my friend wanted me to get to know her friends better, so we all planned to walk to the park together. There were
four of them, whose names I didn’t know yet.
“It’s cause you’re walking so bloody slow Maeve,” a boy with dark hair responded. The blonde girl, Maeve, glared at him and continued to walk, faster this time. Eventually, we arrived at the “park” which I soon learned was actually an empty playground in the middle of nowhere. Maeve walked off to the swings with another girl with dark hair, and a boy with red hair began to walk over to a pharmacy nearby to get some food. I followed Peri to the roundabout, where we sat and started to talk.
“How do you like Poynton so far?” She asked.
“It’s nice, the school isn’t like Harry Potter though, which is kind of disappointing,”
“No I’m afraid it’s not” she laughed. She was being painfully polite, which only made the conversation more awkward. However, it didn’t go on for long since the boy with dark hair interrupted us, which I was grateful for.
“Are the playgrounds like this in America?” he asked, sitting down beside us.
“Jesus Alex, it’s a different country, not universe,” Peri remarked.
“No, they’re pretty much the same” I laughed “Well except for that,” I pointed over to what looked like pole hanging from a long string.
“That?” We all walked up towards it to get a better look at it “You don’t have this in America?”
“No, I mean we have something similar but not like this” Now that I was closer to it I realized that it was actually a metal pole with a platform for your feet, attached to what looked like a zip line. I figured it was for little kids to just glide across.
“Want to go on?” Alex asked, holding the pole out for me. Curious about it, I stepped on. “I’ll push you,” He grabbed the pole, pulling it as far back as possible, before sprinting forward. The whole zip line was about fifteen feet, so I figured he was going to let go after a while so I could glide across. But he didn’t, he still continued to run after about seven feet. Then with only a foot left of zip line, he let go. For a split second, I was confused as to why he only let me go across for such a small portion. Shortly after though, the pole hit the end of the zipline and the part where I stood flew into the air. My grip loosened and the pole slipped through my hands, sending me flying ten feet into the air. Peri and her friends screamed as I slowly came crashing down to the ground. I landed on my back, gasping for air as the wind was knocked out of me. They all surrounded me, concerned looks on their faces.
I thought I was going to be upset or angry, but I wasn’t. Instead, I started laughing, harder than I ever have in my life. They looked at me as if I was crazy but I didn’t care, I just kept laughing. Alex started laughing too. Peri and the other kids began to laugh as well, although I think Peri’s was more of a nervous laugh.
“Are you alright?” she asked, as she helped me up.
“Yeah, I didn’t know I was supposed to hold on, you never told me!” I looked over to Alex.
“You said you had something similar in America, how was I supposed to bloody know!?” he exclaimed defensively. Peri and I continued to laugh, for what seemed like forever. As we walked back over to the roundabout, the clouds parted momentarily, letting a ray of sunlight pass through and shine down on us. A warm feeling filled me, putting my fears from before at ease. It didn’t matter how long we went without seeing each other, how different we may be, no matter what we still were going to be friends. We would always find something to laugh about.