Out on a Limb
by Angelique H. Caffrey
I only climbed the tree because I felt like it.
It was four past two on a Tuesday afternoon when I hoisted myself up into the air. Suspended at intervals by the crook of an arm or a leg, I ascended the tree. In roughly 24 minutes I was as high as I wanted to be.
For 31 minutes, I was one with a natural world of bark, birds, wind and beetles, safely held against the strong trunk by two sturdy limbs.
Then it was 2:59 p.m.
Tanya and David came home from school and found their mommy in the tree out back.
“What are you doing up there?” Tanya demanded. Her ‘tweener voice shook with embarrassment.
David, only eight, was less hostile. “You look silly.” Then, “But that’s cool.”
“It is not ‘cool’!” raged Tanya. She turned her head upward. “You get down here before someone sees you!”
I stuck out my tongue. Her face took on the color of a violent sunset.
“Are you coming down for dinner?” David wanted to know. I shrugged my shoulders and looked away, admiring a farmer’s field that soon would hold a bounty of corn.
“Why are you doing this?” Tanya’s rage only made me smile.
“I’m calling Dad!” She fled into the house.
I breathed deeply. The air was fresh, brown, alive.
Below me, David said nothing. My eyes met his, dark circles speckled with gold flecks. My treasure.
“Can I come up?”
I laughed and extended my hand.