Monday, October 11, 2010


"Don't go too high!"

She watched him swing around the trunk and spring up two more branches. They were too small. They bent horribly under his fourteen-year-old weight.

"That's going to break!" she said.

"Which one do you want?" he said, looking to the last bunch of good apples. "Do you like them green, or beginning to turn red?"

"Beginning to turn red."


He palmed two of the green ones and stuffed them in his pocket. He plucked the red one she had her eye on with an all-or-nothing grab. She couldn't look. He was going to fall for sure.

"Catch!" he said.

She peeked just soon enough see the sailing apple. She caught it with the quick flash of her hands.

"Nice one!" he said.

She sighed in relief. He didn't fall after all.

Two old boots slapped onto the ground and were followed by the rest of him. In his usual, fluid way, he flashed out a knife and held out his hand. He rubbed her apple on his shirt and began slicing wedges.

"Easier to eat that way," he said.

She bunched the slices in her hand, and he moved on to one of his own.

They munched across from one another as little gusts loosened orange and salmon leaves. They fluttered like burnt summer rain. The red maples were bright and in full color.

The silence didn't feel comfortable to her. Maybe she should say something. Some fun conversation. But talking with her mouth full wouldn't be very charming.

"You know, you don't have to hang around out here if you don't want to," he said.

The sensation in her face drained.

"I mean, you're probably bored," he said.

Yeah, no sensation in her fingertips either.

"No," she said softly. "I'm not bored. But if you want me to go...."

That seemed to jostle him. He mishandled the knife and fumbled before he could pick it up.

"No!" he said. "What I meant to say is, I just, its not that I want you to go. I like having you out here, actually. With me, I mean. I just wasn't sure if you do...."

A different feeling rushed in where the numbness had been.

She smiled an even bigger smile.

"I like hanging out with you," he said, dropping his gaze to his lap where he turned the apple in his hand.

"Me too," she said.


She bit another piece of apple. "Cool."


Scribblers Inc said...

Eden with some fresh sunshine!! Pretty awesome! :)

Scribblers Inc.

Obscure Optimist said...

I get a deja vu after reading this!!

Wonderful!! :)

Antriksh Satyarthi said...

:) reminds me of the 'first/initial/getting to know each other' conversations i have had... Every time the same feelings...

Nice one :)

the walking man said...

I think you caught the essence of how a perfect world relationship should start.

Erratic Thoughts said...

Aww!This has Simplicity,innocence n confusion of fourteen-year-olds at its best!:)

Loved it!
The pic is a beauty...

Dr. Cheryl Carvajal said...

What a gentle moment. Yet everything hangs in the balance, with each word.

DBA Lehane said... sweet as a golden delicious :)

Seré Prince Halverson said...

Love both the innocence and the tension you've created to pull the reader along. And this line: They fluttered like burnt summer rain. Perfect.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I was afraid he was going to fall too! Excellent work Jason!

Anonymous said...

Scribblers, good to see you! Yes, idyllic with a few clouds of doubt.

Yamini, that's cool if you lived a similar moment!

Antriksh, such a rich time. Even if its more than a bit unnerving in the moment.

Walking Man, I think I'd trim out the miscues and doubts for my perfect world, but that just wouldn't be as interesting.

Erratic Thoughts, I just took the photo on our latest trip to the mountains. Perhaps a few more will be showing up.

Shakespeare, I love that! Yes, that's the tension and danger I felt too in the scene. And the relief when it doesn't come crashing down.

DBA Lehane, I can almost hear the crunch!

Sere, I wonder if we ever fully let go of that innocence (and fear). It just gets blanketed under a few layers of experience and polish.

Oddyoddyo13, now that would have been embarrassing, wouldn't it?

hope and love said...

fresh n delicious :)

Lee said...

I live on the west coast so this was a treat to see and read. I too loved the line "They fluttered like burnt summer rain." Aww young romance ~.

Meghan said...

Another wonderful piece. Great job!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Simply delightful, Jason. A slice of life - or life as it should be. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hope and Love, a touch of purity, both good and bad.

Lee, maybe we'll be able share even more autumn spirit from the east coast!

Meghan, many thanks!

Kaye, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's nice to remember to celebrate such things. To not let those emotions go.

Vesper said...

How fresh this is, Jason. Sweet and sour… like a good apple. So refreshing to read!

Bebo said...

Ah young love/lust at its simplest & best!

BTW: Lurking & catching up on older posts too, loving all of it. Flashes of autumn... the photography is awesome too!