October 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

He spoke to trees.

They mocked him for it, of course. It would be a lie to say he didn’t care that the other children taunted him. He cared. But he still spoke to the trees, from time to time. He would sit in his blue hooded sweatshirt with the zipped pulled up to his pudgy chin, reading whatever book he snuck out of his grandmother’s bookcase. He read aloud and then would stop and read silently, his lips pursed. Then he’d laugh, or snort, and explain to the tree what he thought of whatever he was reading. If he didn’t have a book to hand, he’d just mutter on about whatever it was he was thinking.

It didn’t seem worth so much interest to him. He knew the trees weren’t going to respond. He mostly did it because his eyes were bad and reading aloud was easier for him, but he didn’t want to wear glasses. After a while it became habitual. Trees didn’t talk, he wasn’t under the impression that they did.

If you said he was lonely he wouldn’t disagree with you. But he didn’t think much about it. Walking from his house to his grandmother’s house was familiar and yet he always scanned both sides of the street. If he saw a group of kids his own age or older, he would try and avoid them by crossing over, and if that couldn’t be managed he would put his head down and let his lanky brown hair cover his face, hoping they didn’t know him. Usually they did. It was a small neighborhood, after all. To be fair, he wasn’t often accosted. Most of the time no one cared.

Then again, one time out of ten is usually enough.

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