She stepped off the bus into the hot sun
A bag over her shoulder
A book in her hand

With one look from me she ran
Straight into my arms, dropping everything
Squeezing me tight

Without a sound, we climbed into my car
Windows open to let the hot breeze pass us
Slowing to see our old hometown

“My dad left us, six months ago”
The first words uttered between us
Tears streaming down her cheeks

Pulling into the parking lot, we climb out
Hand in hand we approached the swings
Choosing the ones from so long ago

Higher and higher we go
Trying to reach the sky
“He’s been having an affair with my parent’s best friend”

Slowly we touch back down
Still in my seat, I reach over to her
Giving her a hug and telling her

“I’ll always be there”

Standing up, I walk over to the balance beam
Giver her a minute to collect
I tip toe across, dip and turn

I sit down to wait, watching
Slowly she rises and looks my way
The distance between us is crossed quickly

I slide over, offering her the warm seat
Her head is put on my shoulder
My arms slip around her neck and waist

The words start to flow
Her pain makes me cry and I hold her tight
Hearing her words, listening to her hurts

No advice passes my lips, no words period
Shaking, I guide her to stand
Turning, we start to walk, arm in arm

The tears stop, the words stop
Approaching a stream, we take our shoes off
Letting the water cool us, we start to laugh

Written in my Creative Writing Class – Fall 2002

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