A Boy  -  Chapter 3

A Boy - Chapter 3

A Story by RoughWaterJohn

Chapter 3 of 4


 Anthony woke slowly, deliberately slow his Mom always said. “I hate to leave the dreams” he told her on more than one occasion. Her furrowed brow telling him she did not understand what he was saying. No one tried to wake him this morning, but once awake, he could hear Mom and Dad downstairs, talking and knocking pans around making breakfast. It was a silent agreement between all of them, he was welcome to have breakfast if he came down in time, but they stopped trying to get him up for it anymore. If he slept in, he made his own breakfast and cleaned up after himself. His dreams made that a pretty good bargain he thought. He was wondering if he was going to go down for breakfast or close his eyes a little longer when his bedroom door slowly squeaked open. Dad told him several times to “oil the damn hinges!”  He said he would, but knew that wouldn’t happen. He liked knowing when someone was coming in. Curious, he rolled slightly to his right, facing the door, barely opening one eye. Whatever was coming in, it was making a lot of noise, was bright pink, and appeared to have a unicorn on each foot.

“Good morning Effie” he said, smiling widely. Effie peeked her head around the door, smiling back at him.

“Hi Anthony!” she said, just a little too loud and enthusiastically.

Anthony knew that Effie considered anytime a good time to wear a princess dress. The neon pink one the five year old was wearing now was one of her favorites. “New shoes?”

Effie looked down at her rainbow unicorn slippers and squealed out a “YES,” almost breathless with delight. “Aren’t they beautiful?” she said, stretching ‘beautiful’ out over several seconds, sounding more like beeee-youuu-T- fulll. “Are you coming to breakfast?”

“Are you going to wear your new shoes to breakfast?” he asked, smiling at her.

“YES” she said, her already large eyes seeming to grow larger as she said it.

 Anthony couldn’t help himself, laughing out loud and rolling on his back, he opened his arms to welcome her. Effie ran then leapt onto the bed, pushing the air out of his lungs with her force, wrapping her arms around his neck. She kicked her unicorns several times in glee, then kissed him on the cheek. Anthony smiled, kissed her on the forehead, then picked her up, standing her on the floor. “Tell Mom I’m coming down” he said. Effie ran out the door, yelling “Moooooooom” down two flights of stairs.

 Mom didn’t like it when he didn’t wear a shirt to the table. He knew it wouldn’t be possible any other time, but a warm summer morning like this, he thought he could get away with it. Dad didn’t care what he wore, he was just happy to see his son at breakfast. He told them about their Olympics today, Mom and Dad both seemed impressed, though Mom asked him to be careful.

Dad laughed at that, “He’s a twelve year old boy, what does he know about careful?”

Eva smiled despite her attempts not to, then said “try to learn what careful means today, for me, OK?”

“I’ll try. Is it OK to have fun?”

She looked at her husband, who was desperately trying not to laugh out loud. “If you can have safe fun, then yes.”

“I promise Mom, if it looks like I’m doing something unsafe, I will stop having fun immediately. Do you want me to tell the other kids not to have unsafe fun?” he asked.

She pursed her lips and said, “No, that’s what they have mothers for,” then stood up and started clearing the dishes.

 Anthony looked at his Dad, who rolled his eyes, then got up and thanked his mom for breakfast. He waved at Dad, kissed Effie on the top of her head, which was a bit difficult because she was now wearing a crown with, curiously, wavering bee antenna attached to both sides. He kissed her, while the antenna gently tapped the sides of his face. Mom made him wait while she packed a lunch. He had forgotten about food, he was grateful and told her so. He stuffed it in his pack, which he slung over his right shoulder. He pushed out the screen door, started to grab it to keep it from slamming shut then thought ‘where’s the fun in that?’ A shouted ‘Anthony James!’ immediately followed the satisfying sound of the slammed door. He was smiling as he opened the gate, slowly closed it behind him, then walked in the direction of the pond. ‘Today is going to be awesome!’

 Anthony arrived to find James and Tracey already there, soon followed by Mark and finally Carl. They all wore their summer uniform, torn and raggedy shorts, although Tracey’s looked nicer than theirs, and bare-chested, again with the exception of Tracey, who wore a too large light blue T-shirt with a wolf’s head on the front. Anthony said hi to James and Tracey, then Mark and Carl as they came in, all weighed down with a bag of food. ‘It’s a good thing we play so hard,’ he thought, ‘or we’d get fat on all this food.’ He had been as surprised as Mark when it appeared Tracey was going to be a member of their gang. He knew Carl and James didn’t care one way or the other, if it was OK with Mark, it was OK with them. She had fit in very well he mused, ‘I don’t remember when she started showing up, but she’s certainly a part of the group now.’ He looked at his best friend Mark, to see if he was watching Tracey more than usual, she was certainly pretty. He wasn’t, but while looking at him, he realized he had been looking at Mark longer than needed. This made him feel a bit uneasy. He had been feeling a bit uneasy around Mark since the last few weeks of school. He liked Mark, they had been best friends since the first day of First Grade, when he had tried to pick a fight with Mark. ‘I still have no idea why I did that,’ he thought. Mark had picked him up, dusted him off and said Hi. Anthony wasn’t sure if he had lost the fight, because Mark certainly didn’t act like he had won. They sat together at lunch and hung out at recess ever since that day.

 Anthony tabled his thoughts and unease, as he did every time they came up recently. He walked over to Mark, punching him as Mark punched back. They were both smiling, if Anthony a little unsure, as they started discussing the Olympics with the others. Anthony noticed Tracey was standing a little close to Mark, looking at him and smiling a lot. He wondered what that was all about, Mark wasn’t saying anything particularly funny. ‘Holy s**t!’ he thought, ‘is she rubbing his arm?’ Mark seemed as oblivious as Tracey was tenacious. She almost seemed shy next to Mark. He had a hard time remembering how long he had known her, but she was ‘never’ shy. None of this made any more sense than the weird feelings he had been having. ‘What is going on, I’m only twelve, how can I not understand the world anymore. How much of a world can a twelve year old have anyway?’ He shook his head, deciding to talk to James and Carl instead. He knew they would never change, and wouldn’t cause his head to hurt. Thankfully, he was correct.

 They discussed the upcoming events while sitting in a circle on the grass. Their packs were already in The Castle. After much animated and good natured discussion, they finally decided on the following order for the events. Swimming would be first, then running, followed by wrestling.  They would stop for lunch, then finish off with jumping, climbing and eating. Carl made a point, a good one the others thought, that the eating contest should be before lunch. They all agreed, then added eating after wrestling and before lunch. The last two events would be held in the afternoon. Everyone was excited to get started, Carl and James said they wanted to cool off before they started and jumped into the pond. They were a bit chagrined when they came dripping out of the water, and were reminded swimming would be the first event. They laughed as loud as the others at their foolishness.

© 2012 RoughWaterJohn

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Added on October 24, 2012
Last Updated on October 24, 2012
Tags: boys, girl, summer, friendship, love, pond, forest, life



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