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Everyday of My Life...
Everyday of my life I think about that moment. Even today, I can still smell the freshly cut grass. I can feel the heat of the sidewalk. I can taste the cherry popsicle on my tongue.
“Kylie, you think that things are going to be the same for us in New York?”
I giggled, and licked my cherry popsicle. “Ya think? Course it won‘t, I know nobody gonna have a Texas twang like us.”
Bobby laughed. That deep chuckle of his. His lips were red from his popsicle, and his blonde shaggy hair glistened in the sun. Blue jean cut-offs, and a white shirt. Typical.
Bobby threw his popsicle stick on the ground, saying, “I’ll race ya!” Before I could even say ‘go’ he was off, running down the sidewalk.
A second later I bolted off after him. I kept my eyes focused on Bobby’s high tops. They were bouncing off the concrete, a steady beat. Bobby was always better than me at running. He had long legs. I was stuck with short legs, no good for running.
Everyone knew everyone in my town, and if they didn’t you could bet they could guess your name. If you were a boy, you were almost always a ‘Bobby’, ‘Billy’, or a ‘Jack’. If you were a girl, they just called you ‘Ma’am’. Running through the middle of the town, by the big clock that ticked every-hour on the hour, people waved and yelled hello’s from their front porches. I wasn’t paying attention.
Bobby was a good 50 feet ahead of me. Looking over his shoulder he chuckled and yelled. “C’mon Kylie, you can’t lose this bad! You are my sister for Christ’s sake.”
I picked up my pace. Pushing my legs harder, hitting concrete harder. Even though I was going faster, Bobby was still at a comfortable speed in front of me.
I know we couldn’t do something like this is New York, we would look like a pair of loonies. Bobby is 12, and I’m 10. Still I’m sure, that no one races for fun anymore. Brothers and sisters probably aren’t even close there. They probably are just strangers living in the same house together. Never knowing anything about each other.
Bobby and I are close. He’s my best friend, and I hope to God that I am his. Mom tells me it won’t always be like that. That one day Bobby will get older guy friends, and I’ll get girlfriends my age. Mom’s wrong. I would have to be on my death bed before I left Bobby in the dust. He knows everything about me.
I was panting, I needed to take a break. “Bobby,” I yelled. “Can you stop? I needa rest.”
He halted to stop in front of a wooden bench. I caught up, plopping down next to Bobby on the bench. “You go too fast, Bobby.”
He slapped his knee. “Nah, you just go too slow.”
I punched his arm, he rubbed it. “You know, Kylie, you ain’t ever gonna get a boyfriend punching ‘em harder than they can punch.”
I crossed my arms. “Why do I need a boyfriend anyway?”
He shook his head. “Do I always gotta explain things to you?” When I didn’t answer he went on. “Well, same reason I have to get a lady friend. So we can give mom and dad grandkids.”
I could feel my eyes widen. No way. We just got to baby making in health. “Bobby, you crazy? I’m just getting to eleven!”
He got up again and offered me a hand. “Always good to be prepared.”
Bobby pulled me to my feet, and bolted off again. Taking a turn around a corner.
I heard a loud screeching noise followed by a scream. Bobby’s scream. I knew it well, he was always screaming over spiders.
I ran around the corner to see Bobby under a red pick-up truck. People working in their gardens huddled around the accident. The driver ran to the front, taking off his hat.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. Hitting the sidewalk beneath me like bullets, I swear you could hear the boom. I sat where I stood moments before, watching through blurred eyes as the ambulance came with a parade of police behind it. The officers yelled Bobby’s name, bowing their heads murmuring prayers. I prayed too.
That day God must have been busy, because, now, 15 years later Bobby isn’t beside me.
No. New York wasn’t the same.