Posted on October 9, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair10.9.2014 Journal Prompts Photo by Corinne Day October 9, 2014: My brother loved her. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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There’s a wire fence at the bottom of our yard and when she was knee high to a cow she’d swing on that fence and call to us to come play and she was so damned pretty that we’d always rush to be with her. And we’d sing and dance and turn cartwheels across the yard – anything, just so she’d look. And Lindy’d clap and laugh and tell us we were just fab.
She didn’t have no pa and so we felt sorry for her. We gave her bits of money we’d saved and clothes we’d finished with. She got my old dresses, and ribbons that I thought looked better in her hair than mine, and school skirts and ties. But she had such big feet and mine were small, so I couldn’t give her shoes. If I picture her back then, she’s always barefoot.
Then the years just seemed to slip through our fingers and suddenly she was tall as a door and all angles and stick thin and my brother was in love with her though he would never say that he was. She still came to the fence at the bottom of our yard and she just whistled and my brother came running. I ambled after him, pretending like I wasn’t really bothered, but the thing is I loved her, too. I felt something tugging at my insides every time I saw her.
She laughed less than she did before and she was always asking if her hair was nice and if my brother, Carter, thought she had blue or green eyes. They were blue, her eyes, with tiny shards of amber adrift in them. And her eyelashes were dark when her hair was light and she had a way of looking that was both hot and cold at the same time. She had a small scar on her chin, pale and smooth, like a smear of duck fat, and I remember her falling from the apple tree in our yard and blood staining the front of her dress that was once my dress, and she did not cry a single tear.
I still passed on some of my clothes to Lindy then and they always looked so much better on her. Once, when Carter was off with pa shooting crows, Lindy came into the house and up to my room. We tried on everything I had and she said she wished she had small feet like mine and she let me brush her hair and we took a picture looking into the mirror. I have that picture by my bed and I don’t ever see me when I look at it.
Now, time has moved on and our school days are all gone. Lindy don’t hang on the fence at the bottom of the yard no more and she don’t call or whistle for me or for my brother and she don’t need to know that her hair is nice or that her eyes are blue – blue with splinters of honeycomb. Carter is always working these days and he scowls at everything and mutters under his breath or snaps when he speaks, like a dog that has been mistreated, and I think he feels the same as I feel and that feeling is the absence of Lindy.
Most nearly everyone loved her. Like she was just so damned gorgeous and so careless ’bout that and laid back ‘bout everything. ‘Cept maybe for one thing – she really listened to what people had to say. It was like she was really interested, you know. In everything and in everyone. If you asked her, she’d say she just wanted to know what it was that could drive a person, what it was inside.
She didn’t do well at school, not though the teachers gave her special attention and not though I helped her with her homework most weeks. She seemed as though she was listening then, too, but not to what was being taught and more to the rise and fall in my voice and the music. Then, just out of nowhere and nohow, she asked me one day, why?
I didn’t really get what she was meaning and I guess I looked at her funny. She asked me why it was so important that she understand what I was teaching her, what all them years in school was for. I reminded her that we had exams coming up and we needed to pass ’em if we was serious and thinking ‘bout college after.
And then what, she said.
I shrugged and again I didn’t know what she wanted to me to say.
A job maybe, and marriage, and kids, and everything, like a house and a car and holidays? Is that what it is, she said.
I nodded. All of that, I told her.
Then she asked me to kiss her and I didn’t need asking twice. Truth is, I’d been waiting for just such a moment and never really believing it could ever be. We kissed for like maybe three minutes without breath and it was intense, you know, and more than I can put into words. I look back at that kiss sometimes and I forget myself even now and when I wake from it I am breathless all over again and I don’t know for a moment where I am.
I don’t get it, she said. I don’t get the working so hard to get beyond this. And she kissed me again. And I didn’t have an answer, ‘cept to go on kissing her. And I still don’t. All these years later and I still don’t.
We made out sometimes after that. We just went up to her room like we was studying, same as we’d done for months. Her mom said it was a good thing I was doing and she said if we wanted anything we was just to call. And upstairs we put the books to one side, laid ‘em out on the floor with the pages open, arranged like studying was going on. And we just kissed and touched and made discoveries of who we was. And I understood something of what it was to be the first man on the moon, and like I said already, she was just so damned gorgeous.
She flunked those exams at the end of school, but she didn’t seem to mind. There weren’t no reason more to be going upstairs to her room so I sat with her out on her mom’s porch and we held hands when we thought no one was looking. We sat till the sun went down and the sky was winking with stars.
We’ll look back on this time, in our separate old ages, she said, and we’ll think these days was the best days of our lives. I hurt inside when she said that, not because I thought she might be right, but because in that word ‘separate’ I understood that she was sort of saying goodbye.
I don’t know what became of her. I went off to college and when I came back the family had moved away. I asked around but no one seemed to know. There weren’t no forwarding address and the new family on the house just shook their heads and they said as they had no idea and they was sorry, and they had no reason to be sorry.
All of that was years back, and I won’t dare count how many, and I got me a job after college, and a wife and kids, and a house and a car. I got the whole world, just like she said. But I get down sometimes and I miss her. And I look at everything I am and everything I’ve got and I think what worth is the world when once you walked with spacemen on the moon? And I ain;t got no answers to anything.