I have always wanted to run.
Trilly can run, and it always fills me with that happy-sad, push-pull feeling. I want to be happy that she can let the wind send her long hair flying out behind her like a miniature kite on a string, but there is that whole other side of me that wants her to stop teasing me that she can run and play and have fun like the other kids and come and sit with me instead. Sometimes it wins in my brain fights. Like today.
I can’t even reach the ground to kick the rocks. Not that I could kick them hard if I could touch them. Sometimes I think the boys and girls on the playground can hear me thinking, and come out here at night when I’m sleeping under the covers, and glue all the rocks to each other and the ground. But they don’t have my Trilly, so maybe that’s why they have to do nefairies things – Nanny uses that word all the time, and I think it means to be super super meanieheaded because they don’t have a good big sister.
Trilly just saw me wipe that tear away. Nertz, now she’s running toward me, and I feel like a busted up toy.
“Clover!” She only uses my name when she’s scared or mad at me. “Are you okay?!” I can hear her voice above every other kid on the playground.
Now I really feel like a poopiehead for making her do worries.
My mouth betrays me. It does that a lot, but I can’t ever lie to her. “I’m just so sad I can’t run or kick rocks or climb the monkey bars, and have to sit in this stupid baby swing because I can’t grow and AAAARRGH!” My voice, even in a growly state has that soft higher sound that Nanny says is only for pixies and sprites and all perfect lil creatures. I sound about as mean as a newborn kitten.
Trilly is scooping me out of the baby swing, and spins around with me. Once is almost too much for my stomach, and she knows my facial story better than anyone, including me. I love the way her eyes dance when she smiles. Within three steps, she’s taken us away from the swings, and onto the soft grass.
Did you know she didn’t even know ’til I told her that she has a bit more light brown in her left eye than she does in her right? True is true. I notice these things. I have a lot of time to just sit, I watch. Quietly. I’m always telling stories about what I see and notice, and Nanny and Mama and Papa always and always tell me they love my stories.
I told them about how the little boy with the short brown hair never rides his bicycle anymore, but walks it everywhere. He didn’t know I saw when those older kids pushed him off his bike, and I want to tell him to be brave. But he’s never even made eye contact with me on the playground, so I don’t want to go be a bug on him.
I told them about the twin sisters who pick each other’s noses when they think no one is looking. I didn’t tell parentals and Nanny I had some throw up in my mouth all the times I see that.
I told them about how there is a pretty girl, a sweet girl, who comes and sits by me when she’s at the park with her three younger brothers. I didn’t tell them that she has the best eyes that make me warm and happy when she looks at me.
“…Clo,” I hear Trilly’s voice in my ears, and I shake my head to loosen the word bunnies stuck in there, “I said, are you alright, or do you want to go home now?”
I know she wants an answer, and I’m feeling squidgy because I can hear in her voice she wants to stay. She shouldn’t have to lose out on her fun if I’m being silly though. But I can’t lie to her, and I think she knows that.
“Yea…no! I can… can you take me to the tree over there? Yeah the one where you were kissing…” I stop, because I shouldn’t bring up that truth or dare when she had to kiss the schoolboy with the bright green eyes and too red of lips. Her cheeks turn a deep shade of lipstick red that even Nanny wouldn’t wear so fast I squeak laugh and point.
I love when she turns her head and looks at me with her left eye. The prettier eye. The browner eye. “Why are you changing your mind?” She changed the subject so fast, but her cheeks are still boiled lobsters.
I hold up my left hand in order to tick off the points. “One, I’m being a stinkerpoopieface and need to just do some sits. Two, you’re not done playing with the other kids, and that is just okay fine with me. Three, I need to ‘learn me some pay cheques, as Poppy used to say. Four…”, but I have to stop because she’s laughing too hard to hear me.
My itty bitty fists are on my waist and I’m staring at her like I know what I’m talking about. I mean business! “Yes, duh, pay cheques! Like when you do sits and waits for a long time?”
The blushing has stopped for her, but started for me as she says, “Oh my sweet baby sister. Patience. Pay-shentz.” She always sounds out new words for me, and some day I’ll have to thank her good for that. I can feel the giggle radiate down my body as she kisses me loudly on the top of my head, right near the soft spot that still won’t completely close, even though I’m eight years old.
“And four, Mella’s over there,” I point over her left shoulder to a girl who is running, but she’s skipping every few strides.
“Hiya Clo-Clo!” Mella falls hard next to me on the ground where Trilly has just sat me so soft I barely feel the ground until she takes her hands away.
Hugging Mella always feels like the sun shines in my body and wants to spin and dance and play. We hug and hug and hug and I can see Trilly backing away, waving her right hand so so fast and turning to run back to the jungle gym. I’ll never run for realsies, but I can run in my mind, and I can run in my stories. Maybe that can be enough.