I can crank out essays like nobody’s business.
I love just getting in the zone, even if it’s for a potentially stupid topic. I just wrote about “an unforgettable hour” of my life.
On an unseasonably warm December night, I found myself lying on a picnic table beneath the stars with a boy I hardly knew. A series of rather peculiar events had led us there, but I didn’t mind. It was December 28th, 2008, and the boy was Jordan Riffle, a friend of a friend. We had much in common, and in a moment of what was either temporary insanity or fate at work, I had invited him over to hang out. As a shy fifteen year old, it was unlike me to venture out on a limb like that, particularly if it had to do with socializing. Yet I had done it, and there we were. Being most comfortable in nature, I had suggested that we go for a hike. Jordan didn’t balk at the suggestion, as most fifteen year old boys likely would at the thought of wandering through the woods after dark in December. We made our way over rocky trails, up and over the forested hill behind my house. When we had had enough of the adventure, we came back to the yard, and stretched out over the wooden picnic table. We were quiet for a few minutes; not the typical awkward silence I was used to creating, but a deliberate silence. Then Jordan turned his head to me and spoke.
“What if the trees could talk?” he asked.
“We wouldn’t want to hear what they were saying.” I said, smiling softly at the unexpected question.
“You’re right.” he said. “They wouldn’t like most people very much, and you can already see that most people don’t like them.”
I chose to resume the silence, considering the sad truth of his words as I looked up towards the sky. The night was becoming quite surreal. I turned back to Jordan and continued conversing, a less serious banter this time. Our faces were inches apart, and I was fairly sure I was quickly falling for him. Yet I had no desire to kiss him, or to be kissed by him. I just wanted to speak. To hear the timbre of his voice, savor every inflection as I put forth my best effort to memorize his soul. I wanted to know him.
That hour will always be unforgettable to me, because now I do know him. From the night forward, we’ve spent every hour we could manage together. For three years we’ve been laughing together, asking tough questions together, and going through life together. We’ve had tough days, we’ve bickered, we’ve had trouble remembering why we like each other in the first place, yet we always make it to tomorrow. Some nights I lie in bed and think of that first night. I remember the taste of the warm December air, the way Jordan warily surveyed the trees as if he was positive they could hear us. That hour made me want to fall in love. That hour changed everything.
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