Friday, February 11, 2011

Ain't Nothin' To Get Hung 'Bout

"Why we here?" Jonah asked impatiently.

"Shhh, don't talk." I hushed.

There we were, the three of us: Jonah, me and Paul. The sun was just starting to set, leaving a pinkish, blue tint in the sky. We were behind Ol' Ms. Kate's farmhouse, just a ways out into the field.

"We gonna get in trouble!" Jonah muttered a half whisper.

"Be quiet. No we ain't. Paul's here, ain't he?" I whispered back rhetorically; as if Jonah would know exactly what I was talking about. He clearly did not. "Paul ain't gonna let nothin' happen. Now sit."

I sat in the middle of the field, making sure my dress was layed out just right. It was pink with a floral pattern on it. I wasn't too fond of pink; I thought it was a little too girlish for me. But my clothes were growing worn, so I had to make do with what I had.
Jonah sat down slowly, a puzzled look on his face.

"Why you always talkin' 'bout this Paul person? You gonna marry him o'somethin'?"

I stuck my tongue out toward Jonah and made a face and giggled. I began pulling long blades of grass from the ground, bunched them up in my hands and attempted to throw them in his face.

"Maybe," I replied, throwing the grass into the sunset air.

"Oh..." Jonah's voice trailed off as he looked down at a hole in his trousers.

I sighed and lied down in the tall grass, completely unaware of Jonah's letdown.

"I-I'll...I'll give you another flower...if you want." Jonah suggested.

I proceeded to ramble to my liking, taking no interest in Jonah's request.

"Isn't it beautiful out tonight, Paul?" I swooned.

Jonah sat up abruptly. "PAUL AIN'T HERE!" He yelled and stood up. "And if he was, I'd kick him in the shin...I'm goin' home." Jonah made his way through the fields, fiercely brushing the tall grass out of his way.

Now I, was not about to take that. No one, not even my best friend talks about Paul McCartney like that. No one.

"You'll be sorry Jonah Henry Busby!" I exclaimed. "Or..or I'll-"

"You'll what? Have Paul come wack me upside the head wit a guitar?" Jonah covered both his hands over his mouth, trying not to reveal his smile. He just couldn't help it. He began laughing so hard, he tugged a little at his curly black hair.

I smirked a little. It was kind of funny. Just picture it: Paul McCartney chasing my silly little friend with a guitar through a field. But I could feel my chin quivering and I buried my head in my grass-stained hands. Jonah's laughing quickly faded.

"Aw, c'mon, don't cry." He pleaded. "Pepper, please don't..."

"I wanted tonight to be special," I explained. "Jus' you and me and Paul, together, in the field of strawberries. It was suppose to be magical."

Jonah raised his eyebrows. "Field of what? There ain't no-" He paused, looking down again. "I'm sorry. I don't got another flower but here's-"

I stopped him. I took my hat off, revealing the wilted dandelion tucked behind my left ear. "I kept it."

"Why? It looks like a little dead worm. Girls don't like they?" He asked.

I laughed, shaking my head. "Cause you gave it to me, silly. And it is kinda...pretty." I held it on one end between my index finger and my thumb.

Jonah's face beamed. He took my hand. "Let's go. I think Ms. Kate's got supper on the table."

"Race ya there?" I suggested, not waiting for an answer. I took off running, exclaiming, "Last one there's a dead catfish!!!"

Unraveling Into Music

I looked over the streets of London from my rooftop, watching the dusty ash dissipate as I blew rings of smoke from my cigarette. My last carton was sitting beside me-and there were only three left. How did I become so good at such a bad habit? I grabbed a few strands of my almost pitch black hair and examined the split ends.

"You smoking again, Jude?" I heard a voice from behind.

"Mmm hmmm," I replied, not looking back.

William joined me out in the chill night air.

"What's got you worked up this time?" He asked. I don't answer. He pulls back my hair to one side revealing my shoulder; caressing it. I was cold. But his hands were warm. Gentle. Sincere. But for some stupid reason, I didn't want to let him know that at that moment. I remained silent.

"May I have a smoke?"

Saying nothing, nor looking over at his caring smile beneath his 5 o' clock shadow, I handed over the carton.
William throws it over the rooftop, watching it tumble down six stories landing in some shrubs.

"Bloody hell!" I shout. "What are you doing? That was my last one!"

"You know you'll go right over to Bridget's first thing in the morning and bum a few off her anyway. Come on, Love, tell me what's wrong." William pleads.
"My bum hurts from sitting out here for so long, that's what's wrong." I said, as I stood up and climbed through the open window. William followed. I wish I could have told him what was the matter. I really did. But the fact was, I had no idea. I loved William more than anything. He was smart, funny, charming and looked delicious in just about anything. He's honest in his opinions, respects mine, and sees me through everything. But I just felt...empty.

I could tell William could see how uneasy I was; my forehead creased and my lips were pressed together so tightly, my teeth felt as though they could bite straight through the skin. William began to sing. He had a heavenly voice. But I wasn't up for it; not tonight.

"Hey Jude, don't make it bad."  William begins softly. "Take a sad song and make it better..." My expression didn't change. William quickly changes pace by grabbing a wooden spoon from our kitchen and as if it were a microphone, cranks his voice up a few notches belting, "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, naaa..Jude-" I shot him a look and headed into the bedroom.

I can't believe him, I kept thinking. How could he crack jokes when clearly I was not in the mood? And why did he have to throw my cigarettes over the ledge? Why couldn't he have just-

"Judith," He calls softly. And there it was.

I smiled, slowly turning my body towards the sound of John Lennon's guitar playing from our record player.
Something in the way she moves, attracts me like no other lover. Something in the way she wooes me. I don't want to leave her now, You know I believe and how.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I ran into William's arms, gripping him tightly and cried.

"How did you know?" I asked.

William shrugged and got that look in his eye. "I just knew." He kissed the top of my head and held me close, swaying to the music.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

All You Need Is Love

How can such a simple tune humming from my lips harmonize so beautifully with the breeze, the soft waves of the water and bring me such utter bliss? I closed my eyes, my red locks brushing against my baby soft skin as my grubby little toes waded in the water. My utter bliss quickly changed as I felt a small thud from the back of my head.

"Hey Pepper!" I turned abruptly with a scornful face. A small young boy stood just a few feet ahead of me holding small pebbles in his hand. I rolled my eyes and laughed.

"Jonah," I exclaimed. Whad'ya want?"

"C'mon," He said, rushing me to be by his side. "Why you jus' sittin' there?" The boy wore denim cut off jeans with a scruffy white shirt that contrasted to his dark skin.

I stood up, my toes dripping wet. "I'm-" Before I could finish, my foot stepped on the hem of my dress, causing me to stumble to the ground.


I lie still for a moment, until I realized what had just happened. There I was, my long pale yellow dress which now jaggedly fell just above my knees, with the remains of just a tail dangling at my feet.

"Look what you did!" I squealed. I winced in pain. I had a scraped up knee and a splinter in my finger.

"I didn't do nothin'" Jonah said, shaking his head. He paused. "You okay? Let me help you." He dropped the pebbles that remained in his hand and rushed to my side.

I was bent over observing my wounds-and frowning at the not-so-stylish new look of what used to be my favorite dress. Tears welled up in my eyes. But I wasn't about to let him see me cry.

I pushed him. I pushed him hard. "You ruined it!" I screamed. "You ruin everything!"

Stupid boys I muttered to myself as I stomped off the boardwalk.

Jonah sat on the ground, his hands pressed up against the boards of the dock.
"Pepper!" He shouted back.

I paused, turning to look at him. A crooked smile formed on his face.
"You gonna marry me or not? I been askin' quite some time and I ain't gonna stop."

"You're only six," I huffed, rolling my eyes.

"So's you," He said as he stood up, dusting the dirt from his clothes. He came towards me. "Gimme the sash that tore from your dress."
I did as I was told. He bent down and wrapped it gently around my wounded knee.
"Oh," He pulled out a wilted, smashed dandelion from his back pocket. "I got this for ya." I just stood there. "Whatcha waitin' fo? Make a wish."

I beheld the most beautiful flower I had ever seen. I giggled. "It's got no wishy thingys left," I said, but I blew into it anyway. I folded the stem into a little ball with my grimy fingers and stuffed it into my dress pocket.
"So, we gettin' married?" He persisted.
I kissed his damp forehead and headed for home-the tune All You Need Is Love still humming sweetly in my mind.