This is the place where we first met. My eyes glide over the rusty, yellow bars. The seat swung back and forth as usual. I turn toward the sky and the sunlight blinds me temporarily. I hear wings flutter off from the distance. A smile creeps along the edges of my mouth as I remember the one of the many philosophical conversations we had together.
Your topic of choice always had a sly meaning behind them. My head spun in confusion about the great ideas you talked about. Yet, I always enjoyed having conversations with you, because you had the same grin plastered on your face.
The sunlight passed over the lovely, golden bars. You rushed towards me and leaned against the yellow frame catching your breath. I knew right away that you were scheming again by the estastic look on your face.
“Hey," you said. "Did you know that there’s someone out there that is your soul mate?”
Your arms swept across the sky, but I couldn't comprehend the grand plans you already set your eyes on.
“What is a soul mate?”
You turned back to me and replied, “A person who has the other half of your soul I think.”
“That sounds weird."I squinted to get the burning sunlight out of my eyes."That’s like saying you are half a person.”
“Well, for now your are.” A slight pause followed, but you replied with an honest answer. “I don’t really get it, but that person is supposed to know your every thought and there’s one out there for everyone.”
"Ridiculous.” Somebody who knew my every thought? At that moment, I thought that I didn't need someone like that. A shadow loomed over the swing-set I sat on, blocking out the sun.
“I agree,” you softly murmured.
I slowly peered at you, and immediately I wanted to look away.
“S-So... how do you find one?” I managed to stutter, hoping that you wouldn't look like that anymore. A rush of relief flooded my veins when I heard your normal, chirpy voice return.
“Well I suppose there are many ways to find one. Like my dad and my mom are soul mates. My dad says they found each other at an intimate gathering, and they always recount that it was love at first sight.” Your fingers to twiddle a bit. “Well something like they were destined for each other, you know?”
“You believe in destiny?” Destiny is a loaded word; full of weight and torment. But I saw you gaze up at the endless, blue sky as if searching for hope.
“It seems like an adventure doesn't it?” That sounded like a redundant question. My mind rapped in irritation. Why was your head so full of air?
“It’s like your brain only has time to think about punching people and getting dirty!” I jeered. That day, I didn't understand why you were so eager to talk about destiny or soul mates. I wanted to walk away from your infectious lunacy, but I got pulled in again.
“But there’s this really cool game I heard about to find your soul mate.” Your voice oozed of excitement and glee. I thought about this carefully, but again you're exploiting my weakness for games.
“Oh. So how is it played?”
“Well it is very different from all those girly fortune tellers your friends do. But I’ll tell you anyways since we’re good friends.”
As soon as I shouted for you to get straight to the point, you pulled me out of my comfortable swinging chair. Then lead me over to the nearest pile of reddish, maple leaves.
You gleefully picked up a leaf from the pile and explained, “So bundle up all the leaves you can carry in your arms and on the count of ‘3’ we have to throw them high up in the air. Then, maybe a few will be able to fly away and lead the leaves to the person who is meant to catch that leaf.”
“I bet you just made that up.” I folded my arms against my chest and accused him of falsehood because his story felt too romantic.
“Aw. C’mon. It took awhile to memorize the rules.” Your face beamed back at me. You looked like the sun as if you were radiating warmth to everything that surrounded you. But I wouldn't grin back.
“I bet its just a cover to get yourself dirty!” I turned away from your blinding smile.
“Don’t be like that!” You protested with your pleading voice and begged, “Play one game with me today, please, before recess is over.”
I hesitated, but in the end I couldn't refuse since I wouldn't be able to stand it if you pouted all day.
“Alright, then. Only one game though.” It sounded like fun. So I thought, maybe playing one game with you would help pass the time.
We gathered a whole bunch of leaves for a while. We carried all the dirty leaves in our arms and when we counted to three, the orange maple leaves launched into the air like a Fourth of July firework. Only to see them all float back to us. Your soul mate game ended in a failure; we failed to make any of the leaves fly more than four feet away. But it wasn't a complete failure. The pile of leaves we gathered transformed into a giant, red mountain. Thus, an entirely new plan was conjured. Plan B: destroy the mountain! The cries of laughter and screaming couldn't be held back as we madly dove into the red sea of leaves. It usually was back to square one with you. Not that I particularly disliked that part about you though.
My boots messily shuffled the tanbark around the old maple tree. Its once tall posture and rich, strong brown bark had shriveled into a fat stump. My vision blurred, but not even these watering eyes could revive the tree to its old majestic form. I stood back, remembering all our little games. I continued to circle the playground, searching for something. But by the time I needed to return home, I couldn't find it. When I drove back to my home, I noticed that the sky turned into a pink hue instead of the normal blue. In my rear view mirror, a beautiful sunset appeared in the horizon. The sunset’s rays sheltered my precious memories, basking them in a sweet, autumn glow.