The blistering sun beamed on my head for more the 4 hours now. I was sure to have sunburn. I would be suffering from third degree burns by the end of the day. My arm had been moving in the same direction in this duration of time. I could feel my shoulder cramp up as the wet brush blackened the surface.
My mother’s shutters became endless. Coat after coat. Paint bucket after paint bucket. The black paint made its mark on my eyes making every other color vibrate in my brain. I was finally finished and I’d have to say it felt good to help my mom. It was Mother’s Day and it was what she’d asked for. “Black shutters”. “They made the white of the house pop” she said repeatedly. What I saw after I was done was a white house with black shutters. Nothing more.
I picked up the paint bucket and brush and was on my way back to the garage. An unusual object caught my eye, making me stop. A moving truck parked in the empty drive way across the street but, that wasn’t what caught my eye. What caught my eye was luxurious figure that fled from the truck.
She slammed the door shut and looked back at the house crossing her arms. Her curly hair was planted on top of her head by a ponytail. Small coiling strands fell beautifully randomly. She brushed her bang off of her face and put her hands on her small hips. She looked back at me to see me standing in my muscle shirt drenched in sweat.
I wasn’t too bad looking and I could bench 350. The bucket of paint and “paint brush” took away from my, “manliness.” I pretended like I didn’t see her and walked into the garage. I knew she knew I noticed her but noticing that I knew she noticed me would make seeing her again awkward for some reason.
I walked into the garage and opened the fridge grabbing a soda. I could hear small little thumping noises then the door slowly creaked open. A small beautiful head peeped out and smiled.
“Are you done Ben!” my little sister Annabelle asked. She opened the door up just so that her small body could slip threw. She was holding a jump rope and smiled at me with her missing tooth. She was a piece of my puzzle. “Can I show you what I learned today!” she questioned me.
“What’d you learn Anna?” I asked her encouraging her to show me what she’d learned.
“One second.” She said reassuring me of her beginning. She twirled the jump rode over her head and jumped over it once it came to her feet. Once again for another go round. She tried a third time and the rope flopped back down onto the top of her head. “Did you see me? Did you see me?”
“I did! Since you learned something new and mom is sleeping we’re going to sneak away to go get ice cream… how do you like that?” I asked her. Her face lit up and she jumped for joy along with the jump rope.
“I’d like that!” I heard from behind us. I turned to see her. Her red lips molded perfectly into her smile. Her eyes were wide and grinned at me along with her marvelous lips. She began to walk closer to our house crossing the street, walking onto out land. Her long legs, her nice apple. My eyes wondered up, up past her belly button peeping out at me to her breast. They were perfectly dripped onto her chest into perfect circles.
She finally reached Anna and I and put her hand out to me. I shook her hand, slowly. Her energy went into me. She smiled at Anna and put her hand out to Anna. Anna giggled like she usually did when meeting strangers and inched closer to me grabbing my hand. She finally built up enough courage to shake the “strangers” hand.
“Ivy” she said. Her voice was raspy and rustled in my head.
I’m Benner and this is Annabelle” Annabelle giggled again and moved closer to behind my leg.
“So, are we going to go get ice cream?” she asked staring up at me into my eyes. She continued with the excited expression on her face.
“Um, I have to clean up a little bit… I’ve been out here all day” she smiled and looked at the shutters “working” my mouth pushed out. She laughed looking back over at me. “If you want you can wait in- in the living room.” she shook her head yes. I turned to the door Anna just made her way through and opened it all of the way letting Ivy walk through first. The three of us walked in past the kitchen into the living room. Ivy walked carefully on the light cream colored carpet in. Anna sat on the couch, her feet a long ways from meeting up with the floor. She picked up the remote turning on the TV. “I’ll be right back. You can watch TV with Anna” Ivy smiled and sat in a chair. I walked out of the room walking until I could no longer be seen by the two.
After I knew I was clear I ran into my bed room. I began to strip down trying to take my shirt and pants off at the same time. I finally got the damp undershirt off and over my head throwing it to the other end of the room. I pulled my pants off nearly falling. I ran into my bathroom only in my underwear and turned on the shower. I quickly kicked my boxers off onto the bathroom floor and hopped into the shower, throwing my head back quickly running my finger threw my hair. I grabbed the bottle of soap off of the shower caddy that waited behind me. Pour some into my palm I slapped it onto my hair once again running my fingers through my hair. I grabbed the bar of soap cleaning myself with it then quickly rinsed my hair and my body.
I hopped out of the shower fast grabbing my deodorant and running into my room then, made my way to my dresser, quickly shuffling about. I finally found underwear packing myself away into them. Afterwards, I tended to my goals of finding a shirt. After excelling I pulled out a black shirt. I slipped it on over my head and grabbed a pair of folded up jeans from off of my bed. I hopped into them fast and rolled the deodorant on under my arms. I slipped my feet into my shoes. I was successful in my super fast “cleaning up”.
I walked out of my room pulling my self together trying to quickly calm my heart down. Ivy looked up at me and I looked at her. Anna got up and ran back to the garage door. She opened the door for me and smiled.
“Ivy is really pretty Ben!” she yelled. Ivy laughed as she followed behind Anna and me. I reached the door and opened it for the two girls walking through it last. Grabbing keys from off of the hook beside the door and locking the door behind me. All three of us loaded into my black truck. Anna sat in the back and buckled her seat belt. She smiled at the two of us in the front seat. Ivy rolled her window down and kicked back to stick one foot out the window and put the other on the dashboard.
“So, how long have you lived here?” she asked as she looked over at me. She took out her ponytail and the coils fell to the sides of her face and onto, behind and in front of her shoulders.
“I’ve lived here for my whole life.” I tried my hardest to keep my eyes on the road and not look over at her. “We haven’t really had any good looking girls live on our street in a while.” She smiled and looked back at Anna.
“Anna’s beautiful!” she shouted. “Like a princess.”
“Oh! I love princesses!” Anna yelled back at Ivy. She smiled into the mirror at me. Ivy was the light of both of our days.
“Why’d you move here?” I asked parking the car in the parking lot of the ice cream parlor. I got out of the car followed by the other two girls. I picked up Anna putting her on my back. Ivy tickled her making her giggle. We walked into the parlor. I sat Anna in a counter stool and spun her in a circle. She eventually made her way to my friend Ryan. He turned to Annabelle and smiled at her.
“What are you doing at the bar missy!” he asked her laughing.
“I want to get ice cream.”
“I can’t hear you” he teased her. He looked up at me and over at Ivy. “Who’s this bro?” he said very much interested in Ivy.
“This is Ivy. She just moved in across the street.” I announced. She sat next to Anna and swiveled in the seat looking at me.
“I’d like a milk shake with whip cream and a cherry on top” Ivy issued to Ryan. He leaned over the counter leaning in closer to her.
“How about I take you to the movies after this shift” he asked her. She looked over at me and giggled.
“I’m here with Benner.” She replied to his request. My face became flushed as the two looked at me.
“I want a sundae!” Annabelle yelled pulling the attention away from me.
“Well that’s completely fine. I’ll just go see a movie with Annabelle” he joked
“No way José!” she giggled and kicked her small feet. My eyes made their way back to Ivy. I leaned onto the edge of the counter and looked at her.
“Can you get the milk shake and sundae?” I requested.
“So you two are a duo? In cahoots? Dating?” he asked confusingly. Moving away from the station we planted at. He walked back with the milk shake and sundae gently pushing them towards the girls. He handed Anna a piece of paper and three crayons. She picked one crayon up and started on a tree. Ivy helped her drawing a flower. “You know what Anna?” he said. She looked up at him dropping the crayon… “You just let her ruin your picture”
“No I didn’t!” her small voice squeaked.
“You did” Ivy smiled and looked up at him “see look at that tree!” he pointed at the tree Anna had been working on “flawless! Now look at that stupid flower! Flowers aren’t Green!”
“Well… when your crappy restaurant only gives you the three crappy colors their isn’t much of a variety.” She said and continued to color. I laughed at the two going back and forth.
“I am going to New Zealand. My dad just opened up another store there.” He smiled quickly switching the subject. “I meant to tell you guys earlier but, I was sort of distracted by Mrs. Ivy here.”
“Long” she added in. he looked at her confused.
“Ivy Long… my name is Ivy long” he looked back over at me and a smile planted on his face.
“I’m leaving tonight.” He smiled and Anna frowned at him.
“You’re leaving!” Anna yelled she dropped the crayon “you can’t leave on mother’s day!”
“Yeah and you tell us all of this hours before you’re leaving?” I yelled over Anna’s whining.
“I always do that! And you know it!” he yelled at me. I picked up Anna. She held onto my shoulder. Anna put her head on my shoulder and small tears rolled down her face.
“Dude! Seriously you’re going to leave? I thought we could hang out.” He yelled at me. He took off his apron and hopped over the counter. I stormed out of the parlor with the two girls. I put Anna in the back seat and wiped her face as she cried. Ivy sat in the front seat putting on her seat belt. She slammed the door shut and looked back at Anna. Ryan walked outside to me. He grabbed my shoulder making me turn around to look at him. “Dude! Are you seriously that pissed?”
“Ryan! You are fucking shit up! I thought we were friends!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Fuck you.” I said calm. He walked to Anna and bent down to lean inside of the car. I got into the front seat and gripped onto the steering wheel. He pulled his sleeve over his hand and wiped her face.
“I’m sorry Ann.” She crossed her arms and turned her head “no! I’m really sorry. You might not understand how much I’m going to miss you guys.”
“You were supposed to be my best friend” she said. Her soft voice hummed a song in the air.
“I am. I’ll call you and I’ll visit you and Ben and… Ivy.” he told her wiping her eyes again. He looked up at me. “Let’s go see a movie. I’ll take you guys out.”
“I’m really not in the mood… for anything right now.” I told him and started up the car. Ryan was my best friend since Pre School. I was mad and sad at the same time... I know this sound sort of girly but I would rather us hang out then he just disappear. “Just follow me” he smiled and back out of the car. He shut the door and walked to his car. I started to drive being followed by Ryan. Ivy looked over at me.
“I think maybe you should drop me back off at home.” She said quietly “I don’t want to get in the way of any of this bonding”
“It’s fine.” I laughed. I tried to hide the fact that I was pissed now “since I’m going to be stuck with you I might as well embrace it” she laughed as we turned into a parking lot. Ryan stopped behind our car. He smiled and went straight for Anna’s door. He helped her out of the car for a safe landing onto the gravel.
“What do you guys want to see?” he laughed.
“I want to see the one about the Princess.” Ryan laughed and popped his trunk open.
“There isn’t one about a princess today Anna” he grabbed a blanket and chairs.
“What are they about?” she squeaked. I looked up at the titles to find a good movie everyone would like. Anna mimicked me looking up at the sign. “Can we see that one!” she yelled enthusiastically pointing at the most appropriate movie playing. No one really cared what we were to watch because this was mostly for Anna anyway. I don’t even remember what the movie was about. I just kept thinking of Ryan not being there anymore.