"October 17th"

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
About a girl who loves riding her brother's skateboard, and takes a long ride on it...

Submitted: May 27, 2017

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Submitted: May 27, 2017



“October 17th



She rode,

A beat up,

Thrasher board,

That use to belong,

To her older brother,


Who was 19,

3-years older,

Than her.

She liked riding barefoot,

But wore a pair of,

Black converse high tops,

If she was going,

Into public buildings.

She rode her board,

“Goofy foot”,

With her right foot,


Instead of her left,

She also used her,

Front foot,

To push off,


Instead of her,

Back foot.

She didn’t have,

The greatest sense,

Of balance,

But could still pull off,

Some pretty cool stunts,

But for what she lacked,

In skill and balance,

She more than made up,

In distance.

She rode that board,


And took it,

Everywhere she went,

She lived,

2-miles from school,

She’d ride her board there,

Then hook it to,

Her backpack,

And carry it around,

With her,

All day long,

To class.

She always wore shorts,

Her legs,

Hosting a number of scrapes,

And bruises,

All in various stages,

Of healing,

Creating a unique,


All their own.


She’s not going to school,

She’s riding her skateboard,

Into the center of town.

Today is the 17th,

Of the month,

This will be,

The 7th time,

She’s made this,

10-mile long round trip,

Except for the 3rd time,

When the wind and rain,

Were just too much,

For her,

To overcome,

She was only able,

To ride her board,

Less than a mile,

Before taking the bus,

The rest of the way,

Their and back.

But today,

Was just calling out,

To her,

The sun was riding high,

The clouds,

Serving no other purpose,

Than to break-up,

The calming blue,

Of the sky.

She dropped her skateboard,

Wheels down,

On to the sidewalk,

Pointing East,

Towards town,

With the sun,

To her back,

And her shadow,

Stretching 10-feet,

In front of her.

Her converse sneakers,

Size 7.5,

Started pushing her clear,

Of the only home,

Her brother and her,

Have ever known.

It doesn’t take her long,

Before her mind was lost,

In the repeating,




Of the wheels,

Hitting the evenly spaced,


Of the sidewalk,

Making her feel,

Like a train,

Touring through,

The country side.

She glided over,

Her cement expressway,

Her eyes wide open,

To all there was,

To see,

Wondering about,

All the heartache,

And love,

Going on,

In each individual’s life,

As she rode past them.

She had a habit,

Of looking at people,

And trying to guess,

If their world was,

Happy or sad,

Just by their,

Outward appearance,

Maybe because of,

The sudden changes,

That had happened in hers.

The sidewalk started,

To smooth it’s self out,

As she entered the city,

She caught a,

Downward slope,

That emptied out,

Into an intersection,

She saw the light,

Was green,

And gave a few,

Good strong pushes,

With her right foot,

To try and catch it,

Before it changed,

She flew off the curb,

Through the crosswalk,

Narrowly missing,

A red pick-up truck,

Turning right,

At the light.

She let the asphalt,

Slow her forward speed,


To a manageable rate,

So she had no problem,

Popping the board,

Over the upcoming curb,

Without really,

Much of a challenge,

The sidewalk up ahead,

Was empty and wide,

She settled into,

A steady pace,

Planting her right foot,

Like an oar,

In the water.

The wind,

Blowing her hair back,

And out of her face,

She glanced,

To her right side,

And saw her reflection,

Flashing by,

On the store front windows,


A frame by frame,


That made her feel like,

She was watching a movie,

Of herself.

After a while,

The sidewalk began to narrow,

The smoothness gave way,

To a much more,

Pitted surface,

And then,

After riding a few more


She puts all her weight,

On the back,

Of her board,

Holding it down,

Letting it scrape against,

The cement to stop her,

She then hops off,

Her board,

And stomps a foot down,

On the tail,

Causing it to,

Fly up to her hand.

She puts the board,

Underneath her arm,

And walks into,

A small deli,

The man behind the counter,

Knows her,

Gives her a nod,

And just says,

“Same as before?”

She nods back,


He had started to say,

“The Usual?”

As he does,

With so many,

Of his regulars,

When he saw her,

Walk in,

But stopped himself,

He just felt,

That the term,

“The Usual”,

Sounded hard,

And uncaring.

Both her and her brother,

Had eaten here,

Many times,

He knew both her,

Mom & Dad,

Very well.

She walked up to,

The counter,

Lowered her board,

Onto its tail,

Nose in the air,

Wheels sticking out,

Away from the counter,

As she paid,

For her lunch.

The man,

Took her money,

And looked at her,

With deep compassion,

In his eyes,

As he handed her,

A couple of small bags,

She gave him,

A faint smile,

As she took them,

And without saying a word,

Grabbed her board,

And headed for the door,

Once outside,

She dropped her board,

Wheels down,

And continued to procced,

To her destination.

With her right hand,

Holding both bags,

As she took a right,

At the next corner,

And as she got,

A little ways,

Down this road,

And all the buildings,

Started to,


She could see that,

The sidewalk was,

Scrubbed Clean,

And a short,

3-foot high brick wall,

Ran along the edge,

Of the sidewalk,

All the way to where,

The sidewalk ended,

And a large opened gate,


Above the gate hung,

A large sea blue sign,

With golden lettering,

That read,

“Central City Cemetery”

She pauses,

As a black hearse,

Followed by a line,

Of cars,


Through the entrance,

And as she waits,

She thinks back,

To the first time,

She ever rode,

Her brother’s skateboard,

Through that gate…

Her brother

Had been killed,

In a car accident,

On the 17th of October,

7-months ago,

To the day.

The first time,

She made this trip,

Was the one month,


Of his death,

She had stayed home,

From school,

Both her parents,

Were at work,

And she was,

In no shape,

To face much of anything,

On that day,

She was sitting in his room,


As she looked through,

His things,

All having been left,


Since that 17th,

Of October.

She suddenly felt,

This overwhelming need,

To see,

And be near her brother,

She just felt like running,

As hard as she could,

Towards the cemetery,

Knowing full well,

A headstone,

And a grave,

Were all she would,

Find there,

But still,

It made her feel closer,

To him,

And no one,

Was going to deny her,


She had so much,

Energy and emotion,

Bottled up,

Inside of her,

She couldn’t wait for,

One of her parents,

To come home,

And take her.

She had wanted to,

Take him something,


Something he liked,

That was of this world,

She quickly started scanning,

His room,

For just the right treasure,

To bring to him,

When she saw his,

Black converse high tops,

Size 11.5,

Sticking out of a pile,

Of jeans and tee shirts.

He loved those shoes,

He wore them to the prom,

And in the pool,

When he went swimming,

She reached down,

And grabbed them,

And when she did,

She saw the nose,

Of his skateboard,

Poking out,

From under his bed,

She pulled it out,

And with the sneakers,

Headed straight out,

The front door.

She had never,

Really ridden,

A skateboard before,

It took her all-day,

And more than a few,

Really nasty falls,

Before she got to,

The cemetery,

But when she did,

She sat there with him,

Till sunset,

When the cemetery closed.

She spent that time,

Crying and laughing,

Talking to her brother,

As if they were,

At home,

In her room.

She had called her parents,

When she got there,

They had pulled up,

Behind her,

50-yards away,

An hour or so ago,

Before sunset,

They saw her there,

From a distance,


With her back to them,

Carrying on a conversion,

With her,

Now dead,


They waited till,

The care taker rode through,

Telling people,

They were about to close,

Before they pulled up,

Next to her.

She heard the car,

Slowly pull up,

She looked over,

Her shoulder,

And gave her parents,

A knowing look,

That she knew,

It was time for her,

To go.

She stood up,

And took the long,

Shoe laces,

Of the black high tops,

And tied them together,

Then she bent down,

And hung,

One shoe,

On each side of the,


Brought two fingers,

To her lips,

And kissed them,

Then she took the kiss,

From her fingers,

And she touched,

The headstone,

With them.

She had a smile,

Of understanding,

On her face,

As she turned,

And walked to the car,

With her brother’s,

Beat up,

Thrasher board,

Under her arm.

She opens the left,

Rear passenger door,

Climbs in behind,

Her Dad,

Her Mother,

Opens her door,

Gets out of the,

Front seat,

And gets in,

Besides her daughter,

In the back seat.

She holds back,

A gasp,

As she can now see,

Her daughter’s,

Torn clothes,

And numerous cuts,

And bruises,

All over her body,

She doesn’t say a word,

Just slides closer to her,

As her daughter,

Leans over,

And puts her head,

On her shoulder,

Tightly clutching,

Her brother’s,


She shakes her head,

Clears out,

That memory and,

She follows the last car,

Through the large gate,

She has grown,

To like the peacefulness,


She is respectful,

Of the other people,

As she rides her board,

Over the stone paths,

That twist through,

The well-manicured lawns,

On her way to,

A back section,

Of the cemetery.

When she got to,

The end of the path,

She hopped off her board,

And on to the grass,

Still holding,

The two bags,

From the deli,

In her right hand,

As she held the trucks,

Of the front wheels,

With her left hand,

As she approached,

Her brother’s grave.

She somberly stood,

Over him,

For a minute,

Her head bend down,

While speaking a few words,

Only she could hear,

Then raising her head,

She drops the skateboard,

Wheels down,

On to the grass,

And sits on it.

She sets the two bags,

On the grass,

In front of her,

She opens the first bag,

Pulls out,

One of the two sandwiches,

She scrunches up,

Her nose,

And makes a face,

As she says,

“Tuna fish”,

“This one”,

“Is definitely yours”,

As she unwraps,

The butcher paper,

It’s wrapped in,

Smooths out the paper,

Then sets it,

At the foot,

Of the head stone,

With the tuna fish sandwich,

Resting on top of it.

Then she pulls out,

The second sandwich,

“Now this is more”,

“Like It”,

“Turkey with Avocado”,

“Bacon and Cheddar”,

She says.

She unwraps her sandwich,

And sets it on,

The butcher paper,

Before her,

She then reaches into,

The 2nd bag,

And pulls out,

Two Cokes,

In glass bottles,

“Well at least”,

“We can agree”

“On one thing”,

As she slides out,

A small flat metal,

Can opener,

Out of her,

Left black converse,

High top,

Size 7.5,

And with a big smile,

Pops the top off,

Each bottle,

Setting his,

Next to the tuna fish,

And hers,

Next to the turkey,

Then slides,

The can opener,

Back into,

Her left sneaker.

She takes a bite,

Out of her sandwich,

And a drink of her,


And starts talking about,

A boy she met,

In 3rd period English.

She’s talking,

Kind of fast at first,

Excited to be telling him,

How this boy,

Thinks she’s some sort,

Of rebel,

Because she’s always,

Riding her skateboard,

Every time he sees her.

Once she gets done,

Describing him,

She starts to,

Slow her sentences down,

Giving her time,

To eat,

While she’s talking.

Then after finishing,

Her sandwich,

And most of her Coke,

She stops talking,

Lies down,

On the soft grass,

Resting her head,

On the skateboard,

And silently looks,

At the sky.

After half an hour,

Or so,

She stands up,


“I better be going”,

“Lots of homework tonight”.

She looks over at,

The pair of,

Black converse high tops,

Size 11.5,

Still hanging,

On his head stone,

And can see,

They are starting to get,

Pretty beat up,

“Maybe I’ll get you”,

“Some new sneakers”,

“For Christmas”,

As she picks up,

Her trash,

And puts it all,

Into one of the bags,

Leaving his sandwich,

And Coke,


Right where she set them.

She kisses her,

Two fingers,

And transfers the kiss,

To the head stone,

By touching it,

With her fingers,

Picks up her board,

And starts to walk,

Towards the stone path,

But after walking,

A little ways,

She spins around,

And she runs back,

Towards him,

And like a little girl,

Bursting with energy,

Telling her best friend,

A secret,

She hollers to him,

“Don’t Worry!”

“I’ll Tell You”

“All About The Boy”

“Next Time I’m Here”.

Then she turns,

Back around,

And playfully,


Her way,

Back to the path,

Where she,

Drops her skateboard,

Wheels down,

On to the stone path,

Puts her right foot,

On the front,

Of the board,

And her,

Left foot,



Pushing off,

With her right foot,

She heads for home…


Tom Allen…05-23-2017…






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