Interwoven Worlds

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 09, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 09, 2019




Interwoven Worlds


Jack sat on his bed as his parents argued about the divorce. It would be finalized within the month, and soon the consistency of life would change to an ever-rotating schedule, Wednesdays and every other weekend with Dad, and mom the rest of the time. At age 13, when he thought life was making sense after surviving 6th grade, his core group of friends realized, the acne cleared up from his face, his striker’s foot in soccer finally in first gear--all was going down a good direction, or so he thought.

“Bert, I am tired of arguing with you. You don’t get to make decisions anymore for Jack. You gave that up the moment you slept with her...Yes, her!” His mom’s voice seemed to echo down the hall of their ranch-style home. 

Oh, her. The name that could not be spoken, but referred to as the elusive, “her.” Suddenly, he remembered from Harry Potter, “He Who Must Not Be Named” and smirked. He would just refer to the woman as Lord Voldemort, the archenemy of his mom now. 

“So, you are going to throw this in my face again and again. Why don’t you grow up, Kate? There is more at stake than your pride,” his father retorted. 

Jack tried to close his eyes for a minute. The echos from their shrilling words filled the space in his head and the words on the page from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 were muddled together and not making any sense. It was time to leave. 

Barley, his chocolate lab, was sitting at the end of his bed in a solemn mood with his paws over his face.

“Come on Barley. Let’s get out of here. I can’t take this one more second.” He opened his closed door and found his fishing pole and a few lures. Barley and he would go fishing down by the creek. The rain from the week before had the water moving and flowing. 

As he closed the door to his bedroom, Barley came out barking, his protector against the dysfunction in the kitchen. His parents finally became cognizant of their behavior and looked up. 

“Hey, Jack. Are you going fishing, now?” his dad asked.

“Yeah...I think you and mom have plenty to visit about. Barley and I need to get out of here for a little bit.” His parents could see the expression on his face, and a hint of guilt was seen in their expressions as their egos took a rest from the verbal fight that had ensued. 

“Jack, that is fine. Take Barley, so he can get a walk-in and keep you company. Then we can have dinner at 5 in a couple of hours. I am making your favorite, chicken parmesan,” his mom said. 

“Sure. That sounds good mom. Who knows maybe I will catch a bass to go along with dinner,” he half-smiled as the phrase awkwardly escaped his lips and fell flat without a reaction. He knew he had to move fast. The piercing eyes of his parents made his hair rise on the back of his neck.

He grabbed Barley’s collar, his tackle box, his rod, and some worms that were in the refrigerator and climbed down the front porch of his house. 

His shoulders began to relax as he turned the corner, and his house was out of sight, including the “for sale” sign in the front yard, a foreboding reminder of the imminent change. 

He passed by Mr. Ferguson’s yard and saw the old man pruning his roses. Now that spring was approaching, the warmer weather signaled we were past the risk of freezing. 

Jack waved, and the old man smiled. 

As Jack walked, he could see the ruby-throated hummingbirds at Mrs. Chang’s bird feeder. She was always diligent about filling the feeder with sugar water. She said it was the best part of her day to see the birds. It was amazing to see how fast they flapped their wings and buzzed around the pink feeder poking their beaks into the target of the yellow daisy flower where they could access the sugar. He stopped a moment--and watched them, flying backward, hovering up and down, and then abruptly stopping in front of the feeder to indulge and then moving out the way for the next bird to come in for a landing. The flapping of their wings produced an intense insect-humming sound that was memorizing to Jack. 

Suddenly, Jack realized that the brooding of his parents’ divorce had escaped him, and he was just enjoying the congregation of the hummingbirds at Mrs. Chang’s feeder. He wondered where she was since so many times he would walk to the creek, he would see her at her window watching the birds. 

Then, he decided it was time, and turned the corner and started his descent toward the creek. He put a worm on a hook and attached a bobber and threw the fishing line in. He sat down, and Barley obeyed his waving gesture and sat down next to his friend and owner. Jack enjoyed staring at the water. Some time had passed and the bobber starting moving up and down. Wow, that was fast! The worms were the trick. No use in lures when worms were the real deal.

He quickly took off his tennis shoes and walked into the water to start pulling the line. The largemouth bass was a beauty with its olive-green scales and horizontal stripes along each flank. 

Barley quickly started barking out of excitement. 

“ quiet now. I don’t have him yet.”

As Jack pulled the hook out and was ready to get the stringer through the gill, the lively sucker plopped out of his hand and into the water.

“Oh, no you don’t little guy. I am going to get you.” Jack plunged into the water swimming after the fish, but quickly found that he was swimming alone and the bass was nowhere in sight. Between Barley barking and his body now submerged into the water, he figured he probably had scared any fish nearby. Instead of reprimanding himself or Barley, he realized how refreshing the water was. Even though he was in his shorts and t-shirt and was completely soaked, he didn’t care. 

He decided to not resist and lay on his back occasionally opening his eyes with the sun warming his face.  His mind wanted to be angry about losing the fish, or getting his clothes wet, or worst of all his parents’ divorcing, but it didn’t matter at that present moment. He was breathing in and out and feeling the energy throughout his body, through his fingers, through his toes, the past family he once loved, the broken future family he was uncertain of—-it all didn’t matter anymore. It was in this present moment, he just breathed and let go. And in letting go, he released all resistance to the world around him, the energy flowing through him, invigorating him, nourishing him. It was as if another world, another dimension had opened up to him. He could see himself in his room listening to his parents arguing, but there was no emotion now. He was a bystander witnessing the pain, but not experiencing it anymore. He looked up and saw a red-tailed hawk soaring above him, and suddenly he admired the creature. The flapping of his wings as he was going up and then his outstretched wings as he was coming down were majestic. The gliding motion seemed effortless, yet harmonious with the wind. Nothing seemed to bother this hawk...he was gracious, free, and conscious of the world around him. 

Jack closed his eyes thinking about the hawk when his body became so relaxed that he started sinking. Barley who had been watching jumped in and pulled at his shirt. Jack came out of his stupor and started swimming to the bank with Barley.

The realization had set in...He was soaked. He looked down and saw it was 5:30 and past his dinner time. He needed to get back. He packed up his things, and started walking, dripping along the way, and squishing now in his wet tennis shoes. 

He came back around to Mrs. Chang’s house, and the feeder was empty. The hummingbirds were off to a new adventure to flowers or trees he thought. He rounded the corner, and Mr. Ferguson had already gone in, his rose bushes pruned and ready for the spring.

Then, he climbed his front steps, and stopped to sit on the swing to dry himself off in the wind. He grabbed the chain and started swinging his legs, going as high as he could. In his mind, the image of the eagle soared without a care in the world. He went back and forth, breathing in the fresh air. 

“Jack, you are home. I was getting worried,”  his mom peered out the front door with an apron and an oven mat. “Wow,...Jack, you are wet. Did you lose the fish?”

Jack didn’t say much. He looked at his mom, and he wholeheartedly and earnestly smiled at her--the first true smile since the announcement of the divorce. At that moment, they didn’t need words. 

His mom didn’t have to say anything. The smile was contagious, and her heavy heart seemed to have lightened by the look of peace in Jack’s eyes. 

“Well, come in soon, sweetie. I am getting the chicken parmesan out of the oven now.” She shut the door as he closed his eyes. He was going to take a blind leap of faith and jump with his eyes shut. He knew life was uncertain now, and his life was heading down a new direction, but as an observer, he told himself that it was okay. He could see his parents and himself as just human and in pain, but he didn’t have to live in the pain.

He took a deep breath and counted down from 10. 10...9...8...7...6...5…4...3…2...1...and he was off the swing graciously soaring and then landing on his two feet on the front porch. 

He opened his eyes, and walked through the front door ready for dinner. 


© Copyright 2019 Martha MacFarland. All rights reserved.

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