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She jumps, carefree and indulgent, on her new trampoline. Every time she goes high the light filters through her hair, making a halo out of it; she's beautiful, she's mine.
We had another trampoline, but years of being outside finally did it in, and rot began to make it a dangerous device. She was so devastated when we threw it out, so we bought her another one, and it was delivered just today.
It's summertime, warm, golden, but also sweet and breezy beneath our tree. Dappled sunlight spills like honey through the branches of the over grown oak, the one he says he'll trim but never does.
And I hope he never ever does; I like it messy and wild… some things deserve to be that way. We plan and plan and plot and plan, and yet life just is. No amount of micro managing and pruning can set straight what's meant to be crooked.
A shriek and a giggle and my eyes are back on her, a smile on my own face growing in response to her simple joy. She's so little and yet she's so big; I have trouble believing she came from me.
The moving van that has been parked in the driveway next door since yesterday finally pulls away, and I wonder what their story is. They have kids, I know that much; I've heard the youthful voices drifting on over to our yard. Maybe I'll be neighborly and bring cookies over later; babycakes loves to help me bake, even though she does more spilling than stirring, her mouth guilty with chocolate and batter.
Movement from the corner of my eye makes me look and there stands a little boy, the cutest little thing with the prettiest hair I've ever seen – at least, on a boy. He looks longingly at the trampoline and the tireless fairychild on it, her dress flying up every time she does, revealing tiny red corduroy shorts underneath.
Laying my lemonade down, I stand up and wander over to the little boy, all the while glancing over to his new house so that I can meet his parents too.
"Did you want to play?" I ask him, recognizing desire in his grassgreen eyes.
"Yes, please," he lisps, his eyes steadfast on the prize.
I look again and this time I see who I assume is his father and I squint, holding my hand over my eyes because the sun is so so bright out here, away from the shelter of my oak.
"Excuse me," I call. "Is it all right if your son plays with my daughter? She just got a new trampoline, and…"
He turns around, smiling, only his smile dies when he sees me, and then so does mine.
He was the one, forever ago, that broke my heart.