When I was five, a new family moved into the house next door: Dad, Mom, two brothers. One of the boys was my age, and I spent most of the summer playing with him, teaching him the ropes of the neighborhood: which games we played and where the boundaries were for them, where most of us kids were allowed to go (usually within calling distance of our mothers), and where the best hiding spots were for when we played Release, our own version of hide and seek.

I've long since forgotten the rules to Release, but I haven't forgotten the feel of that small neighborhood, where parents gathered on front porches as we played into the twilight. As long as we stayed within sight of whoever's porch the parents happened to be congregated on, we could make daisy chains and catch fireflies until, one by one, our families headed toward home to take baths and rest before another day of play.

That boy and I eventually grew up, and we're still close friends to this day. But this isn't a story about him. It's one about his brother, who was a sullen eleven year old the summer his family moved in next door to mine.

We tried so hard to show off for him that summer, Jasper and me. Edward wasn't impressed. At eleven, he felt he was 'too old' to play with us, and spent most of his time at the community pool, ogling Jessica Stanley who'd gone away to summer camp and come back a very developed young lady.

It didn't matter to me, but it hurt Jasper's feelings. All he wanted was to be accepted by his big brother, but Edward was too cool for us. After all, he was starting at the middle school while we were lowly first graders.

Jasper eventually caught his brother's attention sometime around ten years old. But it wasn't until the summer I turned eighteen that I finally caught Edward's attention.


Just when I said I was done writing . . .

Thank you to the ladies who live in my doc.

Shortish updates, probably once a day, until it's done.

Any guesses as to the narrator? You'll definitely get an answer. Just not tomorrow. ;)