Jean Paul Zermelo
Copyright 2012 by Jean Paul Zermelo
It’s just after five in the morning. I walk toward the end of the alley, about sixty yards from my house. Patches of blue sky shine through the trees above. I look down at the ground as I walk and see a pair of red sunglasses. I pick them up and look around. I don't see anyone and begin walking again. Then I hear, "Can I have those?" I look back and don't see anyone.
I look up and there is an Asian girl in a tree house sitting back in a rocking chair. She's typing away on a laptop.
"Can you catch?" I say.
I look around and before I can find a way into the backyard, she points me to the gate. I walk in and find myself standing at the base of a large elm tree. A rope ladder hangs from above. I check to see that nobody is around. There isn't. I reach for the ladder and step onto the bottom rung trying my best to steady myself. As I begin to climb up, I'm having second thoughts about the whole thing. I stop on the third rung and look up. What am I doing? A gentle wind is blowing and I'm swinging like a large pendulum. I start climbing again.
I'm at the top of the ladder, just under the entrance to the tree house, and reach for the sunglasses in my pocket. I hold them out above me through the entrance for the girl to take, but she says, "Come sit down. If I knew you'd leave right away I wouldn't have dropped them."
The girl looks about fourteen and is wearing denim coveralls with a white t-shirt, black bra strap showing. There is a lawn chair a few feet away from the rocking chair. I climb up through the opening, sit down, and place the sunglasses on the armrest. She reaches for them and puts them on.
"You want a beer?" she says. She's focused on the computer screen, typing intermittently.