Dead Leaves

The cool breeze came in from the east, bringing a leaf to rest in front of her feet. Sarah, sitting cross legged, picked it up. She twirled it slowly between her fingers, the eastern wind threatening to steal it away.

"Do you think that if you spun that fast enough, all the colors would melt together?"

Sarah barely glanced as Holly sat down next to her on the grass. She picked up a leaf from the ground and mimicked Sarah, exaggerating her stare, as if she could mix the colors herself.

"Have you ever noticed how life is like fall?"

Holly stopped twirling her leaf and glanced at Sarah.

"As in one day it just dries up and falls off the trees of the universe?"

"More how you don't notice it coming. There you are, just enjoying the end of summer and warm days. You tell yourself this season you'll enjoy the change, catch every moment, every color. But time goes on, and the next thing, half the leaves are on the ground, dead. You didn't even notice them changing, and now its too late. There's no going back." She took one last look at the leaf, then crushed it in her fist. The remains drifted back to the ground and faded into the grass.

The taunting breeze came by again, tearing pieces of her hair free from the ponytail.

"That's got to be the most cliché and depressing thing you have ever said. And believe me, you do like that bandwagon."

"It's cliché for a reason. Other people have noticed it as well. I'm not the only crazy person." Her short, lighthearted laugh echoed over the hill.

"So says the crazy one"

Holly picked up a twig from the ground and snapped it in half.

"In any event, why'd you bring me here? Something on you're mind?"

Sarah laid down on the dry grass, staring up at the clear October sky.

"I'm pregnant."

Somewhere in the distance, she heard a bird call for its mate. Sarah felt Holly lay down beside her, but continued to stare at the sky.

"Have you told anyone?" She shook her heard.

"Who else would I tell? It doesn't matter to anyone else." Holly snapped her twig again.

"Are you going to tell Troy?" Another snap.

"I don't know. I don't want to. He didn't care enough to even stick around, I doubt he'll care now." This time she could hear a squirrel running across the leaves. Or many a chipmunk. Small dog.

"Will you keep it?" Sarah closed her eyes; the sun was a bit too bright, and she was tired.

"I don't know. I kinda like the thought of someone always being with me. It might be nice to never be alone." Holly grabbed another stick and prepared for the ongoing slaughter.

"What are you talking about girl? I'm always here. You can't get rid of me if you tried." Snap. She smiled, but it was empty; fall stripped her of strength for emotions.

"I know, but even you...it's not the same. You aren't always right here." She placed her hands on her stomach, wishing to feel the baby growing.

"But she will be." Another distinct laugh filled the air, carried west by the trickster wind.

"So, not only are you crazy, but you're always psychic. Oh boy, I'm REAL glad to be your friend. Don't want you finally snapping and knowing what thinking and doing at every second of the day. You could easily kill me." She smiled now, genuine emotion fighting through. Funny how friends could do that to you.

"Oh please, and you're a real treat to deal with. I just LOVE seeing you're face every day." The two looked at each other, pretending to be seeping with disgust. Laughter carried over the leaves as they both failed; genuine, and ringing with friendship. Sarah sat up, and Holly followed suit.

"All jokes aside...you really are my best friend. My only friend. I don't know what I would do without you." She could feel tears threatening to escape.

"Don't worry. I'll always be here. I promise. Even if you are a teenage-high-school-drop-out-mom."

The two looked lovingly into the others eyes, no more words needed. Holly leaned in and kissed Sarah on the forehead. She closed her eyes just as one renegade tear broke free. The escapee rolled off her cheek and landed on the remnants of their crushed leaves.

The eastern wind came in again, strongest of the day. The leaf remains broke free of the grass and were take away, to where only the wind can go.

"Sarah?"

Sarah opened her eyes. Holly was gone. She wiped her eyes and turned around. Ashley was standing a few feet away, her face flushed from the fall chill. She stared at Sarah with a quizzical look.

"Where have you been, we've been looking all over for you." Sarah opened her mouth to reply, but was immediately cut short. "Oh never mind. Come on, we're going to miss the game." She motioned frantically for Sarah to get up, glancing over her shoulder to make sure the others hadn't left yet.

Sarah forced herself up, brushing the dried leaves and grass off her clothes. She trudged over to Ashley, who took her hand and forced her to pick up speed as they headed to the lot full of cars and people.

"Who were you talking to, by the way?" Sarah looked up at the trees, taking in the red foliage, not wanting to miss anymore.

"No one."


A/N: I realize that my excessive use of pronouns might have made it confusing. That's the effect I was going for... perhaps you can figure out why. If not then I guess it didn't work as I had hoped. Reviews would be greatly appreciated.