What is with me and evergreen trees lately?


Evergreen

On Constance Boulevard, there was an older yellow house that nobody would buy. There wasn't anything wrong with it; it was just that it had been so long since someone had lived there that people assumed something was wrong. There was one evergreen tree growing in the middle of the yard, which was otherwise rather plain. The evergreen was still awkward-looking and the branches didn't seem like they would be very strong. Every time there was a big storm, the neighbors would (perhaps cruelly) take bets on if this would be it for the little thing. But it would make it every time.

Dorcas didn't have strong feelings for the evergreen on clear days, but whenever dark grey clouds rolled in- like today- she would always feel an odd compulsion to cheer it on. Maybe she caught it from Dale. He always became so excited when there was a storm that he would wait outside until someone (namely Dorcas) made him go inside.

"Today's the day, Dori." Dale was sitting on the porch steps as Dorcas came up the weathered walk, gazing upwards at the gathering grey clouds. "There is a massive storm moving in. It's wreaking havoc across the continent."

Dorcas glanced over at the evergreen tree and shook her head. "A nickel says the tree makes it." She sat down on the step next to Dale.

"Not very confident this time, are ye?" he said. "Last big storm, you wagered fifteen cents."

Dorcas folded her arms. "Nah, all I have is a nickel." She looked back upwards. "Awful calm."

"This is gonna be great. Do not get how anyone could be afraid of storms." Dale smiled, but it faltered when Dorcas didn't as well. "All right there?"

"Hm? Yeah," she replied after a moment. "Uh. Is Jess coming?"

"Later. She's got work 'till eight." Dale rolled a pebble on the step with the tip of his finger. "She's nice."

Dorcas nodded. "Yep. Everybody likes Jess." She zipped up her jacket as the wind started to blow.

Dale frowned. "Do you… not like Jess?" When the other didn't respond right away, he poked her. "Dor-ri."

"No, I like her. Everybody does. Jess is just super-likeable." Dorcas rolled her eyes upwards. "Clouds look a little weird."

"Don't do that. What's up, Dori?" Dale gave her a severe look, daring her to evade the topic at hand any longer.

"Nothing."

"If it's nothing, you could at least face me when you said it," he dared her.

Dorcas stiffened and turned to look him in the eye. "It's. Nothing. Can we drop it?" She was almost glaring at him.

"Fine."

"Fine."

They turned away from each other, and Dorcas inched away from Dale, staring at the mailbox without blinking. They didn't speak for more than a minute.

"Are you going to apologize yet?" Dale sounded expectant.

Dorcas scoffed. "Why should I apologize?"

"For snapping and being a bad liar." Dale crossed his arms as he faced Dorcas. "And not even sorry about being a bad liar!"

Dorcas rolled her eyes. "You're such a dork," she muttered. "And a stupid dork."

"What?"

Dorcas stood up as it started to thunder. It wasn't very loud, but it was warning enough for her. "Nothing." She walked in the porch, and Dale followed her.

"REALLY? You're going with 'nothing' again? That's so lame, Dori. At least give me a good excuse why you're acting so weird." Dale's eyebrows furrowed.

Dorcas shrugged. "Honestly? It doesn't matter." She was distracted for a moment when it started sprinkling outside.

"…God." Dale rubbed his forehead. "You're just filled with drama today, aren't you?"

Dorcas didn't reply. She sat down on the davenport and looked out the window. "Coming down a little harder," she said.

Dale sat in the wicker chair across from her and watched the evergreen tree sway. "How old is that tree?" he wondered.

Dorcas thought about it. "I think around twelve years old." She put more math into her train of thought. "We were thirteen, remember?"

Dale nodded. "Thirteen and stuck in detention all the time."

Dorcas exhaled. "Best worst year ever." She smiled vaguely, looking from the tree to her friend.

"Yeah." Dale fell back in the chair, trying to get comfortable. "I wonder what's wrong with that house. Why no one'll buy it."

"And why they bothered planting that tree if they were just going to move," wondered Dorcas before immediately theorizing, "Maybe something nice for the new owners."

"It's not that nice."

"No." Dorcas sighed as the rain came down harder. "I hope it makes it."

The evergreen tree swayed.


Homework assignment. I know that my style's a lot different in this piece. (Pathetically enough, this is my first update of the year.) I think I'll come back and resolve this tension between Dorcas and Dale later. Maybe on another homework assignment.

Anyways. This is dreadful and I apologize.

Have a smoothie. :)