Tuesday, July 21, 1722

The heat of the sun that day could not be overstated. Sweat poured down the burnt faces of all in the village. The glowing globe of heat beat down upon us, like a steady heartbeat from up above. The world was caving in from the pressure, and sooner or later, we'd break. We'd shatter from the stress like glass, from the weight, from the persistent moaning of the heat rippling like waves in the musky air.

None the less, I was outside that day.

The creaky tire swung back and forth, but from my weight, not the wind; there was none. Maybe that was why I was out there that day, because I thought I could find the slight draft where no one else could; at least not inside. Out here was better than inside for me, anyway. Not with Mother bearing down on me like a heavy thunder cloud all day, screeching with tremulous thunder, eyes shooting lightning bolts.

Anywho. I wished to unearth my leaf.

Looking back on it, it seemed kind of peculiar. Well, I guess it would. It was special to me, to think of him like that, and I was eight, after all.

But he was my leaf. That was how I thought of him, my dazzling green leaf. His eyes the brightest malachite green that reminded me of spring, of the great leaves and the slight drizzles padding upon the forest tops, the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up by the fire; but where you like to sneak outside of your mother's watchful eye and bound from the cabin, run from the world, into the rain, into the foggy, glassy weather, splashing in mud puddles, playing in the vines.

Escape. That's what it was. In the sparkle.

I liked to think that that's what it was what I saw in the gleam of his eyes, sparkling from knowledge, and understanding of the saplings. Untold faith and truth and honesty. He couldn't confide in just anyone. He was the mischievous one anyway, the little boy that ran ramped in the streets: everyone knew his name, his sweet smile, the silent gestures as he passes your window, because he knows something you don't.

Though his eyes shone brighter than the wood, they were always flecked with spots of gray. It was youth, that's what I told myself, unlike his father's stringy matted hair woven from silver. This was something different, shining brighter than that, as bright as newly fallen snow.

But as dark as a thousand twisted storms.

And I wrote it down. I wrote about it when got home, actually. I scaled the front steps overgrown with weeds and scrambled for a spare piece of parchment and a broken quill and ink. Then I composed this:

His eyes as bright as newly fallen snow. But as gray as a thousand twisted storms. Emotions mixed up inside, no rush, let them sleep, let them fight, or wither and die. But then, what's the point? If you do not behold any thoughts or feelings, then nothing happens, the world goes on, you live your life like a robot, wake up, eat, live. And maybe not even eat. So I guess maybe it is good, maybe it is a good thing to have to confront with all these shadows, these feelings, and thoughts. And maybe there's a shadow in there, a twisted memory, and that's why he stays silent all the time, and maybe that's why he also disappears. To cope.

I inscribed it for later, I think, when he was gone, because I always knew that he wouldn't be here for long. Or maybe it was me, maybe it was that I knew I would be the first to leave, to be peeled away from my home; my home in the woods. My life in the rain and wind and beating sun. Because I wanted it for later, to look back on. Writing this now, it makes me blush, I'm afraid, to say that I may have been a bit obsessed with the boy in the wood. The boy in my nightmares, haunted my dreams. When it storms, for example, his breath fogs the glass that fall in shards to the warm Earth below, and when it wasn't, his stature loomed around every tree branch and evergreen.

I wrote it all down.

And looked back on it later, and I thought, Where is he now?

And why did he disappear? I thought about that a lot later. Had something actually happened in his past? Something cooped up?

I vowed to find out.