Photo Credit: Creative Commons
By: Elizabeth Rom
My feet shuffled through the hundreds of orange and red leaves covering the ground, but I paid no attention to them. They were normal, common, like the presence of grass in a field. They were just a part of my surroundings. All of my attention was focused upon myself, and getting my dog walked. This was a chore to me, not a leisurely stroll.
I sat on a bench in the middle of the park, enjoying the first day of autumn. I wore jeans with knee-high boots and a sweater I had been dying to wear since I bought it. Bright leaves covered the ground, making the whole park seem as if it was glowing orange. I listened to my audio book, The Runaway King, as I enjoyed the autumn air.
I started walking towards the park, one of the last legs of our walks. When we reached the park, Buster, my dog, slowed his pace. Apparently, he had to smell every stick, bug, and leaf we passed.
I was just listening to the characters in my book try to talk some sense into each other when I saw someone walking up the park path with a dog.
I was getting tired of watching Buster sniff everything, so I tried to pull him along a little faster. As we neared the middle of the path I noticed a girl, someone I recognized, sitting on a bench. She was a senior at my high school, my friends sat at the table next to hers at lunch. My mind started racing. I thought of how awkward it would be to not say something to her. Then I thought of how awkward it would be if I did. She had ear buds in, what if she can’t hear me, I wondered as I drew closer to the bench.
As the person came closer I recognized him as the boy who sat at the table next to mine during lunch. I pretended not to notice him, because I was scared of starting conversations. But as he walked closer he smiled at me, and I smiled back.
“Hi.” He said, waving slightly with his left hand.
“Hi,” I replied, removing my left ear bud and pausing my audio book.
I don’t know how I said “hi”, but I did. And now that I had her attention, my brain froze. Any common phrase, “How about this weather?”, “Nice to see you!”, “What are you listening to?” gone, wiped from my brain. Luckily she took the lead.
“Happy first day of Autumn!” she said, picking up an orange leaf lying next to her and holding it up.
The silence had gotten the best of me. Even though it was maybe two seconds long, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to say something, even if it was “Happy autumn!” I felt like a two-year-old holding up a leaf to show this seventeen-year-old guy it was autumn. But he must’ve not noticed because he smiled wider and replied.
“Yeah,” he said sort of laughing to himself, “Happy Fall.”