The weekends were always my favorite because I had no rules. Once school and my Friday chores were done, I disappeared and only showed up for dinner on Saturday and Sunday nights. We had recently moved onto a farm and I was too busy finding all the best hiding places and just exploring in general. I needed to know the land like the back of my hand. I wanted to know I could escape at a moment’s notice.
I had never liked being cooped up, but my need for open spaces had intensified in the last year. I never liked being inside and now that we lived on a farm there was too much to learn to stay inside. There were tadpoles to watch and fox holes to find. Ever since my brother’s death, staying in the house with my parents became insufferable. My brother was my best friend and the fact he wasn’t here anymore broke my heart every single day. Every morning I felt like I was waking up into a new and different nightmare.
I felt his arms when I laid in the grass and heard his voice in the bubbling stream. Every time I found something new, I wrote him a letter and burned it in the fire so it would reach him in heaven. I hoped it would also burn the memories I had of seeing his death. I knew it wasn’t my fault, but was having a hard time believing that to be true.