Seldom does one enter another person’s world, bringing with it life changing experiences. Mr. Seldon would be that person for me.
I grew up on the northeast corner of my hometown on 174th street in North Miami Beach, Florida. On the northwest corner, on the same side of the street sat an empty house. The place was in disrepair due to years of neglect. It could hardly be called a home. The yard was nothing more than sun burnt, overgrown weeds, with sparse vines that were unsightly.
One day a crew of workers appeared. They repaired the damage to the homes, cleared the lot, and painted the house. The final chore was to clear away the weeds, and hauled the debris away. The end result was a quaint pale yellow house, with white trim, that sat on a barren lot. This was all about to change.
Word got out that a man named Mr. Seldon was to be our new neighbor. I first met this man while sitting on the ground in my own backyard. I had a sticker embedded deep in my right foot and was unable to gather the courage to pull it out. So, I sat, suffering as a result of my dilemma. Mr. Seldon suddenly appeared, pulling a wooden car, while also carrying a cane to aid him in walking. In his cart there were many sticks, some coconuts, and various fresh sprouting seeds. This man who had previously been a stranger took notice, and approached. Mr. Seldon wore a t-shirt, a safari vest, and khakis shorts similar to those that my father wore for his job as a boat captain. Mr. Seldon also wore a strange looking pair of sandals, which could not have possibly come from any where near our town. Mr. Seldon’s eyes looked like two giant blue dwarf stars that shone like advertisements that promoted an abundant amount of tales that had yet to be told, and most certainly would, having been given the opportunity. This man’s appearance made me almost forget about the sticker in my foot. Mr. Seldon asked, “Looks like you need some help with that.” I said, “I did”, because I couldn’t get it out by myself. Mr. Seldon bent forward, and a bead of sweat dropped near the grass beside me. He firmly took hold of the sticker. I winced. He told me to count to three, and on three he’d yank it out. I didn’t want to sit all day with a thorn in my foot, so I reluctantly agreed. I closed my eyes, grit my teeth, and began counting, “One.” “Two!” And it was all over. Startled, I looked up, and Mr. Seldon was holding the sticker. He said, “Three!” He tossed the sticker aside, and reached down taking hold of the sticker plant stating, “Just pulling the weed is not enough to get rid of the plant entirely.” He dug his hand into the sandy soil, and pulled the entire plant from the ground, root and all. He said, “If you don’t want stickers in your year, you must get to the root of the problem.” I asked Mr. Seldon what he was going to do with all those sticks that was in his cart. He said, “They are not sticks. “Sticks are dead matter. Those are twigs.” “They’re living organisms.” He went on to explain that all living things, the birds, people, even the earthworms in our soil were organisms filled with life and that we needed all of them in order to survive in the world we live in. Mr. Seldon went to his cart, and pulled out one of his twigs. He asked me where I would like him to plant it. I pointed to a spot and watched as he dug a hole with his bare hands, and thereafter placed the twig in the hole, and filled it in with dry dirt. He said, “If you want it to grow, water it occasionally and before long it would grow large enough to shade half the backyard. He then said, “Do you want it to grow?” I said, “Yes.” Mr. Seldon said, Well, go and get some water and be mindful of it. I ran to where the hose was, and turned it on. By the time I uncoiled the knots, and ran back, Mr. Seldon was already halfway down the alley, heading home. I watered the twig, and spent the remainder of the day pulling sticker’s out by their roots. I usually spent those days playing football in the alley with my friends Mike and David. But, David wasn’t allowed out that day, due to an unknown transgression he had committed that irked his mother. Mike wasn’t home. Perhaps he was riding in the passenger seat alongside his mother in their brand new, maroon Mustang Mach 1.
The following day, while walking home from school, I noticed that Mr. Seldon had planted what appeared like a row of sticks along the entire length of the left side of his home. Along those sticks coconuts were also visibly planted. Mr. Seldon was around backlogging a deep hole. This was a great mystery to me so I walked down the alley to get a closer look. The hole was approximately four feet wide by six feet in length. It was also very deep. I asked him if he was digging a grave, as on the prior weekend I had watched, MT Graves Saturday Horror Matinee on TV. There had been many monsters claw their way out of the cemetery, and that deep pit reminded me of that. Mr. Seldon said it was in fact a kind of grave, and also a kind of place where new life was formed. He called it a compost pit. He said it would create rich soil that would nourish the seeds, and twigs that he was planting. Over time I would watch as Mr. Seldon would fill that pit, turn it, and then take some of it and place it around whatever he planted, and then covered it with dirt. Mr. Seldon said, “Decaying matter was the perfect source of nutrients for new plants.” One morning while walking to school I noticed the compost pit filling the air with steam. Lots and lots of steam. To my amazement when I touched it, it was much hotter than the surface soil that had been baked by the sun.
Each day as Mr. Seldon went on his morning alley discoveries, he would stop, and water the twig that I mindlessly neglected. One evening while lying in bed, listening to the loud croaking of the park toads, it began to rain. The rain fell harder and harder, as the cool wind blew into the open bedroom window. I thought of how much I loved the sound of croaking toads, and even more so the heavy rain. Soon I would be asleep, entirely unaware of my last thoughts that night.
The following morning there was no school. I went to the alley just in time to see Mike crossing over from his side. David appeared shortly thereafter. The three of us spent countless hours playing football. The three of us played one-on-one, always me against Mike. David was three years younger than either of us. If we played against David we always defeated him. He would always run home crying, and it would take several days to entice him back out to play again. Finally, we decided it was best for David to be the official quarterback for both teams. It remained that way until one day, Mike’s family moved, without ever saying goodbye.
After that day’s game, I headed home, and though about finally watering the twig. I didn’t! I attempted to justify this by telling myself that it had rained pretty hard the previous night. Then, I noticed the twig had sprouted one large, green leaf. I ran down to tell Mr. Seldon, whose plants were already covered with new green leaves. Mr. Seldon patted my shoulder and said I must have done well caring for the plant, he called a Rubber Tree. I felt terribly guilty for barely watering the plant as Mr. Seldon explained that Rubber Trees were used to create many kind of products, from beds to tires for automobiles. I could not imagine that the tires used on dragsters, and funny cars, which often caught on fire, were made of plant leaves. I then asked Mr. Seldon why he didn’t have a car? He said there was no need for one. “A few blocks south were the government offices and the post office where anyone could buy envelopes and stamps, which could be used to mail letters to any place in the world.” “To the north was the bakery, fresh produce, shops, and markets of all kinds.” “There was even a convenient store.” I told him that my mother sent me every Sunday to the drug store where I would buy the Sunday paper. It cost twenty-five cents. It had the comics section in color, and we’d read them together on Sunday after breakfast. I could also buy comic books there too from the money I made from collecting bottles people tossed from their cars along the road near the park. I could also buy soda and candy too! Mr. Seldon said, “If you keep riding your bike toward the east it would go all the way to the shore, and to the west was the brand new shopping center. Mr. Seldon wondered out loud why people were in such a hurry. Again he said, “There was no need for a car.” I thought he was right. I looked down the street, and noticed a car sitting in every driveway. I then realized that the only adults that seemed to walk was the postman, and Mr. Seldon.
By summer’s end the Rubber Tree stood about eight feet tall. Many branches shot outward, covered with leaves, and the trunk was firm in the ground. By then, whenever the sun was hot I ensured the tree, my tree, and our grass remained adequately watered. There were no more stickers, and our lawn was as bright and green as the best lawns that had automatic sprinkler systems.
Mr. Seldon’s yard transformed from the barren lot it was to brilliant. Plants bloomed forth. Everywhere purple, yellow and orange flowers grew all around the home. Mr. Seldon had the best yard in town.
One afternoon Mr. Seldon pulled his wagon, which was filled with a large load of rocks. He was having great difficulty and I offered to help. I also asked what he needed those rocks for? He said they were slate, which he could use as steps that led from his front yard to the back. I pushed as he pulled, and soon enough the cart was parked near the compost pit. One-by-one Mr. Seldon cleared those slates, and carried them to the east side of his property. He laid them out in a path. On one side were large ferns and two small oak trees. On the other were flowers in the beds he had built up with soil dug from the compost. pit. The steps were a magnificent touch. I wished Mr. Seldon’s home was mine.
The following day Mike and I spent the day combing the alleys for tossed out electronic products. Especially those that had speakers. We loved to use a hammer and chisel to pound out the large cylindrical shaped magnets. We both had a huge collection of powerful magnets. We would take apart just about everything, but never really understood what the parts actually were called, or what function they had.
By the following summer my Rubber Tree plant had grown higher than the roof. In that short period of time it was already shading nearly half of the backyard. Mr. Seldon’s yard was now lush, and overgrown like a jungle. Palm front arched, making a path to walk under and no longer was any part of the home visible from the street, except for the front yard. That afternoon while playing football with Mike, and David. Mr. Seldon had a cart full of large white stones. As he passed he stopped and told us they once had been living organisms, but people had recklessly cut then from the ocean until there were no more. He called them coral, brain coral. For the remainder of the game we could here the banging of a large hammer coming from Mr. Seldon’s yard. At the end of the game, which I won, I went to see what Mr. Seldon was doing. He had smashed all of the coral to grainy sand, and had scattered the fragments in his flower bed. This transformed the dark soil to a bright white surface, causing the yellow, purple. And orange flowers to be more noticeable and brighter. Mr. Seldon was soon to be completing his beautiful landscape.
One morning, I went to Mr. Seldon’s home, and knocked at his door. There was no answer. I knew his door would be unlocked, as nobody locked their door, but I didn’t check. I went around back, through the palm path and noticed Mr. Seldon’s cart as near the compost, but he was no where to be found. Where could he be? I went back and knocked on the door, but still there was no reply. I stepped to the window, but the curtain was drawn, and I couldn’t see in. I went back to the door, and noticed that the jealousy glass was open, so I put my face close to the screen, and what I saw stunned me. It was then that I realized that I had actually never been inside Mr. Seldon’s home. Now, the safari outfit, and the strange sandal’s origin became clear to me. Africa! Mr. Seldon’s walls were covered in animal skins, snake pellets, large insects and more. There was even a large bearskin rug on the floor with bear had, teeth, ears and all. On the far wall was the skin of some kind of large cat. I thought it was the skin of a leopard that stretched across nearly the entire length of the wall. I ran over to Mike’s house to tell him of my discovery. Soon, we were racing back to Mr. Seldon’s home. When we arrived Mr. Seldon had already returned. Excitedly, I asked about his animal collection, and he allowed us inside. The home was minimally furnished, orderly, and very clean. Everywhere I turned was some kind of story waiting to be told. I asked if could go get David, and Mr. Seldon gave me permission to return with him. It wasn’t long before all three of us stared at the walls, fixed in amazement, and surrounded by exotic things only seen on Tarzan, or read about in school books. Mr. Seldon had a story for everything. I especially was taken by the huge cobra snake, curled in a string position, bearing sharp teeth and long forked tongue. The snake’s body was thicker than my own, and I made note of that. Adding to these sights were the simple furnishings, and black, purple and red painted interior walls. We learned that Mr. Seldon was a traveler, and spent many years living, and hunting in Africa. He He told us that if he could turn the clock back, he would nave chosen to preserve life, rather than take it. He chastised himself for destroying each one of those creatures in a moment’s lust for power over creatures that had just as much of a right to live as anyone of us. He stated that what he had done was wrong and kept these items as a token to the harm he had done to nature. Mr. Seldon said he now dedicated his life to creating environments for animals to thrive, such as the small ecosystem he had created in his yard. He made it clear that he had created his private garden out of nothing more than yard clipping, tossed out twigs, and debris collected in his spare time. This brought to mind the toads that made loud croaking that I very much enjoyed. Although I enjoyed their sound, the adults considered them a nuisance. There was an article that appeared in the Sunday paper that told of a way to get rid of toads. IT stated that people should pour ammonia on them. From that day forward, adults everywhere began to pour ammonia on toads. The next day scores of toads lied dead in years and streets. I realized that the croaking sound grew dimmer, and dimmer each night. In a short span of time, the only sound left at night was a thick silence, or the sound of heavy wind, followed by rain. In a few short years there were no more toads. Mike and I also played our part in their demise. We were cruel, and we knew it. We poured gasoline on toads one night, and lit them on fire. We watched gleefully as they helplessly hopped away to their death. It was then, in Mr. Seldon’s front room that I swore I wouldn’t hurt another toad again. Ever!
By the following summer Mr. Seldon’s garden had fully developed. The two small Oaks were full of leaves, banana trees flourished and birds nested in the branches of the Rubber Trees and Palm branches. Squirrels tight rope walked with great agility between them all. The handmade waterer made of bamboo and straw, was constantly visited by hummingbirds, sparrows, orioles, blue jays, and cardinals. At night Raccoon raided the stale bread left over from dinner, and an occasional Armadillo and Possum could be found in the shrubbery. By far the most beautiful home on our street was Mr. Seldon’s.
One day after summer school, after long hours of playing knock hockey, ping pong, and bumper pool, I went to Mr. Seldon’s front door. This time the jealousy windows were closed. I knocked, and no one answered. I knocked again more loudly, but still, there was no response. I grabbed at the doorknob, and twisted it, knowing full well this was wrong. My worse fear came to be a reality. The door was locked. I ran to the window, and tried to peep in where the curtains had been drawn. This time I could see in, so long as my right eye was closed. There was no Leopard skin hanging on the far wall. There was no Cobra standing in the corner, and no Butterflies pinned to a board. There were no large Beetles, and no bearskin rug. I ran back to the door, rattling the frame and jarring the glass as I shouted Mr. Seldon’s name. Again and again I shouted, but there was no response. Finally, I had to realize, Mr. Seldon was gone. Gone forever! I hadn’t felt that bad since the day I had learned that Aunt Becky was not going to be returning home from the hospital.
I stepped off of Mr. Seldon’s porch and ran down the steps. The yard was as alive as eve, but I could not enter it. It seems to me that the yard was one giant casket, and that the lid had been closed and shut forever, and therein lied Mr. Seldon. I walked home and climbed up our giant ficus tree, and out as far as I could on my favorite limb. The wind rocked the branch like a cradle, but I felt no comfort, or joy. I wondered what the reason was that someone like that man came into other people’s lives, and then just disappeared?
By the following summer my best friend Mike would leave in the same manner. All that would be left was an empty house, and a locked door. Just as Mr. Seldon had done, there would be no farewell.
One Saturday morning my father gave me a new purple Stingray bike. It had white race stripes and the number 72. In three more years, my first football uniform bore that same number, and when I weighed in at games, uniform, cleats, and helmet in hand, I had the exact same weight, all season long, as that number.
I had the coolest bike by far. My bike had a rear slick, fat race tire. It had a high sissy bar. I thought and thought, how could I make it even cooler? One day it came to me. Mike and I had known where there were stacks, and stacks of discarded bikes, located at the town’s junkyard. We went there and located what we needed. Mike carried with him a hack saw, he obtained from his mother’s toolbox. We cut off two pairs of bike forks we believed would do the trick. We raced home to finish our experiment. When we got home, I smashed the circular hollow forks I had cut into oval shapes. I then took the front wheel off of my bed, and hammered the form onto the other forks by using a sledge hammer. The new purple paint scratched quite a bit on the fork, and I didn’t like that. It felt worse than scraping my own knees, which I knew would heal. It felt worse than when I fell off of the bike, slightly damaging the seat when I tried to patch out, but ended up falling down. The scratched forks felt worse because what I had done was intentional. Regardless, I also knew that scratching up the forks was part of what must be done. The extended fork was snug. I repeated the process, and had two lengthy white forks protruding from the Stingray’s original frats. As Mike worked on his bike, I picked up the wheel and placed it on the extended forks. I bolted it down, and Mike stopped working. I rolled the wheels to and from, and the contraption seems to work. I threw off my shirt and ran home. I put on my Easy Rifer Captain America shirt, which I had rarely worn because it was too cool to get dirty. I got out an old pair of lawn goggles, and put on a pair of white latex gloves that my mother had been using to wash dishes with. I walked back to my bike. I rolled the bike to the street and hopped on it. By then, Mike had completed his bid. We sold on the corner of 174th street, facing north to 175th. The park was to the right where the toads no longer croaked late into the night. There would be a straight shot up to 179th, and then back to 174th street if there were no issues. I considered the mutilation I had done to my new bike, a success if I made it back without any trouble. I jumped on the bike, and raced off. At first it was a bit wobbly, but I managed to wrestle the bike under my control. When I got to 179th street, I realized the bike was difficult to turn. I stopped, thought I was halfway there, turned the bike around and raced back to 174th street. Mike’s bike had failed before he reached 176th street. I rode past and he shouted “hairs”, which was our way of saying cool. I didn’t imagine I was Peter Fonda. I didn’t even know who he was. I didn’t know he was the son of Henry Fonda, or the brother of the sexy lady on the Barbarella poster I pretended not to notice when I had once wondered into a head shop my mother had warned me never to enter. By that time Mike and I had discovered that the nakedness of a woman was alluring. On one of our magnet hunts we had discovered a stack of Playboy magazines tossed in a stack of papers laid out for the trashcan. We had taken those magazines, and hid in Mr. Seldon’s compost pit, going through every page, to ensure we had missed nothing. We discovered that some women didn’t look anything like my sisters and our mothers did without any clothes on. It was the way I imagined Ms. McNichols must have looked like under her often white skirt and complementary white blouse that she taught fourth grad class in.
175th street was fast approaching, and David and my sisters stood only a block away, raising their thin little arms, jumping, shouting and carrying on. I continued my ride and soon passed them. I kept going all the way to 171st street, where the city pool was located, and where the Miami Floridians had played exhibition games in the now defunct American Basketball Association. I stopped, turned my bike around and discovered that all of the other kids had ran to follow me. Soon Mike arrived on his bike too. I road my Stingray all summer, and into winter, that is until Christmas morning when I was surprised with my first ten speed bicycle. The Stingray would never be ridden again. It ended up, as many children toys do, on the trash heap in the alley. The kind of places that Mr. Seldon searched, and discovered his treasures.
Another school year ended and another summer was upon us. I was splashing home in puddles and noticed a large truck parked in front of Mr. Seldon’s home. Workers were carrying furnishings into the house. The next evening, I stood on the street in front of Mr. Seldon’s former home, and stared at the yellow-orange hue that emanated from the front window where Mr. Seldon’s table had been. It was a strange sight too. That table had four large ration chairs that looked like ram horns, and an intricately patterned table. No table these people had cold possibly compare to that of Mr. Seldon’s.
The following day I went to inspect who the intruders were. Who dared to invade Mr. Seldon’s magical garden? I wanted to seek information as to how they dared to trespass into such a hallowed location. I brazenly walked through the yard, but first noticed the strange appearing car that sat in the driveway, which sat carless for as long as I could recall. The car was a Beetle, and it angered me because whenever I saw it, I would remember Mr. Seldon’s large Beetle collection, which I wanted for my very own.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of not discovering who had been squatting in Mr. Seldon’s home, I decided to climbed up one of the tall Rubber Trees, and see if I could look inside one of the bedrooms in the back of the home. I climbed up one of the trees, and climbed out on one of the branches, hanging from it. I could easily see inside. The light was on, even though it was daylight. I was shocked to discover a young girl standing at the window and staring back at me. I asked her what she was doing in Mr. Seldon’s home. She said it was not Mr. Seldon’s home, but her mother’s, and it was her new home too. I asked her if there were any bugs or snakes or elephants, or giraffes or zebras in the home. She said there were none as far as she knew. I asked her if she liked the purple, black and red walls, but she said there weren’t any. She said all the walls in the home were white. I dropped down from the branch, and went to the alley. I saw an empty tin garbage can and carried it to the window were the girl stood. I turned it over and climbed upon it. We stood face-to-face. The girls’ face was our white. It was as if she had never been out in the sun. All the girls that I knew were either burnt red like myself, or golden brown. I saw the she was very, very beautiful too. Even though the screen I cold see her eyes were a color I had never seen before. Green! I asked where she was from. She said, Chicago. I asked if that was near Africa, and she said she didn’t believe so. I asked her name, and it sounded like she said Deborah Pretty. But, she repeated, saying it was Purdue, a French name. Just then the door to the room flew open, and a younger boy entered. I ducked, but Deborah said it was just her younger brother Donald. Donald was soon followed by a toddler in a diaper. Deborah said his name was David. I pushed my face close to the screen, and looked at her. Yes, her skin and eyes were obviously magnificent. A small beetle crawled on the screen between us, and I recalled how I used to stick pins in them. But, all that nonsense stopped when Mr. Seldon shared his past. I captured the beetle, and allowed it to fly away. I could hear David’s mother calling him to breakfast. I told Deborah there were now two David’s on our street. I told her I had to go home and eat too, but I would come see her the next morning. Deborah said, “That sounds wonderful.” Nobody had ever told me before that something I said sounded wonderful. I jumped off of the can, and while pulling it back toward the alley, waved goodbye. Deborah did too! That night I hardly recognized the heavy wind and rain. All I could think about was the girl in the back window of Mr. Seldon’s home.
The next morning, I awoke, and quickly jumped into the bath. This was not unusual for me, as I bathed often, as much as three times a day. I loved being clean, and my mother never had to tell me to wash dishes, or make my bed. If anything my excessive cleanliness annoyed everyone. I hated things like slightly opened doors, towels on the floor, water rings on a wood table, and food on the floor. I really didn’t like screens with holes in them, and burn spots on grass. I didn’t like weeds that mingled with St. Augustine grass, and I didn’t like small parts that went missing from things. Most of all I didn’t like pieces left over from car models I built, knowing full well I followed directions precisely. I also didn’t like doilies being out of place. In fact, I distanced doilies by there nature as they always seem out of place. I didn’t like dusty screens, trash on the street, cigarette butts, and bottle caps flattened on the road as the result of car tires running over them. I did however like glass bottles tossed on the side of streets and in the bushes because bringing them to the convenient store meant easy money.
After breathing I put on a white sweater that my grandmother had hand embroiled with Charlie Brown and Snoopy on it. I put on my favorite white jeans, white socks, and my brand new pair of blue sneakers. I combed my hair, and remembered not to put tonic on it, because whenever it got too hot it would run down my face, and I had to constantly wipe it off.
I ran down the street to Deborah’s home. The Beetle was gone, and I was horrified. I ran to the door and turned the knob. A large dog snapped at me. I quickly shut the door, and sat on the front porch as the dog continued to snarl, and barked orders for me to leave. It seemed like all day, but only mere minutes before the car pulled into the driveway. Deborah stepped out of the car. She was wearing a blue dress, white socks and black shoes. Deborah’s mother carried David in one arm, and a bag of groceries in the other. She ordered Donald inside. Deborah told her mother I was the boy who had hung from the tree. Ms. Purdue said, “Hello.” Deborah asked if she could play with me. Her mother said, “OK!” Deborah and I walked along the sidewalk toward my home. We walked past David, and Mike as he was crossing the alley, carrying a brand new football. Mike asked where I was going, but I didn’t not respond. There was no response to my non-response, but I could feel the heat of their stares. If I had put tonic on my hair, for certain it would have begun dripping down my face.
When Deborah and I got to my yard, I asked if she wanted to climb our tree? Our ficus tree was the largest tree in the neighborhood, and Mike and I had been building a tree fort in it. Deborah said she did, and soon we were up the main trunk. I showed Deborah my favorite branch, and she climbed upon it. I told her to go as far out as she could, and there she would find two small branches extending from the large one, and it was a perfect place to sit. Before long we were sitting facing each other, gliding up and down as if we were on a carousel of brown pony branches, and green leafy mane. We sat in the tree for a. Long time, ands I told her all about Mr. Seldon, and my best friends who would soon be her friends too. I pointed to the Rubber Tree that now towered over the roof of our home, and certainly shaded nearly the entire backyard. I told Deborah that Mr. Seldon had planted that tree when it was just a twig.
Eventually, we climbed down from the tree and I invited Deborah inside for a drink. My mother gave us some fresh lemonade, and fresh raisin cookies. I then invited Deborah into my room, which was really my sister’s room. I did this because that room was the coolest room in the house. Besides, my room had lots of boy’s stuff and I was certain nothing in there would impress her.
Once in my sister’s room I hoped that Deborah would not notice all the girl things lying about. Deborah commented she liked the blue velvet curtains. I put a recording on an old portable record player. The record was Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, which was my mother’s record. We sat and talked and I once again confirmed her unimaginable natural beauty. Deborah was the most beautiful thing to come from Mr. Seldon’s magical home. The most exquisite living organization, I would see for a long time to come. I stared at the flawlessness of her skin, and looked hard at those green eyes. I compared my skin to hers, all covered in freckles, and the noticeable dog bite car that covered much of the left side of my face.
The record stopped, and I put on a Bobby Goldsboro recording. I immediately felt is was the wrong recording, and replaced it with a Sonny and Cher record instead. I sat back down, and stared at Deborah’s face again, and this made her face turn red. Almost as red as mine. I don’t know why I did what I did next, but I did it. I didn’t know where I got the courage from, either. I was somehow compelled to kiss Deborah’s face. Not her lips, but her face. Deborah slightly shed away, and sat for a moment staring at the bed we sat upon. I lived her, and I knew it. And she knew it too. She jumped up quickly, and ran to the door, exiting. I watched through the blue velvet curtains as Deborah ran all the way home.