180410120043 / B
Summary: A boy gets jealous with the closeness between his new neighbor and his best girl friend whom he loves very much.
Since I planted the Sycamore tree in Juli’s front yard, we had a very good friendship or maybe more. We knew each other’s feeling, but we chose to stay as friends. By the way, four years already passed and we still had fine days.
A few days ago, Juli told me a friend of his father, Mr. Weisman, was going to move to the house near ours. Since the house was still under renovation yet he needed to move very soon, Mr. Weisman and his family would stay in Baker’s house for a while until the house was ready.
Seeing a car parked in front of Baker’s house, I guessed the new neighbors had arrived. I went to the living room where my mom was knitting. I told her about the arriving and she looked delighted. She was always glad to know new people. In the contrary, I was not. Today was a pretty hot day. I went to check the fridge because I needed a fresh drink, but there was nothing could relieve my thirst so I decided to go to a market to buy some.
I was just about to go home until I heard Juli’s voice calling my name.
It was a very hot and sweaty day. Somehow, she still looked very pretty. “Juli? What a coincidence! I suppose you have guests in your house.”
“I do. I just took Thomas looking around,” she said, pointing a boy who was standing near her. “Oh, right! Let me introduce you.” She called the boy. “Thom, this is Bryce. He lives in the house across mine.”
“Hi,” he greeted me.
“Thomas will start to attend our school tomorrow.” Juli explained.
“Great.” I was actually not interested, but I had to give my best response. “By the way, I gotta go now.”
“Already? We can walk home together if you want,” Juli said.
I looked at the plastic I was carrying. “Well, I don’t think my mom can wait for these drinks.” You know what? Buying a few more for supply was the most brilliant idea I have ever had.
Thomas’s presence was not a pleasant thing for me and honestly, I did not like him standing near my Juli Baker. It was just a few hours and they already looked really close. Remembering the past, I needed several years for that. Moreover, I cannot stand the reality Thomas would sleep under the same roof with Juli. I never stayed in her house, not after 10 pm!
We used to ride the school bus together, but the next day, we did not. Juli went to school very early with Thomas because he needed to take care of some things for his transfer.
During the lunch break, I was forced to sit with Juli and Thomas. It sucked. I lost my appetite seeing them laughing at his jokes. I had no idea what was so funny, but I still laughed. It felt wrong if I did not.
“We’re going to hang out at Jerry’s Pizza after school. Do you want to come?” Juli asked me. She seemed really excited, gave me the feeling of pain and loss.
“I wish I could, but I have some stuff to be done,” I lied. It was similar to the lies when I was still avoiding Juli in elementary school.
Days later, when I was watching my favorite TV show, Bonanza, I heard the sound of people laughing. I peeked through the window and saw Juli and Thomas was sitting under our Sycamore tree, giggling, and looking very happy. I was really mad and upset, but I did nothing. I got back to the chair trying to focus on Bonanza.
“What’s the matter, honey? You look peeved.” My Mom came from nowhere.
“It’s nothing, Mom.”
I could hear they laughed again, but now was louder.
“Shut up!” I grumbled to myself.
My Mom walked up to the window and laughed. “Oh, my little boy, you’re so cute!” I did not know what she meant, but I answered nothing.
Since the day, I always avoided Juli and Thomas. I did not spend my lunch break with them. I barely talked to Juli and we did not hang out anymore. The worst part was I felt like the Sycamore tree no longer belonged to Juli and me.
One day, I was walking back to home after playing basketball with my friends and unfortunately I lost. I had been getting close to my house and I saw Juli was watering flowers in her garden. I used to greet her if this occasion appeared, but for today, I would not.
“Hey, Bryce!” she greeted me first.
“Hi, Juli,” I greeted her back, yet kept walking.
“Where have you been? It’s like decades we don’t talk,” she said.
I finally stopped right in front of my house. “I’m busy, Juli, but I know you’re busier,” I answered sarcastically.
“What do you mean?”
“You know… You’re too busy with um… new friend things, I guess.”
She turned off the taps and walked up to the side of the road. “Bryce, are you jealous?”
“What? No.” I laughed in the weird way. “Why am I supposed to be jealous?”
“Don’t lie,” she said. “We both know it.”
“Whatever, Juli. I’m done,” I was going to take a step to my house until she said it.
“Thomas and I are just friends, Bryce. He is a gay.”
I was startled and confused, but in the same time, I was happy and relieved.
I laughed. I laughed so hard that I could not hear my laughing sound. It was soundless. I saw Juli was smiling at me, but then she continued what she was doing. I went straight to my room then, and immediately jumped into my bed. Today was one of the best days of my life. I lost the game, yet I was still very happy.
Thank you to Evira Tiffany and Sisca Delani for correcting my grammar and helping me to choose the title of this short prose.
– Reiner, R (Dir.). 2010. Flipped. United States: Castle Rock Entertainment.
– Draanen, W. V. 2001. Flipped. New York: Random House.
– Heckerling, A (Dir.). 1995. Clueless. United States: Paramount.
Word count: 984