Monday, March 24, 2014

One Page Memoirs: The Shed.


I lived in my Aunts’ house for a majority of my adolescence. She had a small backyard crowded with poinsettias, tulips, poppy’s and weeds. Vines lived and died on the brick wall of the apartment building that stood beside a dividing fence. Towards the rear of her yard, was an almost dilapidated wooden shed. Every time it rained, chips of paint would fall off of the shed, surrounding it in a halo of mint green.

I do not know whether I dreamt about there being old jump ropes and broken bicycles inside, or if I’d actually looked in and saw it myself. I had asked Auntie Dori about it, and she assured me that the shed was full of junk and that I should never go into it. I’d never thought about going inside of the shed, until she told me I could not.

One morning, my cousin came over for a play date. We exhausted ourselves through a competitive hula hoop contest and lounged around playing four rounds of our favorite board game, Dream Phone. By mid-afternoon, we were bored with our usually fulfilling sources of childhood entertainment. While sitting hip to hip on the concrete steps of my backyard porch I stared off into the direction of the wooden shed daydreaming about the possible treasures that were inside.

     “Do you wanna have a jump rope contest? Bet I can jump longer than you,” I said.
While stripping the leaves off of a weed, my cousin sucked her teeth and said, “Nuh-uh. You don’t even have a rope. Besides, I always jump longer that you when we do Skip-it.”
     “I do too have a rope… well, not actually yet. I think I saw one in there,” I said, pointing towards it.
My cousin squeezed the stem in her palm as she looked over at the shed.
     “You can’t go in there. Auntie says-”
     “I know but what if there really is a jump rope in there?” I asked.
     “But Auntie-”
     “Fine. I’ll go in by myself. If I do find a jump rope, you can’t play with it, okay?”
     “Whatever.”  My cousin twirled the stem around her finger as I got up and walked toward the shed.      “Wait. I’ll be the look out,” she said.
There were twelve, maybe fifteen steps between the porch and the shed, but in that moment of brief adventure, it felt more like twenty steps. There was a crescent shaped gap in the crease of the door, and a long rotten piece of wood that ran along the front of it. I placed my chin on the bar and brought my eye to hole. It was dark inside. I could only make out the spider webs that ensnared the shapeless silhouettes. There was also the sour smell of something once good that had gone bad. I moved my face away from the door, and looked down at my hands that were covered in  green flecks of paint.
     “Do you see any ropes?” My cousin asked.
I shook my head. Perhaps there was junk in the shed after all, but I still had to go in. It was never about the possibility of a jump rope or a useless bike. “I gotta get inside to see what's in there. Help me lift this ba-”
     “Oh shit! Here comes Auntie…”
My cousin and I scattered away from the shed door. She began picking weeds in a nervous frenzy, while I calmly walked over to the porch steps. My Aunt was standing at the top of them, with folded arms. She was upset. I returned her gaze with equal disappointment.
     “I don’t know what’s in the shed either,” I said.

          -Bex Green

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