Pine (part 3)

(Continued from yesterday. Click here to go back to the beginning.)

“Can I show you something?”

Jennifer led him up the path and under the tall trees.

“This is one of my favorite spots,” she said.

The shade was cool, and the air smelled of pine. Birds sung through a light breeze, which gently vibrated the branches in an awkward motion Jace could never figure out. Jennifer leaned against one of the trees.

“Sometimes I imagine standing under these trees and getting kissed by a boy I really like.” She giggled coyly. “It’s just a silly fantasy.”

She rubbed her foot through the blanket of needles underneath. Then her gaze met his.

“I guess everyone has silly fantasies like that sometimes.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“I’d love to see some of your drawings,” she said.

“Huh?”

“I saw you drawing a picture one time. It was pretty good. It looked like you did it a lot.”

Jace was mortified. “Um, yeah, I guess I do.”

“Sorry,” she said. “You don’t have to if you don’t want.”

He pulled from his book bag a sketchpad. “Here,” he said, and handed it to her.

They sat next to each other under the trees, and she opened the first page to reveal a rough rendering of a house. On the next page some neighborhood kids played at the playground down the street. Then came a local road with cars, a bicycle and rider, someone working in an office.

She turned the page again, and saw as if she were looking into a mirror. But the face looking back at her was beautiful, suave, womanly, yet still young. It was the face of a supermodel, but not fake like supermodels can be; it was a real person, of flesh and blood and graphite.

“Oh my.”

(Click here for part 4.)

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