Summer and the Brick Wall

It became a tradition, every summer she would wait for her very best friend in the world to come visit. She lived next door to Trinity’s Grandpa and Trin stayed at least two weeks during the summer. This was, without a doubt, her most favorite part of summer break.

They would have breakfast at their respective homes and then run off towards the pond and woods behind both lots of land.

They would race around the pond, the tall grasses tickling their bare knees, and enter into the woods.

Those woods were filled with thick pine trees, winding paths marked off by different colored fabrics (thanks to Trin’s Grandpa), and the wall. If you followed the marked path long enough, and walked off path at the downs tree (it was a behemoth that had cracked in half during the last hurricane), you would walk for a bit and come to the wall.

The brick wall was apart of the remnants of an old home. The foundation was sketchy at best, you had to imagine the shape that the house could have made, it was so mixed in the stones surrounding the property. There was a heavily boarded up well that we had the sense not to investigate, though the nails and boards insured that others wouldn’t have the chance to discover otherwise.  Further off, if you walked westward were a cluster of gravestones worn with time and cradled in moss. The graves were lovingly surrounded by a beautiful metal fence. This fence was not the molded steel contraptions of today, but obviously the hard work of a craftsman from yesteryear.

While all of this was terribly interesting, it was the brick wall that fascinated the girls.

It was obviously once apart of a large structure, part crumbled to the side like a toppled house of cards. The rest stood tall and proud until it made a corner. That corner was strong for a foot or two, and then crumbled like the rest.

The girls spent time by this wall exploring the texture of the brick with their fingertips. Sometimes they brought a chipped tea set and a cobbled together lunch, sandwiches with whatever was on hand and various items that complemented and sometimes did not. They would serve Sun Tea (tea that was brewed using sunlight on hot summer days), or lemonade and take turns pouring from a Tupperware for that purpose.

Sometimes, they would battle great invisible foes who would ultimately meet their doom at the hands of our mighty heroines.

Such was the idyllic ways these girls spent their summers.

But as all things, girls grow. Every summer Trin stayed less and less until she wasn’t seen at all. As for her friend, it just wasn’t the same visiting that old spot without her. Never again did the wall shelter the conversations of two hopeful young girls.

Both of the girls were in high school the last time they met face to face. Trin had been communicating through the phone and letters, and seemed so assured and so in control. She had excellent grades, a good boyfriend, and a whirling social calendar of tap, piano, and band classes.

Similarly, the other young lady was struggling with who she was. She was fifteen years old and didn’t like boys (or girls either, for that matter), didn’t know what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she had been accused of staying the same. She just wasn’t on the level with everyone else her age.

One day, mid spring, she received a call from Trin. “Meet me at the wall.”

So she did.

Behind her house, around the pond, the grasses were better maintained since the area was purchased for development. Through the woods, some of the bits of cloth were missing, Trin’s grandfather didn’t climb trees much anymore.

There were a couple of false turns due to new growth and less trees but finally she walked off the path to the brick wall. Trin sat, looking almost the same as she always did, except she seemed more shuttered and drawn.

Sitting in their usual perches, Trin began to talk. She had a wonderful boyfriend. But something had gone wrong. She had thought she was ready to take that next step in their relationship.

Her friend, positive and honestly lacking some fundamental knowledge, thought this was great! Giving one’s virginity meant they were in love. Love conquered all, love allowed you to move mountains, showed you the inner beauty of another person. Certainly, love was the greatest of all things to have.

Trinity looked at her friend in abject horror. It was clear, it was completely clear in the Bible that you should not do any of those kinds of things before marriage. She had gone against everything she had been taught. Maybe her friend was confused. Trinity explained how it wasn’t a good thing, how it did not go well, that it hurt and it wasn’t at all lovely. Her boyfriend was wonderful in the way that he stopped when asked. (He was upset, but not because she asked him to stop, but because perhaps he wasn’t able to make it good. This is neither here nor there I suppose.)

Still, Trinity realized her friend did not understand. It was shameful. It was horrible. She received exactly what she deserved.

Her friend, could not also befall the same fate. So she explained, heatedly, sadly, shamefully how her friend must not allow herself to do such a thing. She must wait.

But her friend, not understanding assured her that it would be better next time. That if they loved each other it was okay. Marriage is no a necessity when it came to expressing love.

Except it wasn’t love but she couldn’t see that. Neither could Trinity see where her friend had gone wrong.

They sat, awkwardly looking at sections of the wall. They remembered faintly, and too briefly, the tea parties, the battles and victories, and the letters and calls and time. They forgot all of this and looked at one another, as if strangers meeting for the first time at that wall.

And they left, each going back without a word, through the wood, around the pond, away from the grasses. Each to a house that sat side by side, each to their own council. Each went in silence and never visited the wall, or one another again.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. 

Photos of crumbling structure:
 [The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Walls of Constantinople, by Captain B. Granville Baker.]
Photo of Houses:
[Harvey Street Steamboat street plans]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.