In celebration of almost reaching my 50k challenge goal...here is another snippet, freshly written just a few minutes ago.
Reed looked over at me. “When you said you didn’t want to know the truth about your parents, I – I hated you, for that moment. I hated how you had your parents, had a chance to know the truth, and refused to take it. While I am here, wanting to know and…” His voiced trailed off. He stared at the apple again, then said roughly. “I am so sick of this.”
I felt my body sway in the breeze and clutched the branch beneath me. “Sick of this?” I asked. I felt myself panic at the thought of what his answer would be.
Reed waved his hand around in the air, motioning to everything around him “This. The constant fear of breaking the law. The need to always work, never knowing what you are working for. Never being in control.” He looked at me, his eyes heavy again. “Fearing that the goodbye you refused to say could have been your last goodbye.”
I could only watch him, the memory of last night flowing in my mind.
Reed tossed me the apple. I shot a hand out and caught it before it could fly past me. It was a deep red, shining in the bright day light. Reed plucked another apple from the tree and took a huge bite. Juice sprayed from the apple, the meat bright white as he took another bite into the crunchy surface.
“Reed…” I said, alarmed. I felt my eyes scanning the ground beneath me, afraid someone passing would see what he was doing.
“Millie, I am sick of not knowing who owns this delicious apple that I am never allowed to eat. There has to be more than this Nation. There has to be.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” I could hear him chewing the apple, his head leaned back against the trunk of the tree. I looked at the apple in my hand. Then looked back over at Reed.
“What are you going to do?” I asked, my voice barely audible.
Reed sighed and looked over at me. “I don’t know Millie. I don’t know if I even can do something.” His eyes searched mine. “I don’t want to risk losing the few things I have. But there has to be something.” He took another bite, watching me as he chewed. “First thing I know I am going to do. We are going to find out what really happened with your parents.”
He looked at the remains of the apple in his hand, then let out a slow sigh. Leaning his head back again, I watched as he disappeared into his thoughts, his mouth mindlessly chewing the last bite he had taken of the apple.
I looked again at the apple in my hand, then raised it to my lips. It was cool and smooth, smelling rich as it pressed against my nose. Closing my eyes, I took a bite. The apple was crisp, its juices spraying into my mouth and down my chin as I carefully chewed. I didn’t feel myself cringe as I took another careful bite. This apple was different than the ones I had always known.
Maybe it was because it was fresh picked off of the tree that I sat in. It had never had the chance to soften and brown in its over filled basket. Captivity and the end never loomed in front of it, stealing away its deep red and sweet juices. All it had ever known was the sun and the breeze and the song of the birds.
I leaned heavy against the trunk, finishing my apple along side Reed. We didn’t talk. We didn’t need to. We knew with out saying a word that something had just changed. Something deeper than eating an illegal apple. Something that was about to ignite a change that would landslide our entire lives.