Pared | Lei Paula Rico

For the pole we needed to prop the tent with, we had to bury seeds. I’d told Evie this but she wouldn’t believe me. She said we didn’t need a tent, we had a little room she called a house. I’d been telling her how I lost my pole, or rather, how it was taken from me long ago. If I had simply lost it, I might have remembered when, but it had been taken and so I had no idea when it happened. I was sure I did have one though, but I’d given up looking for it. And so now I must learn to grow a new one because no one would give me theirs for free. Evie didn’t have one either, and it’s sad because we needed it for the fair that was right down the street.

Evie won’t hear of it, said we don’t need a tent, we have a house. But I told her how difficult it would be to post arrow signs on columns along the street, just so people from the fair could come see our attraction, asked her how she would like to make things difficult like that when we could just prop a tent with a pole after we’ve grown one, which shouldn’t be difficult at all. She said she didn’t know what I was talking about, and she won’t be posting arrows or growing poles or joining fairs. She just left.

It wouldn’t be practical, I suppose, to use jets of water to prop tents. And we couldn’t, anyway, because the water was gone. It had been taken as well, but this I did remember. It had gone later than my pole but I did not grieve for the water because I never wanted it. I never asked, and so I did not know, but maybe Evie felt sad for its loss. I couldn’t ask her now. If she came back we wouldn’t talk about propping tents anymore.

I’d found her as I did before, past ruined fountains flanked by broken statues and covered with moss and overgrown plants. We went to the fair side-by-side as silent companions, drinking in the sights but keeping all our thoughts to ourselves. When the sun sank over all the propped tents—a pole for most, two for others, and strong jets of water for some, spraying inward and not a drop spilling out—I followed the path home. I looked back once, but Evie didn’t follow. So I peeled one apple after another, down to their core, until I remembered it was easier to peel pears. I threw the apple cores away and buried pears instead.

First published in 2011 in Blinds: PANTAS Tomo IX

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