Technically, Matt’s birthday was on the 17th. And I’m totally not proud that I actually spaced this year and completely forgot which day it was even though I had pinned up five notes all around my apartment! Luckily, he knows I lurve him, so he wasn’t mad and instead laughed hysterically at my inevitable apology rant.
Because Matt and I are such good friends, he asks me for presents that don’t cost much (he knows I’m basically broke and/or looking at a bunch of bills that need to be paid). One of the things he always wants is for me to write him a short story. Actually, he doesn’t specify what to write him, but I suppose “love letter” is not what he pictures. So, I’m the one who specifies “short story” and this one is what I wrote for him this year.
It’s called Seven years of peace and quiet.
Seven years of peace and quiet, is what Mommy says. And then, she says, he just went crazy. Daddy is standing next to her and nods. They are talking to a police officer while I get to sit on the back of his car. There are many cars in our street today, most of them are firefighters. I asked if I could sit in the firefighter car, but they wouldn’t let me. Daddy said they were busy putting out the fire of Mr. Crinkles’ house. Some weird incidents, says the police officer and my parents both nod. A weird couple of weeks, they say. So weird. But they don’t tell him how weird, so when one of the other officers comes over to offer me some candy and asks what happened, I tell her. Because I might only be seven years old and I might not remember all of the ‘peace and quiet’ my Mom is talking about, but I remember the weird couple of weeks.
So, it all started out with a car. If you can even call it that. I would call it a ‘piece of crap’, but Daddy wouldn’t like me saying that word, even though he’d secretly agree with me. I mean, come on, it was old and dirty and it wouldn’t even start. I’m pretty sure other people would say it was a ‘piece of crap’, too. Anyway, said car belonged to our neighbor, Mr. Crinkles. And even though it wasn’t working anymore, he kept it in his driveway. Daddy once told me it was for ‘sentimental reasons’, whatever that means. Around the same time of that car being in our neighbor’s driveway, we had a tree in our front yard. We kept it there because it brought us shade during the hot summer days, not for ‘sentimental reasons’. I just want to make sure that’s clear. Our tree had a reason to be there. That car didn’t.