|The Kid at the Convenience Store
By Josh Silver
Willow Corner, my hometown. It was named after the only trees that were indigenous to the original town. It had only 58 in population, and I knew practically all of them. I had never left town before, even though it was only 2 neighborhoods and some flea markets, convenience stores, and farmer's markets.
I was told to pick up some canned pineapple for my mother at Taylor's convenience store. I was given some money, but I had some of my own to try one of the new Tornado energy drink. As soon as I reached for the Tornado, a voice from behind me said "No, don't get that!"
I turned around. A kid about my age in a striped, Short-sleeved T-shirt looked back at me. "It could make you diabetic if you only drink one every month!. Plus, it's practically just sugar, food coloring, and water."
"Oh. But, wait, that's not what it says on the label."
"They put that stuff on the label just so people won't think it's unhealthy. It actually will completely mess up your digestive and central nervous system. You're better off drinking dog blood!"
"It's that bad, huh?" I asked. "I feel like your exaggerating just a bit."
"I'm sugar coating it! That is, if you can sugar coat something already this unhealthy." he said, cracking a joke.
I laughed. "You're funny!" I said.
"It wasn't trying to be that funny, but thanks! Sorry I made such a bossy first impression."
"You're a nice kid. You don't see that very often around here. I like you." I replied, and could tell that we would be very good friends, and we were.
"What's your name? he asked.
"Arnold Green, you?"
" I'm Chris, Chris Quint, but my friends call me chapters, because I write stories."
"Really? What kind of stories?"
"Mainly about memorable experiences in my life. I'm trying to get an article in the paper, or a weekly story on the radio."
He was always at the store when I was, he continued helping me. One day, when we were up in my tree house, playing poker, I asked "Do you work at Taylor's?"
"No, I just help people decide what to get, and I couldn't ask for a better pay than getting to help people." He replied.
"That's a really nice thing to do. I got a flush. You?"
"Full house." he had won.
"You are the luckiest person in town!"
The next day, we had plans to ride bikes around town. It was going great until he dared me to sneak into the Cleibgreen mansion. There was strictly no trespassing, so I was very scared. He understood, and he went in the mansion himself, and a few minutes later he ran out jumped on his bike and flew away, and we sped away from the security guard, who was far from able to catch us.
He eventually did get a spot on the radio, and we both listened up in my tree house with salt and vinegar kale chips that he made himself. After he stopped being on the shock waves, He did get an article for the paper, which he kept for the whole time that he lived in Willow Corner. In the late seventies, about twenty years after we met in '59, he left town to play Saxophone in a band. I got letters, but I still missed him. His band got so big, he didn't have time to write back anymore.
Even though he never has time for me anymore, (and, probably doesn't even remember me) I know I will miss him forever. I never did have a friend like that again. Jeez, does anyone really ever have a friend like THAT more than once? Damn, do I hate that!