Alice danced along the path kicking white clumps into the air with her boot. As they flew up, they blew into a million sparkles passing in front of the low hanging sun, but the sight didn’t lift her spirits like it usually did. She stopped dancing. Trying to trick herself into being happy was not working.
Once again she counted the months until she would see Julian again. She had started by counting days, but that was too depressing. How could his parents send him to boarding school just as they had finally gotten to know each other! Not that he noticed, of course. He probably didn’t even remember her name. But the next time she saw him she could say hello, remind him that they met and start a conversation about... about... well, that was still a mystery. She’d had a million conversations with him already, but all of them in her head.
Suddenly her scarf flapped across her face with intensity. The quick sting bringing her back to real life. Alice looked around again, this time at reality. How she loved this place. She’d lived here all her life, thirteen years, she knew every rock, every tree, though of course, some were very hard to see at present, she loved them still, in all their seasons. What season was her life in, she wondered. Julian was very cute, but Julian was not here.
Suddenly Alice thought of Henry. Boring old Henry who she’d known all her life. He lived next door. He was such a pain... He teased her and aggravated her, but he also made her laugh... She turned in her tracks. Julian was dreamy, but she didn’t really know Julian yet, plus Julian was in Michigan, she wouldn’t see him again for months, and then he’d only be home for a short time.
Here she was on a lovely day walking through her favorite woods all alone. She could continue to lament about Julian, but suddenly Alice was feeling a tad practical. Unrequited love? Hey, she was only thirteen, she had plenty of time for that. And Henry was kind of cute too. Maybe Henry would like to go for a walk. As she turned for home, a happy feeling trickled through her body and Alice smiled.