Blue Bonnet Review

A Literary Journal Featuring Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction by Talented Writers Around the Globe

A literary journal featuring poetry, fiction and nonfiction by writers around the globe. 

Getting to Sherri's Backyard

I’d have to climb the fence at the left corner of my yard, which wasn’t easy being just six, maybe seven years old. I’d hoist myself up and jump down onto the grass in her backyard. Sherri would often be out there playing with a yo-yo, a maize board, jacks, pick up sticks, or just lounging around on a small wooden patio next to the house. If Sherri wasn’t there, I would call up to her bedroom window and if she was around, she would come down to play with me. I don’t remember going inside of her house, but probably did a few times from the front. I remember that being in her yard felt like I was a long way from home, and I certainly wouldn’t have left my ‘comfort zone’ unless I really liked Sherri. When I went to visit her, she would share with me whatever she was playing with, or we would just sit and talk. I felt very comfortable around Sherri and that’s why I always looked forward to seeing her. She was my first real girlfriend, but because she went to a private school, I mostly saw her on the weekends, though I did see her sometimes during the week if the weather was nice. I recall that Sherri was several inches taller than me, though we were close to the same age. She had light brown hair and green eyes. I remember that her eyes were large and pretty. She was very thin, and like myself was serious most of the time. Undoubtedly I was very attracted to her, but kept these feelings to myself. I was usually uncomfortable around girls at my own school, but with Sherri it was different. We just seemed to have a natural connection. When I felt like it was time to return home, I’d say good-bye and ask her if she knew when she’d be out in the yard again. When my parents asked me what I was doing, I’d sometimes tell them that I was visiting Sherri, but most of the time I wouldn’t. For some reason, I mostly wanted to keep my relationship with Sherri a secret. At some point, when I was eight years old, my parents told me that they had bought a house along with my aunt and uncle and that we’d be living on the top floor like we were now. They said the house was on the other side of Golden Gate Park and that we’d be moving very soon. Because I knew I would miss the few friends I had in the neighborhood, mostly Sherri, I remember making a big deal out of it. In fact I had a few tantrums with regard to our moving, but in the end I had to ‘go along with the program.’ My mother kept giving me this ‘spiel’ about having our own house, in a great neighborhood, in which there were lots of kids my age. I don’t remember saying good-bye to Sherri, but I’m sure I told her and blocked out the experience to this day. During the first week at my new school, a bee went down my shirt and stung me. My new teacher made the mistake of pulling up my shirt, which embarrassed me in front of the whole class. After that I didn’t want to go back to school, but in the end, once again I ‘went along with the program.’ In my new neighborhood I made a couple of male friends, but it was years before I felt as comfortable around a female as I did with Sherri. I never saw or spoke with Sherri again once we left the old neighborhood, and sometimes I wonder how our friendship would have gone if we never would have moved...