Friendships Fade

Jeffy Barnes lived in the third house on the left, the one closest to the dead end of Anderson Street.  There were seven houses all together on the street.  Jeffy was the only child who lived in any of them.  Mr. Parker, who lived next door, was a widower and lived alone.  June and Ron Billings lived on the other side of Mr. Parker.  Those were the only folks on the street Jeffy knew by name.  The rest he knew by face.  

“Banana Brains!”  

“Am not.”  Jeffy defended.  “You’re the one who lost ‘em.”

“Who are you talking to?”  Jeffy’s mother asked as she snapped the t-shirt onto the line with a clothespin she plucked from between her lips.

“Aw, it’s just Jimmy. He put my marbles somewhere but says I lost ‘em.”

A strong breeze flapped a pillowcase up towards his mother face.  She pushed it away and bent down to grab a pair of socks from the laundry basket.  She removed a clothespin from her mouth.  “Jimmy; huh?  I thought you were giving up your invisible friends now that school started and you have real ones.”

“He’s real, as real as you and me.”  Jeffy insisted.  “Come on, Jimmy.  Let’s play in my room.”

Just as Jeffy came around the front of the garage, Arnie Simpleton from school pulled up on his bike.

“Hey, Jeffy, wanna ride bikes to the old rail tracks?”

“Sure.  Hold on.  Let me ask my ma.”

Jeffy ran back and jumped with excitement when his mother nodded her head instead of answering, being that her mouth was juggling clothespins.

Jeffy grabbed the Blue Dragon BMX with its 20-inch tires from its safe spot in the garage.

“Nice bike, Jeffy.”

He beamed.  He’d begged his mother for the bike for a whole year until she relented.  Just when disappointment was setting in after opening his last birthday present, she blindfolded him and brought him to the garage, where the Dragon was parked.

“Let’s go.”  Jeffy peddled wildly and Arnie twisted around and was soon on Jeffy’s heels.  

Jimmy stood in the driveway alone, tears filled his eyes.  He stood there for two hours waiting for Jeffy to return. A strange sensation began to buzz through his legs.  He bent down to rub them, but he could not find them.  It seemed they were not where they always had been.  Jimmy brought his hand up to scratch his head, but the itch continued.  That was when he noticed that his hands weren’t where they were supposed to be either.   It was an hour later that Jeffy’s bike pulled into the driveway brakes locking into a skid.  He jumped off whistling and walked the bike into the garage and set it in its safe spot.  He walked right through Jimmy without seeing him.  He slammed into the house.

“Mom, I’m home.”