Pens at the ready, laughter building up inside, Katya and I stare at the blank wooden wall. The sky overhead was beginning to darken, lights lit up all over the hills and the chattering of adults filled the neighbourhood with noise. The treehouse wall was calling our names. As I look up into her crystal blue eyes, I smile an excited smile that reaches to my eyes. She laughed and we both go back to staring into the blank wooden wall.
“You ready?” I asked, desperate to start.
“As ready as I’ll ever be!” Katya laughed.
As soon as that was said, I quickly grabbed the black ink felt pen, gently removed the rough black cap, pressed the fine tip against the cold wall. The breeze brushed across my face, I held my breath then, with excitement building up inside I scribbled the title ‘The Hate Wall’. I took a step back admiring my work.
Katya, my cousin, was 5 years older than me and she was never around, teenagers, always prefer friends rather than family. One time while she had a friend over and I was dying to do something, I walked up to her tapped her on the shoulder about five times, she didn’t even blink. Really all she ever does is sit on her lazy butt and shoves her nose in her phone, even when friends are around! Seriously, she is so unsocial it is so easy to find her… she is either in her room or in the lounge with some sort of device glued to her hands. Now, for the first time in forever, she is actually spending time with me without someone forcing her too.
“So who to start with?” I wondered, rubbing my chin,
“Oh, I have a list… wanna see?” Katya said obviously excited.
Katya pulled out a crumpled folded piece of paper with about 20 names neatly written down in bullet points. To keep her attention I quickly unfolded the neat paper with a large phoney smile glued to my face. I read the names out loud.
“Justin Bieber… Jeffrey Anderson… Mrs. Canie… Hannah…” I stopped, turned my head and looked at Katya right in the eye who looked like she was about to explode into a pile of laughter.
There was only one time Katya ever made me laugh. You might look at it now and think Why did she find that funny or I don’t get it. It happened on a dark gloomy night when we were walking down an endless path of boringness. Suddenly she shouted loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear “LOOK IT’S AN OWL!” The second she said that, not one, but 15 owls flew out of the trees bringing Katya to the ground, and I laughed until my stomach ached with pain.
“You think this is funny?” I asked trying to be as serious as possible.
Katya couldn’t hold it back and collapsed onto the floor with laughter. A second later I joined her and we both laughed until tears came streaming out of our eyes. After we recovered, we started the hate wall. I wrote in my messy handwriting Justin Bieber and Katya wrote in her neat handwriting Hannah. I just glared at her grinning face. A few minutes later, we had over 40 names on the wall. Giggles flew out of us as we wrote down the last name, the evil vacuum! That’s another story to be told another time.
As soon as we stopped laughing, we heard Aunty Anya calling us. As we heard her call, Zach, my brother, jumped up next to us.
“Hey, what’s-” he paused, spotting his name. He glared at me, slowly walking towards me.
“Wait, calm down” I demanded, my hands gesturing for him to stay back, “It’s JUST your name on the hate wall.” I giggled.
Zach was 2 years younger than me and let’s just say… he had temper issues. Whenever he sees something he doesn’t like, that makes him mad or that embarrasses him, he either kicks, hits or shouts.
With that he pushed me into the treehouse pole, the silver metal burning my hands. As I slid down to the ground, I overheard Katya shouting at Zach up in the treehouse saying how he could have killed me. I laughed watching Zach push Katya too into the treehouse pole and slid down to the ground, then plopped down next to me. Zach glared at us as he slid down next to us. Still mad he entered the house and through his bedroom window he glared at us even more. Katya rubbed her butt as we sat side by side on the ground looking up into the dark blue sky.
The snow white clouds looked like candy floss as they slowly floated across the sky, the mooing of cows echoed across the farm, the tapping of paws passed us, the pecking of chickens slowly faded away, the spring of the trampoline sprung once more and the voices of adults flooded around us. We looked at each other and laughed.
Suddenly I stopped laughing, Katya looked at me strangely and placed her soft thin hand on my shaking shoulder. She gently took hold of my hand like an older sister would and squeezed it tight.
“What’s wrong?” She asked in a soothing voice still clutching my hand.
It had hit me. All I could do was think, I think how I would feel if I were Zach. I think how spending time with Katya drove me to do something I didn’t want to do. I think how Katya feels right now. Then, as the dark blue sky turned to black, and the clouds disappeared, and stars sprinkled across the sky, I knew one thing that I will always remember.
Draped in possibilities, Optimism skips into the room carrying a warm feeling of hope behind her, inspiring all she passes. As she laughs, the worries of all those in the room fall - offering support to all who needed it, her spirit is lifted as she sees all the smiles surrounding her.