“Where are you going?”
“Babysitting my friend’s sister.”
“It’s great,” he says. “I actually love playing with children. Strange for my age, right?”
“Well - yeah, definitely. You have siblings?”
“Five. All younger. But it’s great. I love it.”
He laughs. “I know. I don’t think I’ve actually ever been annoyed with any of my brothers and sisters. It’s kind of worrying, actually.”
“No…but I don’t think it’s a good thing - to have never been annoyed at someone. Especially someone close to you. Because when something bad happens, neither of you know how to react. You know what I mean?”
“And I can kind of feel something building up inside me. I might be imagining it, but I’m not sure. It’s something like this. I started feeling this when - well, it was not a long long time ago. It’s like, I have to leave home someday, right? It’s not like I can stay and look after them forever.”
“Sure, sure. Of course.”
“I mean - sometimes I feel like I’m being tied down. Like I can’t move anywhere. It’s bad, isn’t it? I mean - to feel like this.”
“Yeah. You shouldn’t feel that way about things. But it’s only natural, I guess. It means you’re getting ready to leave.”
“But it’s also kind of ironic, because it kind of gives me security. The fact that I’m being tied down. And I have…pretty big dreams.” He gives me an embarrassed smile. “But the bigger they are, the scarier they seem. And the scarier they seem, the more I want to stay at home. But the more I feel tied down, the bigger my dreams become. It’s a paradox. It’s like I’m trying to reach the sky, but every time I reach further into the sky the deeper my feet want to sink into ground. I’m just going in opposite directions. Like a tree. My roots and branches.”
The sound of sloshing raindrops.
The rain falls on the umbrellas. I think they look much better when they are being used.