I was three.
That tree was at the end of Bonaventure Drive, by the mailboxes, where it terminated and the dense forest began. Those were happy times, summer times. When I was three, and the lane shimmered with the Pennsylvania summer heat. Though the skies were always grey that close to the lake, the world was golden. Because my daddy had me, held my hand as walked Bonaventure Drive, hands sticky with pear juice in the heat.
But three became four, and my brother was born. And the trips to the pear tree ceased.
Somewhere along the way–I didn’t know if it was me–my daddy didn’t have me anymore, didn’t hold my hand… We played ball in the side yard. He threw it harder, harder, faster, faster. I couldn’t catch it. I tried and tried, but it hit my tummy. Harder and harder, it hit my tummy.
I stood there. I stood there until I couldn’t hold back the tears. But still I stood there, the football smacking me.
My daddy was angry, and I didn’t know why.
Life was no longer the same on Bonaventure Drive.