Remorse


There was no breeze.  The spring air still had a winter bite to it, but without any wind, we thought the weather was summer-like.  Off went our winter coats, which meant we had to carry them.  But the sun on our backs felt so-o-o  good.

We didn’t mind carrying our coats.  It was gym day in the eighth grade, and we just stuffed our coats in our gym bags.  Kenny didn’t.  He didn’t use a gym bag.  He just tied his sneakers’ shoe laces together and slung his sneakers over his shoulder.

I still can feel the sun on my face, on that early spring day.  My friends and I decided to walk home from Junior High.  We all wanted to enjoy the weather and each other.  We even stopped in the middle of the bridge to watch the waterfall rush crazily over the rocks.
 
Sometimes in spring, animals feel frisky.  I could even say crazy, or infected with spring fever.  Whatever the reason, the spring air infected my thinking process.  I can’t explain what prompted me to take Kenny’s sneakers and try to balance them on the ledge over the bridge.

That’s my side of the story.  My friends say I took them and threw them over the bridge.

I can see where it did look like that, but that wasn’t my intention. 

I intended to place them, one after the other, toe to heel, on the narrow ledge on the river side of the bridge.  Spatial relations have always been my weakest aptitude. 

Those sneakers sunk like cement.

I felt terrible, but I couldn’t do anything about it.  I couldn’t offer to buy him new ones; I didn’t have any money.  I couldn’t tell my parents; they’d kill me.

Poor Kenny!  Poor me!  My friends blamed me.  Rightly so.  Kenny got into a lot of trouble for losing his sneakers. 


I still feel guilty.

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