I sigh, staring viciously at the 10 year old chipped hammer that rests in my sore hands, wishing I were offered nails which weren't as rusty as these. With the sun beating mercilessly on my back, I go back to work. The wood that we have is limited, but we have enough for a treehouse, provided we make no mistakes. I should know because I'm a math geek. That's what makes me different from all the other kids at school. I pounded on the nails, trying to ignore the fact that I'm precariously balanced on one slab of wood that easily breaks. I guess that's one of the 1.5 reasons that it's good to be skinny. You're light, and you don't get stuck in small spaces, but that's about it. No one else has the patience to make a treehouse, but I love woodwork. The smell of freshly cut wood soothes me, but that's not a smell that I'm experiencing. It's more of a smell that's mixed with sawdust and rotting wood. Most of the wood was rotten, so I had to throw out it all. The wood that survived was old, but the rotten wood was older.
"Everything ok up there?" a voice asked.
I nearly fell of the plank but managed to catch myself just in time.
"Yeah I'm fine," I reply, glancing around.
It's Mark, my best friend. He's the one who introduced me into woodworking, and I've been hanging out with him ever since.
"Man, you nearly made me fall off!" I accuse.
"You were the one not paying attention to what going on!" he retorts.
"Ok," I agree, "But you should've recognized I was thinking"
"Thinking," he asks. "Thinking of what? You memorize everything you see."
That's another thing I forgot to mention. I have a photographic memory, and it's helped me a lot, especially with this project. I need to memorize blueprints and stuff, so I guess I could be an architect when I grow up.
"You know... about what we're going to put inside of the tree." I hastily make an excuse.
"M hmm." he says, obviously being sarcastic.
"Well, I better get back to it, apparently it's going to rain tomorrow, so I need to get it done by then." I say.
"Come on, the weatherman’s always wrong! You know that!"
“Bye man, I really need to get this done.”
He shakes his head.
“Alright man, see you.”
I carry on working, surprised to feel that I’m refreshed after just a small break. I’m motivated by the small chance to prove the weatherman right. After all, we know that he’s usually a week or two early with the prediction. So, with that thought in mind, I start on the rest of the floor.
About 2 hours later, I’m done with the floor, and halfway done with the walls. I take a quick 5 minute break and walk around the interior. Immediately, I see a problem. I forgot all about the entrance! With the other side of the hammer, I carve out a space, only to find out that I carved in the wrong part of the floor. Oh whatever, I’ll just adjust the ladder that, of course, is made out of rope. Sadly, that isn’t as easy as it seems. I start wishing that I chose a different tree, one that was easy to climb down but, for security reasons, it’s hard to get up to, and hard to leave. My only solution is to jump. Now, jumping from a treehouse with a regular height would’ve been ok, but I purposely made it around 15 yards off the ground, about 45 feet. So, I had no other choice but to waste some of my precious wood along with some of my wood glue. I had a plan, which was quite straightforward, but very annoying. I’d have to put some glue onto a chunk of wood, and then, before it dries, quickly stick in on the tree. Once I did about 20 of those, I was low enough to jump.
I circled the tree, and I came to a very annoying conclusion. I had left the ladder in the treehouse!
“You have GOT to be kidding me!!!” I scream.
Thankfully, Mark heard me, and came to my aid. By then, I was really mad, so I started to snap at him, though I knew it wasn’t his fault.
“Are you good at climbing trees?” I said as soon as he came.
“Um… y-yes, but not this one, man.” he stammers, “This one needs more branches.”
“Ok,” I sigh, disappointed.” Can you jump high?”
“Yep!” he says, sounding very proud of himself.
“Great! Then try to jump to the planks over here, would you?” I ask.
“Sure thing,” he said, and did it on the first try.
“Wait a sec…” I say, another thought coming into my mind. “You have extra wood, don’t you?” I ask, this time much more politely.
“Yeah, but… I don’t think I’m supposed to use it,” he says.
“You can ask your dad, can’t you?” I plead.
“Ok, but it’s not my fault if I can’t, ok?”
We shook hands.
10 minutes later, Mark came running back with a bunch of wood.
“Victory!!!” he cries as I inspect the wood. Now, I’m no wood expert or anything, but only one thing was certain. This wood was perfect. It smelt of the freshest wood possible. I quickly checked the time and was discouraged to find that it was 11:55. I wanted to get the treehouse done by 12:00, but that wouldn’t be possible, so I had to resort to finishing at 1:00. This was very disappointing, to me at least. Mark seemed perfectly fine with it, and, after a whole lot of persuading, agreed to get back on the tree again.
“So, I was thinking,” he starts, “that we could keep these planks as stairs, you know, sand them down a little, and then use the rope ladder only for emergencies.”
I stare at him.
“Emergencies?” I say, “what kind of emergencies?”
“Well, you know, in case our sisters try to chase us, we would have to be able to get up here quick.” he explains.
“We better have a trapdoor then as well, one that can be opened with a special key. One that only we have!”
We get back to work, and quickly finish the walls. It’s much faster with two people and we get the walls done in 20 minutes.
“We’re making good progress!” Mark says, breaking the silence.
“Yeah,” I say, “I should’ve asked for help ages ago!”
“Well, I wouldn’t have been free,”
“I guess so.”
After we finish the walls, we start on the roof. We wanted to have a triangular roof, one that would be hollow, but we don’t have that kind of time. Wed decided to stick with a cube looking treehouse, and if we had time, we would make it triangular.
At lunch, I look outside at the incomplete treehouse. We only have a little left, but I’m still disappointed. After lunch, I quickly add on the finishing touches, and then rush over to Mark’s house to give him the key.
“You know, I thought you were joking about the key!” he said, “But thanks! You really made a keyhole?”
“Yep!!!” I said, sounding very proud of myself.
I really wanted to turn back time, make sure I didn’t make that silly ladder mistake. That's what made it take AGES to finish. A hot chocolate inside the treehouse would hit the spot. Then again, it was too hot outside for hot chocolate. Maybe lemonade instead. I invited Mark, and he came over to chat.
When I was on the phone with Mark the next day, the first thing he said was:
“Well Alex, you got the weather right. Anyway, you did spend an afternoon in the treehouse, you were just building it, and maybe I can go over this Sunday again. It’s supposed to be sunny.”
“Yeah, but maybe it was just luck that he got it right,” I said
“There’s a new weatherman, the news just said, the old one was too inaccurate with the predictions.”
“You can say that again!” I say, and he did as I turned on the news.
He was right, there was a new weatherman, and he was supposed to get everything right. We did get that triangular roof, and it’s a secret storage place for things such as sweets, and “important” letters, and stuff like that. It’s a compartment that no one else knows about, and Mark and I go there every day to add something. We always leave a note saying that we were there, to make sure that there’s always new stuff to look at. If there are no notes by the time that you come, then you HAVE to wait until the other person comes.