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Adventure Fiction Friendship

(I've had this story in the back of my brain for a while and did originally name it Leap Of Faith. After much thinking, I've decided to keep the nameΒ even though the prompt states: 'Taking a leap of faith', thank you)



Aislin's watermelon flip-flops appeared again and she poked her head around a branch. Strands of her walnut brown hair that had escaped her ponytail got in her face, until she brushed them away, exasperated. "C'mon," she said.

Jack looked at the jump again and bile rose in his throat. His hands gripped the branches next to him tighter and he watched his knuckles turn white. He took a step back, his mind screaming at him to run. He didn't want to jump. He was going to fall. He was going to get hurt. He was a cowa-

"Hey." Jack's eyes refocused and his ocean blue eyes locked with Aislin's emerald green gaze. "You can do it." She said a small smile on her lips. Jack nodded but his body refused to move. Aislin put her hand out, fingers outstretched. "Here, I'll catch you if you fall."

Jack snorted, relieving some of the tension from his body. "Your like five feet tall, and have no upper body strength whatsoever. I'd just pull you down with me." He pointed out. Aislin jutted out her chin like she did when she was being stubborn.

"Fine then." She glanced at the ground through the leafy canopy and jumped over to the branch Jack was on. He gasped, afraid she wouldn't make it, but Aislin landed perfectly, one hand grabbing a branch above her head to keep her steady.

"My God, I thought you were going to fall!" Jack cried but shut his mouth immediately when Aislin grabbed his sweaty hand. She peered into his eyes and Jack found himself relaxing into her grip.

"We're gonna jump on three, okay? You have to trust me." Aislin reassured her friend. Jack nodded, smiling. It was shaky but at least he managed. Aislin turned back to the other side of the tree they were aiming to jump to.

"One," Jack took a deep breath. "Two," He squeezed Aislin's hand and she glanced at him, squeezing his back. "Three!" She cried and leaped, Jack right behind her. They were in the air for a split second, long enough for Jack to start to panic, and then he felt it. The tree branch underneath his feet.


-Two Months Earlier-


Aislin ducked out of class as soon as the bell rang, head hung low, hair shielding her face like a curtain, eyes trained on the ground. She weaved her way around her classmates, trying as hard as she could to bring as little attention to herself as possible.

As soon as she got home, she put her books away and pulled an apple from the fruit basket on the counter, biting into the Granny Smith. She glanced around the house, disappointment worming its way into her stomach. 'Stop being a baby.' She told herself. 'Of course, mom isn't home. She doesn't have time for you.'

Aislin made her way to the office, grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil, scribbling on it before tapping it to the counter next to a sandwich wrapped in Saran Wrap. 'Going to the park, be back later' the note read. Aislin then changed her clothes from sweats and a hoodie to a pair of tie-dye shorts, a short-sleeved Panda shirt, and her signature watermelon flip-flops.

She grabbed her black cat side purse, filled it with jars from the backyard, and then off she went. Her feet hit the ground as she ran to the park and her hair flew behind her, exposing her face. Except for this time she didn't mind. Her cheeks were pink and her eyes wide and excited when she reached the park.

She slowed down, letting her hair conceal her once again, and slipped into the grove of trees that stood like a wall behind the playground. Some kids were climbing the easier trees in the front so their parents could see them but Aislin breezed right past them, undetected. She was going to the big trees in the back.Β 

Aislin smiled once she got to a large oak tree and she tightened the straps on her bag before she jumped, her hands grabbing the branch above her. In one fluid motion, she swung her legs up, circling the same wide branch.

That was the easy part. She reached up, grabbing a smaller branch, and hauled one leg up, scraping the area behind her knee. The pain only lasted a second before fading into a minor inch. Aislin was used to it by now.Β 

Soon she was standing on the branch. She checked to make sure everything was in its place and not about to fall out of her bag before climbing up into the leafy canopy. After a minute she got to an opening in the tree.Β 

If you looked down all you would see were branches and leaves and if you looked up, you'd be greeted with the same sight. However, straight ahead the branches stopped. It was a clear jump from one big branch to another. If you were to fall, you'd land on the ground and break a bone. If you made it, well that was another story. There was no other way to get higher.

This. This was the reason why Aislin picked this tree. Nobody tried jumping. It was insane. But Aislin only grinned when she got to the jump. She had done it so many times before, she had mastered it.Β 

The weightless feeling as she jumped and the sudden bolt of shock in her legs as she hit the branch on the other side was nothing new to her. The scraps on her palms, knees, and legs proved she wasn't afraid to try.Β 

Aislin took a deep breath, calming the nerves she believed shouldn't have been there and leaped. Her hands encircled the branches on the other side and her flip-flops hit the giant branch. She smiled as she made the jump.

'Too easy.' She thought and started to climb up farther into the tree. This large oak in the back of a public park was her safe haven. And to her, it was perfect. For as long as she could remember, her mom was at work and her father had never been in the picture. Every day was the same. Come home from school, put on the seemingly endless amount of bandaids on the cuts that her bullies loved to give her, eat a little bit of food, setting some out for her mother, and then leaving the house to go to the park. Then one day she found the tree and everything changed.Β 

Aislin put her hand on the tree's huge trunk as she climbed up the spiraling branches and got to her favorite part of the tree. The feeding area. Over the years Aislin had collected dozens of many different types of bird feeders. Some were glass, plastic, wood, squares, triangles, and rectangles. She especially loved the glass ones. They lit up the whole area with vibrant colors. Pastel pinks, ocean blues, ruby reds, sunshine yellows, emerald greens, pumpkin oranges, and lavender purples. Some hung on strings, others were screwed right into the branches, and some were nestled tightly in the foliage.Β 

Aislin paused, yanking the bag off her body, and opened it, pulling out jars of birdseed, and packages of birdseed cakes, and even a few pinecones covered in similar stuff. She refilled all the feeders, and hung the pinecones by string, and then put the empty jars back in her bag. Then she climbed up to the next room. The nursery.Β 

She went slower as she climbed up to it, not wanting to make a huge scene. Up in the higher, less stable branches was Aislin's second collection.Β 

Her bird nests. She put houses up, homemade nests, and found real nests. The birds had become used to her and laid their eggs there. Every day Aislin got small bits of fluff, cotton, soft grasses, or leaves and tucked them into the nests, hoping the babies would survive. After that, she put exactly one worm in the nest, a gift for the mother.Β 

And then Aislin was done. She climbed up to the middle of the tree where she had nailed a giant piece of wood in the trunk and a tarp over it and sat down in the beanbag chair that rested there, pushing her telescope out of the way. She pulled the rest of the jars out, taking a granola bar from one and pulling the wrapper aside, and taking a bite of it. She leaned back, and then something hit the tree, making a loud 'thumping' noise. Aislin jumped and stood, peering down the tree. She spotted a black and white something and made her way down to it.

She got to the near bottom and froze. There was a boy. He had shaggy blonde hair and blue eyes and was wearing a red soccer jersey, his shin guards and socks matching the crimson color.Β 

And although Aislin didn't know it, the boy in red would change her life. His name was Jack and he played soccer in the field next to the park. His friends had been goofing off with the ball when somebody kicked it a bit too far. Jack had been closest when his friend kicked it and ran after it, the ball ending at the base of a huge oak. He jogged over, picked it up, and thenΒ snapΒ something broke above him. Jack looked up just in time to see a watermelon flip-flop disappear, a small branch broke in half above him.Β 

Jack shrugged and then left, but as he was practicing, he kept thinking of the flip-flop. Somebody was up there. That night he went to the tree and inspected it, wondering how you got up. People had claimed that the trees in the back were impossible to climb. But somebody had done it. He attempted to climb the tree but only managed to scratch himself and look like an idiot in the process.Β 

Every day after that Jack would go over to the tree. Some days he tried climbing it. Others yelled at it. Some he would beg for the mysterious person in the tree to come down and talk to him. This went on for a week and a half before Aislin got sick of it. More than once would she be sitting in her bean bag, or filling the bird feeders and hear,Β 

"Tree, O Tree, let down your branches!" It was the most ridiculous thing Aislin had ever heard. One day as she was sipping on a Caprisun, she heard a crack. 'What now?!' She thought, getting up and climbing down some of the tree to see what Jack was attempting now.Β 

Her heart filled with anger when her eyes landed upon the sight of Jack, pulling at the lower branches. Aislin's breath caught and her hands tightened on the bark. That was the last straw.Β 

"WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?!" She shrieked at him. Jack froze and Aislin did too, surprised at her volume. She had never been that loud. But it was too late to back out now. "You scream at me every day, demand, beg, disturb me and the birds, and now you're hurting my tree!" She spat. Her voice was considerably lower, but still full of force and fury. "Just go crawl back into whatever hole you came out of and stay there!" She ended before turning and pulling herself up, going to hide once again.

"Wait!" Jack yelled, the desperate tone in his voice unsettling. Aislin paused. "I'm sorry I annoyed you, but I've never met anybody who could climb the back trees without a ladder." He said, awe replacing the desperation.Β 

Aislin's face went up in flames. "Well, I've lots of practice." She mumbled. Jack tilted his head.Β Β 

"Sorry I couldn't hear you." He said. "Can you come down?" he still couldn't see her. Aislin froze. Her insides churned. She put her head down, letting her hair shield her face again.

"No thank you." She squeaked. "I prefer being up here." Jack nodded.Β 

"Well can you come down so it's easier to hear you?" He asked, smiling. Aislin thought about it for a bit. If she didn't, there was no guarantee that he'd leave her and her tree alone. But if she moved closer, she could just hide her face, and talk to him while he was on the ground. So she chose that.

Every day after that Jack would visit her and talk to her, only seeing her watermelon flip-flops and sometimes a bit of her shorts. He learned all about her mother and father, and why she stayed in the tree as much as she did, and she learned about Jacks family, his annoying younger siblings, and how he hated going home and having to babysit them all and found out that Jack wanted to grow up and be a doctor but his family had forced sports on him. He would go to school, soccer practice, basketball, lacrosse then he'd go home, babysit his siblings, eat dinner and then do homework until he passed out.

Two months had gone by before Jack finally decided to ask Aislin to climb her tree. They were talking, Aislin going on and on about how the birds needed a certain type of food when Jack balled his fists and blurted

"AislincanIpleaseaskyousomething?" Aislin paused.Β 

"Say that again?" She asked. Jack took a deep breath and let it out, calming his nerves.Β 

"Can I come into your tree and really meet you?" He asked slowly, eyes closed, afraid of rejection. Then Aislin started to giggle. Louder and louder until she was making little snorting noises.Β 

"Of course you can dummy." She told him. Jack smiled and Aislin moved up into the branches and instructed Jack on how to climb the tree. He pumped his fist when he got up. "Now come up here," Aislin told him and he nodded, grabbing branches and hauling himself up. He finally made it to the branch Aislin was on and he froze.Β 

Her hair was a few shades darker than her tan skin and was pulled into a ponytail. Her green eyes were a big contrast and seemed doll-like, making her look surprised or excited. Jack on the other hand had sandy waves covering his head and bright blue eyes, and he was considerably taller than Aislin.Β 

Aislin's face went pink. "Welcome." She said, a nervous giggle escaping her lips. "Let's go." She turned and climbed up to a large branch before she jumped to the branch across the way and disappeared. Jack froze. He had to jump?!Β 

Aislin's watermelon flip-flops reappeared after a second and she poked her head around a branch. Strands of her walnut brown hair that had escaped her ponytail got in her face, until she brushed them away, exasperated. "C'mon," she said.

Jack looked at the jump again and bile rose in his throat. His hands gripped the branches next to him tighter and he watched his knuckles turn white. He took a step back, his mind screaming at him to run. He didn't want to jump. He was going to fall. He was going to get hurt. He was a cowa-

"Hey." Jack's eyes refocused and his ocean blue eyes locked with Aislin's emerald green gaze. "You can do it." She said a small smile on her lips. Jack nodded but his body refused to move. Aislin put her hand out, fingers outstretched. "Here, I'll catch you if you fall."

Jack snorted, relieving some of the stress from his body. "Your like five feet tall, and have no upper body strength whatsoever. I'd just pull you down with me." He pointed out. Aislin jutted out her chin like she did when she was being stubborn.

"Fine then." She glanced at the ground through the leafy canopy and jumped over to the branch Jack was on. He gasped, afraid she wouldn't make it, but Aislin landed perfectly, one hand grabbing a branch above her head to keep her steady.

"My God, I thought you were going to fall!" Jack cried but shut his mouth immediately when Aislin grabbed his sweaty hand. She peered into his eyes and Jack found himself relaxing into her grip.

"We're gonna jump on three, okay? You have to trust me." Aislin reassured her friend. Jack nodded, smiling. It was shaky but at least he managed. Aislin turned back to the other side of the tree they were aiming to jump to.

"One," Jack took a deep breath. "Two," He squeezed Aislin's hand and she glanced at him, squeezing his back. "Three!" She cried and leaped, Jack right behind her. They were in the air for a split second, long enough for Jack to start panic, and then he felt it. The tree branch under him.

"You did it!" Aislin cried, hugging Jack's stiff body and he breathed a giant sigh of relief. "Now let me give you a tour." She smiled and Jack grinned right back.Β 


April 16, 2021 19:59

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6 comments

Ari Berri
20:11 Apr 16, 2021

This story is awesome. I like how the leap of faith was out of a tree. Nice job!

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Ari Berri
20:35 Apr 16, 2021

=) No problem.

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awww cute :3 I like how you took the beginning and wrapped it around to the end. it made it feel more complete. noiceeeeeeeeeeeee oneeeeeeeeee

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tyyyyy (why all these random comments? XD)

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