The Bond Of Trust
The Bond Of Trust6 mins 710 6 mins 710
It was a breezy, autumn morning. The streets were full of people hustling to their workplaces. There was the usual shouting, car horns, announcements and the endless ringing of mobiles. Jazz music was playing on public speakers. The large clock on the town hall said 11:00 am. In the middle of all the commotion stood a quiet, young boy.
He was wearing a black cardigan and had a muffler. He had a gloomy look on his face and was walking, face towards the pavement. As he was walking, his phone rang. He took it out of his pocket and stared at it for a few moments. Then, he tapped it and put it to his ear. “Hello. Leo! Where are you? I came after you till the turning, but you just vanished.” a voice spoke through the phone. Leo sighed. His heart lightened a bit knowing that someone acknowledged his existence, even though it’s his best friend. Leo spoke, “You shouldn’t look for me, Arnold. You’re supposed to be at school.”
“Never mind,” said Arnold and cut the call. No sooner did Leo start walking than a hand fell on his shoulder. He yelped and looked back to find Arnold. His signature orange jacket was all muddy and he was out of breath. Leo was surprised, “How did you…”
“If you’re going to get chimichangas, let's get them together,” spoke Arnold. Leo laughed. Arnold was his best friend ever since elementary school. He was close enough to know that chimichangas do something to Leo’s bad mood. Leo put his hand on him, “All right. Let’s go.”
“I’ve heard what happened. Why’d Principal Stan remove you from school?” Arnold asked, with his mouth full. They were headed to the park. Leo stopped chewing and frowned. It was a topic that he did not like to discuss. “Is it about the visions?” he asked. Leo had to tell him now, “I swear I saw a spider in his tea. Why would I lie? It wasn’t my fault that he got startled and spilt it over himself. I just…. told him the facts.”
“Listen, Leo. This is the fifth time you’re seeing things that aren’t there. And I’m worried about you. Maybe it’ll be good to go to the doctor or something.” Arnold said. And at that moment, something stirred inside Leo. Something which hurt his heart. It was a mix of rage and betrayal. “ARE YOU SAYING I’M MAD?” he shouted. “It’s not like that….” Arnold began, but Leo stopped him, “You were the only person that I could trust. But it was all just a big fake, right? All those times I spent with you and” his voice was starting to crack “this is what you have to say. You’re also like the others, nothing but sympathy.” And with that, he threw his chimichanga and started to run.
His throat felt dry, water was running down his cheeks and he didn’t know where he was going. He ran and ran and ran until he was all out of energy. He fell to his knees and then noticed his surroundings. He had come to a park he didn’t know of. There were trees with orange leaves. The sun was in the middle of the sky and the breeze had become a gentle wind. He got up and looked around.
“I need to get home now,” he said to himself and began to walk. After a few meters, he saw a figure standing in front of a heap of soil. The person’s face looked familiar. He approached the figure and immediately recognized them.
“Constance!” he said, and the girl turned and looked at him. She saw his face and smiled. Constance was Leo’s second closest friend. She had been with him and Arnold till the first year of middle school but left for Japan five years ago. It was the first time in years that he had seen her.
He approached her, “It’s been so long, girl.” “I’ve missed you too, Leo. How are you? How’s Arnie?” she said.
“We’re all good. What are you doing here?”
“Oh, about that. You remember Chloe, my cat? Well, last night she passed away. I came here two days ago to visit you all. Yesterday, I went to see my aunt and by the time I returned I saw that Chloe was lying on the floor, very still. I came here to bury her.” she said, pointing to the heap of dirt.
He saw some writing on the dirt. It said
“Oh. I’m so sorry, Connie” he said. “We had a strong bond of trust and love, you know. And suddenly, it just shatters,” she said, tearing up a bit. Leo remembered his encounter with Arnold, “Yeah, I know how that feels.”
“But you know, life is always like this. It throws you down and kicks you in the guts. But you need to learn to move on. It’s the ones you have that are important. The ones you love always live on with you and in your choices. You need to know that.” she said.
Leo shook his head. He understood his mistake. He had to go and apologize to Arnold. “You’re right, Connie. I need to leave now. Why don’t you come with me?” he asked her. “You go on. I’ll visit the school tomorrow.” “Okay. Bye,” he said and turned back. As he was walking back, he tripped on a rock and fell.
There was an unbearable pain in the back of his head. He could see the blurry images of Constance trying to wake him up and shouting, “Leo! Leo!” but that was the last what he saw before he became unconscious.
When Leo woke up, he still was in the park. It was dark, about 7:30 pm. He tried to get up, but his head was aching hard. He turned his head and saw Arnold on his phone. He was panicking and talking fast into his phone. “Arnie,” Leo said softly. Arnold saw him and raised his eyebrows. “Ah! He woke up. He woke up. I’ll call you back.” he said into his phone, disconnected the call and fell on his knees near Leo.
“Leo! Oh, thank goodness! What are you doing here? We need to get you home.” he said, tears rolling down his cheeks. “How did you find me?” Leo asked. “I came after you. But you’re a cheetah! I asked around and an old man said that some weirdo was running to the old, abandoned park. So, here I am. Look, I’m sorry for everything and I never meant to say that you were mad.” Arnold said. “Arnie, I’m so sorry for shouting at you,” Leo said softly and embraced him. “Never mind about that. Can you get up?” he asked. “I guess,” he said. Arnold helped Leo get up. Other than the pain in his head, he was okay.
“Where’s Connie? Have you seen her?” Leo asked. “Connie who?” Arnold asked, confused. Leo looked around. There was no sign of Constance. Also, Chloe’s grave was missing. “Stop joking around, man. Where is she?” he asked. “I swear I don’t know who you’re talking about.” Leo held his collar, “Constance Johnson, man. Our friend. She was here some hours ago. I was talking to her before I went out. Now, where is she?”
“Leo,” Arnold said softly.
“What?” he demanded.
“You've been here for 28 hours. It means whatever happened between us happened yesterday. And also, Constance died in the plane crash five years ago.”