Boomerang

It now rests somewhere buried beneath books and dust, with my initials still carved at the back, your fingerprints still lingering, your throws still within.

You gave me a boomerang and you said that with me is where it belongs. I asked if I could use it and you promised to take me to some place I could throw it and not break a neck. That was a time when you still kept your promises and I trusted you. You took me down a winding road until you stopped in front of my favorite park and you told me there was a place even better than the park, and in all the stories I was yet to discover, I discovered my first: an empty land, untouched by the growing minds behind the dinosaurs and the giraffes under construction at the park next to it. It was here that you taught me how to hold the boomerang. It was here that you first held my hand and threw it with me. And when our hands together threw this beautifully pieced wood, it danced in the evening sunshine as the boomerang spun and until I could no longer make out my initials carved at the back of it. When I looked at you afraid we had lost it you smiled without looking at me. In your smile was a promise and I followed your eyes to see the spinning boomerang come back to us. Spinning, turning, twisting, a dance in the sun that even the shadow of yours I wore couldn’t hide. It was the best dance I saw, the best thing that could happen to both you and me. We threw this over and over again, and every single time it came back to us. You jumped to catch it, and when you didn’t, you lifted me in your arms so that I could reach heights I never could on my own. The wind on my face was a sweet melody that wrote itself all over my happy fingers that held the ends of the wood tight so that when I threw it again, I could throw it alone this time. I did, and the flight it took was short before it fell crashing onto the ground. I ran to pick it up but you were faster. You examined the edges and then you examined my fingers. You taught me how to hold a boomerang, you were proud of how when I threw it the next time, it didn’t come back, but went into the park instead. You took me to the park to pick up my priced possession and at the feet of the wire caged structure of the dinosaur I picked up my boomerang. Holding your hand, we made our way back to our practice grounds. You told me you were thrilled by how far I could throw it, but this time you told me you wanted to see it return so that we wouldn’t have to go back into the park. Because parks were for boring people, and you made me believe that I was much more than swings and slides. I was a boomerang. I was a boomerang that flew perfectly in the air, bringing down fruits of the jack tree and branches off all the overgrown mango trees. The boomerang fit in my hand almost as if it were your fingers interlocking with mine. And slowly; slowly you replaced your touch with that of the fruits reaped from a good throw. Slowly, but surely you let go. The boomerang was mine and you taught me well to use it. Every time I felt lost or alone I threw it into the air just the way you taught me to, and every single time it came back to me. This was comfort, this was all I needed. But when I realized you weren’t coming back this time, I threw the boomerang into the air one last time. Through the back gate into the park, and past the dinosaur and the pond and all the stars we counted and the UFOs we looked out for. Past your stories, past the fires we burnt, and well past the pillow fortresses and the stolen conversations. Past all this and more, so that the boomerang would return to me this time with no corner of our past unexplored. It now rests somewhere buried beneath books and dust, with my initials still carved at the back, your fingerprints still lingering, your throws still within. You left, and never came back. The boomerang never left my hand again.

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