when i’m older


August 3rd, Age 7: 


stacy and i play on the swings till sunset,

trying to see how high we can get.

if we swing super high,

my sister says our feet will be able to poke a hole in the sky.

we are greek gods,

with the power to split the heavens apart.


however after hours of hopeless attempts,

we’ve yet to create any disturbance.


when we’re older,

our legs will be longer,

our feet will kick higher,

and we’ll come back to the swings. 


for now, i place a bookmark on the page

and promise to return. 


May 10th, Age 8:


a haunting hiss echoes throughout the condo’s carpark. 

it’s a monster.

and it’s coming for us. 


the carpark is dreadfully dull with

damaged sewer pipes hanging from the ceiling. 


upon hearing another hiss, 

stacy and i stand back-to-back

and carefully creep towards the exit.

from the corner of my eye,

i spot something clinging to the ceiling.

the monster?

as i squint to see it,

the black, cruel creature releases a garbled gurgling noise.

sprinting at full speed,

we dash down the car park,

past the perplexed drivers

and the stunned security guards.


we don’t notice that the “monster” is really just a

hissing, gurgling, black

sewer pipe. 


instead, we proclaim that

when we’re older,

we’ll be braver,

and faster,

and we’ll come back to defeat the monster. 


for now, i place a bookmark on the page

and promise to return. 


July 12th, Age 9:


stacy and i are spies

surveilling shady situations after school.

we watch as two middle schoolers sneakily swap a brown paper package

for a wad of cash.

what could be in the bag?


a fake passport?

(It was really just a PB&J)

before we can disrupt the deal,

my mom messages me to come back home.

it’s unlikely the middle schoolers would have taken me seriously anyway.

we watch warily as the potential criminal takes the bag

and slowly saunters to his next class. 


when we’re older,

we’ll be able to stay out as late as we want

and people will take us seriously

and we’ll come back to our mission. 


for now, i place a bookmark on the page

and promise to return. 


May 21st, Age 17:


stacy and i are older now. 

our legs are longer.

our feet kick higher.

we’re braver

and faster.

we can stay out as late as we want.

and people take us seriously — perhaps even too seriously.


but stacy and i are not next door neighbours anymore.

6,501 miles divide us.


we haven’t gone back to play on the swings,

run through car parks,

or conduct spy missions. 


i’m left with piles of books with bookmarks jutting out,

begging to be read. 


and even though stacy’s life and mine

were once intertwined,

and she’s featured in all of my

childhood highlights,

our once unbreakable bond has

turned to the awkward annual “happy birthday” text.


one day, things will go back to how they used to be.

we’ll both have more time,

and we’ll live a little closer. 


when we’re older. 

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