Jello Rubies & Aluminum Foil Rings  

SunneyOne 45F
2146 posts
10/10/2005 8:50 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Jello Rubies & Aluminum Foil Rings

She had long hair that her mother often put in a pony tail with a ribbon, deep blue eyes and a mischievous giggle. She was often seen in a football jersey and shorts, knees skinned and dirt on her cheek. He was 2 years older, sandy blond hair and blue eyes, all knees and elbows, tall and lanky. He owned an endless supply of cutoff jeans and his dad’s old concert tee shirts. He lived around the corner from her, and they were inseparable.

She was a tomboy, and he was an only child. There weren’t other boys in the neighborhood, but she was close enough. He moved in when she was 7, and the next day, he found her secret fort in the woods behind the neighborhood. She had built it herself of fallen down branches for walls, pine needles for a floor and an old tarp for a roof. He assessed the fort with some interest, glad to find a guy around, until he saw her. She didn’t have dolls in the fort. She wasn’t playing house. She had jars of bugs and worms, an arsenal of water guns, and what looked to be a year’s supply of Reese’s Pieces.

He was shy and just watched her. But she was tired of playing with girls, and he seemed like someone interesting. “Want a gun? You can be a guard, or I can attack you. Pick.”

“Well, who are we guarding against?”
“I dunno. Anyone who tries to make it into our fort.”

And just like that, it was theirs. They were there every day. They rode their bikes to the woods and hiked back to it, always bringing more stuff. She showed him the short cut through the woods to the 7-11 where she spent her allowance on Reese’s Pieces. He showed her how to jump curbs on her purple glitter bike and how to pop a wheelie. Day in and day out, they were together.

Some thought he was her brother. Others teased that he was her boyfriend. But none of them were right, they were soldier friends. He told her that one day at the fort. He said that if they were soldier friends, that they’d never leave each other, always look out for each other, and always be on the same team. And they were. They played soccer together. Flag football together. Dodgeball.

As time passed, he grew taller, and his voice cracked a little. He was still knees and elbows. She got older, but was still as much a boy as he was. He became more and more protective of her. She had the idea one time to hike back farther in the woods than they were allowed. He knew they shouldn’t, but wouldn’t let her go alone. So, backpacks stocked with Capri Sun and Reese’s Pieces, they were off. Hours later, they were lost. He assured her he’d get them home. He gave her his Capri Sun, his candy, and when she was scared, he gave her his hand. For the first time, he saw her as a girl. A girl who he liked, who was scared and who he had to get home.

They made it home, but he never let her go that far again. He was different, and she didn’t understand why, nor did she like it. He wouldn’t pelt her with water balloons anymore, or let her use his bike jump. When she got dirty in the woods, he told her to wipe her face. She didn’t understand, and most of all, she missed her friend. At 10 years old, she wasn’t old enough to understand why her family had to move. But she knew that she was losing her best friend.

The day that she left she sat at his kitchen table for the last time. He played with some aluminum foil that was left there, and they sat in silence eating cherry jello. When he finally looked up at her, he pushed something across the table for her. She picked up a small aluminum foil ring.

“It’s for you. So you will remember me.”
“I don’t want a ring.”
“Girls wear rings. You’re a girl. Wear it.”
“What about jewels?” She teased.

He bit his lip, toying with his jello, carving it with his spoon. Finally, he picked up a small piece, perfectly carved into a diamond. “How ‘bout a ruby?” He put it on her ring and made a little wall of aluminum foil around it.

I was cleaning out a box of keepsakes the other day when I found that tiny, smashed aluminum foil ring with a stain in the middle where the jello had been. I thought of Lee and wondered what he was doing, if he was building forts with his kids, playing football, teaching them to jump bikes. It’s funny how something so small meant so much. I thought of it again this morning, sitting at my desk, eating jello, and began carving with my spoon. I thought of who I’d give a jello ruby to, and those who have given me “jello rubies”, small things that mean 10 times their size.

A call just to say you’re thinking about me ‒ jello ruby. Laughing about something stupid, and then laughing that we are laughing at it ‒ jello ruby. Giving yourself, your thoughts and emotions ‒ big jello ruby. A compliment ‒ jello ruby. If I forget to tell you how much those things mean, I’m sorry. Just know that it does mean so much, and that I’m busy carving you a jello ruby.

toothysmile 51M
16517 posts
10/10/2005 4:33 pm

What a heartwarming story.
Touching, very touching.

Remainds me of a childhoohd female friend, who ironically now lives in the US. Her nickname for me was "Fried Eggs". On one of her recent visits I saw her at a dinner party, she walked up to me, kissed me on the cheek and said "Helo, Fried Eggs".
My whole childhood flashed before my eyes in a second.

justforfun13134 47M

10/10/2005 5:38 pm

That is such a great memory and it was an honor that you would share it with all of us. It is such a reminder to us all of our past. Thank you so much for sharing.

SunneyOne 45F

10/10/2005 6:42 pm

Toothy - Fried Eggs? Wow... I can't even begin to imagine that one.

justforfun - Not so much to think of the past, but to think of what's around us now.

Greenguy96 44M

10/10/2005 7:24 pm

Thats a cools story even though it's a little sad. Just like the onthers that story remides me of my frist girlfrend, we dated when I was 4 to 8 years old.

LovableEclectic 60F

10/11/2005 12:19 am

Oh Sunney...beautiful story.

You're a jello ruby to me.

SunneyOne 45F

10/11/2005 4:16 am

*kisses* You're a jello ruby to me too, Lovable.

hereforyou6217 44M
912 posts
10/11/2005 12:31 pm

What a beautiful story, Sunney.

You're really the one who's full of the jello rubies-- you just keep giving them back when others give them to you. Sometimes we don't understand how important those small, kind things we do are. I'm glad that there are people like you who do them anyway.

SunneyOne 45F

10/12/2005 4:24 am

hereforyou - *hugs* That's sweet of you to say.

SirMounts 103M

10/18/2005 3:37 pm

A truly touching, moving, and literate work. Thank you so much, for that. *smiling*

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