The long summer quickly dissolved into temperatures that stung cheeks and seeped into floorboards, the wind ripping into town like a circus. Everyone knew it had been a strange year, with strange seasons.
On this particular morning, as it did every weekday, the faded school bus creaked its way along the road, sinking every now and then into potholes before lifting itself up and continuing on as if nothing had happened. You and I stood there, cracking leaves under our feet.
Behind foggy windows, small faces peered out at us, at the greenness that seemed to go on forever. It was like being lost in one giant party—meeting each trunk, saying hello, and forgetting about each other in an instant.
And so it unfolded in the frozenness of the morning, as we stood among the trees shedding their coats. We unzipped ours and pretended we were just another pair of them, human dendrites in a field of giants. As the groan of wheels and tired faces disappeared into exhaust, we sat in stiff leaves and lost ourselves in the bed of our fallen summer.