The world is connected to people in a special way. When people are happy, the world blooms in full and is beautiful and bright. But when people are sad, flowers wither and the skies are dark and cloudy.
The worst is when a heart is broken. That creates cracks in the world. Sometimes it is small like a few cracks on a sidewalk, then you know Dani and Jennett broke up again or Parker lost his fish.
But every once in a while a heart will break enough that it creates a much more noticeable mark on the earth. That is how great fissures are formed in the Earth. Huge valleys and even the Grand Canyon were created by the worst pains imaginable. Entire villages and cities that were betrayed create such cracks.
We don’t speak of them though, and no one lives around such places.
It all started on a breezy fall day. Kenna was skipping along the sidewalk, careful not to step on the cracks because that would mean stepping on someone else’s pain.
The wind was blowing softly through the red and orange leaves and a few were flying over the ground and around Kenna’s green boots. She giggled and kicked lightly at the pretty things, letting them caress her tanned legs. The motion caused her to trip and she flew forward, her small arms waving wildly in a failed attempt at regaining her balance. She braced herself for the hard ground and squeezed her eyes together so she wouldn’t have to see the sidewalk rushing up to meet her with all its cracks. Instead of the hard sidewalk though, she felt something soft, and a metal pole hit her arm.
“Ow! Get OFF ME!” a voice growled out from underneath Kenna.
She scrambled to move from on top of the person, and opened her eyes to see who it could possibly be. A boy about her age stared back at her with a grimace on his dark face. Kenna squeaked and held her breath, wondering what he would do. They just sat there a few moments, examining one another before the boy finally huffed, swept back his long dark curls and stood up. He brushed off his scraped knees and grabbed his scooter from off the sidewalk. Kenna looked in awe at the pretty boy and hopped up herself, watching carefully for any cracks beneath her. The boy averted his gaze, glaring down at the ground as he adjusted his shirt anxiously.
“Um, I’m sorry,” she mumbled to the boy in front of her. She bit her lip at the sight of his red knees and hid her own stinging hands behind her.
“Whatever, just be more careful next time,” the boy answered with a strangely soothing voice. He placed his hands on his scooter and eyed Kenna carefully. She only gazed back at him without moving.
“What is your name?” She asked suddenly. The boy frowned then and rolled his shoulder back slightly.
“Oh. I like that name.”
“Thanks, I guess.”
“I’m Kenna,” she blurted out, smiling up at the taller boy. He just blinked slowly in response.
“Cool. Can you move so I can ride my scooter?”
“Oh, yeah sure. How old are you?” Kenna asked, still standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Ash rolled his black eyes and huffed out a breath of air.
“Twelve. What about you, girly?”
“Eleven. Where do you live?”
“Why do you want to know so much about me? Honestly, this feels like a police interrogation.”
“I just want to know where you live.”
“Fine. Over there on Chimes Avenue,” Ash answered, waving in the direction of his home. Kenna’s face lit up and she giggled.
“Me too! I just moved in with my Grandmother! You should visit sometime, she likes visitors!” Kenna babbled on about her Grandmother and her new home as she grabbed Ash’s wrist and pulled him along behind her. He carried his scooter and let the younger girl pull him along with little complaint.
Kenna dragged him all the way to her Grandmother’s blue house at the end of the street and commented on every house they passed, stopping at each one to ask if it was Ash’s until finally he pointed to his home so she would stop asking.
The fall leaves floated like fairies around them as they walked along together and stepped over all the cracks in the sidewalks.
"So, do you want to be best friends?" Kenna asked in her sweet twelve year old voice. She held onto Ash's dark wrist as if about to take him away on an adventure any second. The boy looked down at the serious expression on Kenna's face despite her bright smile. The hope and confidence in her eyes caused him to laugh and she frowned at him in confusion.
"What's in it for me, girly?" He asked playfully, resisting the urge to ruffle the girl's chin length blonde hair. She smiled at him and put her small hands on her hips.
"You get the privilege and pure joy of having me as a best friend. What more could you even ask for?" Kenna spoke with bold clarity in her voice and smiled even brighter at Ash for good measure, knowing he couldn't turn down such an offer. He only scoffed and shook his head.
"Fine then! You get to have me as a best friend AND you can come over to my house anytime and eat cinnamon toast with milk. Oh, and you get to hang out with my Grandma anytime you want without having to knock on the door. How's that?" Kenna asked, trying her best to up her game and convince Ash this would be an amazing opportunity for him. Ash laughed and moved his hand in the girl's grip so that he was holding her smaller hand in his.
"Okay, deal. But why would you want to be best friends with me? I see that I have a lot of good things in this deal, but what about you?" Ash asked playfully, keeping the banter going.
"Well, I get to come over to your house without knocking too, of course! And I love your parents, they are super nice," Kenna explained with fervor. Ash held tighter to her hand and pulled her along towards the park near their street.
"Okay, then. So it's a win win situation."
"Yep! It totally works out all around! Now I get to tell everyone at school that I finally have a best friend!"
"Why. Were they asking?" Ash asked in confusion. Kenna shrugged in response and took a seat on one of the swings near them.
"Noel mentioned that she and I are basically best friends and I told her that I'm actually closer to you so that doesn't really make sense. She just rolled her eyes and said I'm weird," Kenna spoke as she swung, and her voice swooped along with the rush of the swing. Ash moved slowly side to side on his own swing and nodded at his new best friend's words. Kenna noticed how slow he was going and hopped off her swing, landing softly on the green grass.
"Here, let me help. This doesn't look like any fun," Kenna said before running behind Ash and pushing his swing forward with all her strength. Ash flew into the air and laughed along with Kenna's cute giggles.