Summer’s neighborhood was filled with all kinds of nut trees. After all, her neighborhood’s name was the “Nut Neighborhood”, which probably wasn’t the smartest idea on the founder’s part way back when. Even the police station bellowed with laughter when someone from the “Nut Neighborhood” called them.
Summer’s house had two walnut trees, one in the front of the house and one in the backyard, but she never got within three feet of the trees.
“Why the long face, Sum?” April asked, as she climbed up Summer’s porch steps.
“Everyone’s picking walnuts, acorns, and all, and I’m here with a supposed allergy,” Summer replied, gesturing parenthesis around the word “supposed”.
“Ah, well, if it makes it any better, it’s not that fun,” April assured her.
“It’s not that. I mean I just want to pick them with my Dad like every other kid in the neighborhood. Even Josaphine, the Macs’ daughter, comes from college and help with their picking. She probably tells her college friends about it. What will I tell my college friends about my childhood?”
“We still have six years to decide, and besides, we already decided we weren’t making new friends,” April said, winking at her.
April looked at the walnut tree in front of Summer’s house. A small grin began to creep up on the little girl’s face indicating she had just come up with a brilliant idea. She skipped to the tree, grabbed the lowest branch, and picked a walnut.
“You said it was a “supposed” allergy, meaning you don’t think you are really allergic?” April questioned.
“No, I don’t think I’m allergic, but my parents say I don’t come near anything have to do with walnuts since I was three.”
April’s grin grew wider. “Here. Eat this and find out!” If there was anything more April liked than recieiving a challenge, it was to give one.
Summer looked at the walnut lying in April’s small palm and decided to take it. She squinted her eyes, said a little prayer, and as she was going to put it in her mouth, April knocked it out of her hand.
“What if you are allergic? You could die. We haven’t even done half the things on our bucketlist!” April exclaimed, her eyes screaming with excitement.
“Fine. I tell you what,” Summer began, this time a grin creeping on her face.
“When I’m thirty-one, I want a walnut themed birthday party. Walnut cake, walnut coffee, walnut cookies, everything walnut!” Summer exclaimed.
“When you’re thirty-one? That’s in forever!” April asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Look at Josaphine! She was our age years ago, and now, she’s in college. Time flies, April! Besides, I overheard my mother saying that your thirties are the lonliest years a person can live. If they are, I want to begin my thirties with something to look back on, you know?”
“A walnut party?”
“I’ll finally know something I’ve always wondered.”
“You could go to the doctor, Sum,” April informed.
“No, no. Doctors tell you what your parents tell them to tell you. Just promise you’ll do this for me, when we’re thirty-one, I mean?”
April looked at her friend who was putting on her puppy-eyes and pouted mouth face. “Fine.”
There was no talking these two twelve-year-old girls out of such ridiculous, possibly fatal, idea. One, Summer, was a stubborn, June-born baby who seldomly took no for an answer. The other, April, was a girl who lived on challenge and excitement.
Time didn’t prevent these girls from doing at least ten things off of their joint bucket list, and it certainly didn’t prevent them from making the walnut party come to life.
April bit her bottom lip in anticipation as Summer took the piece of walnut cake closer and closer to her mouth on her thirty-first birthday.
And finally, the deed was done. Summer was chewing on delicious walnut flavored caked, and she felt nothing but satisfaction. “This is so….gooood!”
Though, it was halfway through her second piece that she began to not feel well, and April rushed Summer to the hospital, only to hear that it was food poisioning.
“Are you sure it wasn’t the walnuts?” April asked the doctor.
“No,” and he began explaining to the two women about the microorganism responsible.
“Well, at least you didn’t die,” April told Summer as they drove home.
Summer looked out of the car window wondering where the time went. It seemed like it was only yesterday that the two girls were sitting outside her porch planning this day. Now, the day was over, leaving Summer with a feeling she couldn’t exactly pinpoint.
It was only until they passed by an almond tree did Summer remember something she had forgotton. She wasn’t allergic of walnuts. She was afraid of walnut trees. When she was three, she had fell off of one and never went near one again.
Her fear had stopped her from doing something as simple as picking walnuts with her father when she was a child. Her fear had led her here, with a longing to go back and take that walnut from twelve-year-old April’s hand.