My First Office

There was a tree we liked to climb on Howard Street.  The bark of the trunk was slick where Bee had once rubbed a full tube of chap stick thinking that might keep out the girls we didn't want in our club.  That was back when chapstick came in tubes big as cigars that hung from our necks on vibrant colored string.

The branches formed offices where we perched for club meetings.  I, being the youngest, always had the lowest office in the tree.  For a long time one summer, I couldn't climb across the gap between the three lowest offices and the two highest ones.  It required a big step, a long ways off the ground.

I stood many times at that juncture, the older girls egging me on, only to chicken out.

And then one day I got brave and did it.  The older girls cheered and I sat in that office I had long coveted, quivering with delight and relief.

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