I was walking in the park when I saw her. It was drizzling, and she was sitting on the swing, facing the calm lake that only ever seems to be interrupted by raindrops, umbrella in hand, pushing her feet back and forth ever so slowly. I cautiously approached her, wondering why she is here at a time so late. Everyone calls her an oddball, someone who cannot think straight. The thought of puddles on the ground slipped my mind, and she suddenly spoke, not turning around, voice being so elegant and careful.
“Why ever are you out here? Alas, have you come to listen to the crickets too?”
“What?” I say, taken aback.
She pauses as if collecting her thoughts. “Or perhaps you are lonely or alone, seeking company?”
This is one of the things that makes her so different from everyone else, her speech, or rather, way of communicating. And how she pronounced each word delicately. Too proper. “Why would I want to socialize at a time so late?” I retort, mildly angry at her peacefulness.
“Alas, you could only be out here at this time for the crickets. However, it is not in my place to know.”
“Why would I be out here for stupid crickets?”
“They are not stupid. Can’t you hear their ever so wonderful music?” I focus my attention on the chirping of the crickets. It is like music, always having a rhythm.
“Guess I never thought about it before,”
“You haven’t?” She says in shock, finally turning her head around to meet my eyes. I smile. Her hair bounces against her shoulders in the process, as if being abruptly taken out of their calm trance. Her eyes, pools of chamomile tea. I shake my head no.
“Why, they sing the most beautiful songs,”-she turns back around- “I could listen all day,” She giggles, putting her hand to her mouth.
“What’s so funny?”
“Oh, I just had quite a thought. If I were to listen to them sing all day long, I probably would not get anything done. It would rather be a waste of time, don’t you think?”
“I wouldn’t think it would be a waste of time!” I say, and she visibly jumps.
“You would never?” She turns around again and looks at me with a pair of eyes that are not her own, but eyes that seem full of curiosity, and, who knows, maybe even hope.
“I mean yeah, you would get distracted, but what if you need a distraction?” I asked.
“But alas, why would a person ever need a distraction? Aren’t those rather…what’s the word…unproductive?”
“Well, yeah, but what if you need to take a break, ya know, like doing something to unwind from a long day? Like… say… I dunno… listen to crickets?” She laughs a heartfelt laugh.
“I suppose so.” She smiles. As if on cue, the rain gets harder, beating down on the earth and annoying the lake. “Oh my,” She starts, “here, we can share my umbrella.” She gets up and walks over to me, hitching her dress up.
“We can walk home together,” I suggest.
“Ah, yes, that would be most pleasant.”
As we walked home together, I learned to truly appreciate the crickets and all of their wonderful songs.