逢人说项would shake her head and say, ?°Don't you ever climb that tree like that, do youhear me, Bryce? I never want to see you doing that! You either, Lynetta. That ismuch too dangerous.?± My sister would roll her eyes and say, ?°As if,?± while I'd slump beneath the window and pray for the light to change before Juli squealed my name for the world to hear. I did try to climb it once in the fifth grade. It was the day after Juli had rescued my kite from its mutant toy-eating foliage. She climbed miles up to get my kite, and when she came down, she was actually very cool about it. She didn't hold my kite hostage and stick her lips out like I was afraid she might. She just handed it over and then backed away. ----------------------- Page 12-----------------------I was relieved, but I also felt like a weenie. When I'd seen where my kite was trapped, I was sure it was a goner. Not Juli. She scrambled up and got it down in no time. Man, it was embarrassing. So I made a mental picture of how high she'd climbed, and the next day I set off to outdo her by at least two branches.I made it past the crook, up a few limbs, and then ?a just to see how I was doing ?a I looked down. Mis-take! It felt like I was on top of the Empire State Building without a bungee. I tried looking up to where my kite had been, but it was hopeless. I was indeed a tree-climbing weenie. Then junior high started and my dream of a Juli-free existence shattered. I had to take the bus, and you-know-who did, too. There were about eight kids altogether at our bus stop, whichcreated a buffer zone, but it was no comfort zone. Juli always tried to stand beside me, or talk to me, or in some other way mortify me. And then she started climbing. The girl is in the seventh grade, and she's climbing a tree ?a way, way up in a tree. And why does she do it? So she can yell down at us that the bus is five! four! three blocks away! Blow-by-blow traffic watch from a tree ?a what every kid in junior high feels like hearing first thing in the morning. Shetried to get me to come up there with her, too. ?°Bryce, come on! You won't believe the colors! It's absolutely magnificent! Bryce, you've got to come up here!?± Yeah, I could just hear it: ?°Bryce and Juli sitting in a tree??± Was I ever going to leave the second grade behind? One morning I was specifically not looking up when out of nowhere she swings down from a branch and practically knocks me over. Heart attack! I dropped my backpack and wrenched my neck, and that did it. I refused to wait under that tree with that maniac monkey on the loose anymore. I started leaving the house at the very last minute. I made up myown waiting spot, and when I'd see the bus pull up, I'd truck up the hill and get on board. No Juli, no problem. And that, my friend, took care of the rest ofseventh grade and almost all of eighth, too, until one day a few months ago. That's when I heard a commotion up the hill and could see some big trucks parkedup on Collier Street where the bus pulls in. There were some men shouting stuff up at Juli, who was, of course, five stories up in the tree. All the other kids started to gather under the tree, too, and I could hear them telling her she hadto come down. She was fine ?a that was obvious to anyone with a pair of ears ?a but I couldn't figure out what they were all arguing about. I trucked up the hill, and as I got closer and saw what the men were holding, I figured out in a hurry what was making Juli refuse to come out of the tree. Chain saws. Don't getme wrong here, okay? The tree was an ugly mutant tangle of gnarly branches. The girl arguing with those men was Juli ?a the world's peskiest, bossiest, most know-it-all female. But all of a sudden my stomach completely bailed on me. Juliloved that tree. Stupid as it was, she loved that tree, and cutting it down would be like cutting out her heart. Everyone tried to talk her down. Even me. But she said she wasn't coming down, not ever, and then she tried to talk us up.?°Bryce, please! Come up here with me. They won't cut it down if we're all up here!?± For a second I considered it. But then the bus arrived and I talked myself out of it. It wasn't my tree, and even though she acted like it was, it wasn't Juli's, either. ----------------------- Page 13-----------------------We boarded the bus and left her behind, but school was pretty much a waste. I couldn't seem to stop thinking about Juli. Was she still up in the tree? Were they going to arrest her? When the bus dropped us off that afternoon, Juli was gone and so was half the tree. The top branches, the place my kite had been stuck, her favorite perch ?a they were all gone. We watched them work for a little while, the chain saws gunning at full throttle, smoking as they chewedAUGUST 【3】O.In addition, he is a noted food critic. For the past 10 years he has co authored and constantly updated the best-selling Manhattan restaurant guide, The Underground Gourmet.But Simon was quite satisfied with himself.逢人说项
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