The End of Summer
By Christine Leigh
Summary: Post-season nine. William POV.
It is still and hot. The water is a mirror, and for the thousandth time it seems, sitting there on the dock, the boy looks at his reflection hoping to see something. The adults all say he is such a cute little boy, but William doesn't know exactly what that means. His eyes are greenish-brown, or hazel, as his mother calls them, and his hair is a curly brown mop that will throw off glints of dark red in just the right light. His nose is strong, Mom says. He's not sure what that means either, but he's happy with his nose. It's the one thing that he gets about his face. Dad says he can be a stubborn little guy, too, and jokes that he must have some Irish in him. After hearing this William had asked Dad to help him find Ireland on his globe, and after it was pointed out, he would sometimes sit and stare at the green island for minutes on end as if he were hoping for some clue to jump out and announce itself to him. His mother smiles tentatively when she sees him do this. She knows her son is special. Not for any particular reason that she is able to fathom, but she knows that the dreaming he does at times like this isn't any ordinary daydreaming. She has worked hard at, and is coming to accept that her son goes places inside his little head that are beyond her tangible world, and always would be.
Now, as he is staring at his image in the water, William is hoping once more to see the truth. Even a little piece of it would thrill him. He believes that his family loves him, and he loves them back as best he can. But he also knows there are others somewhere who call him theirs, and who, he dares hope, love him, too. Sometimes at night before he falls asleep, he will see them in his mind's eye, but they are gone when he awakens the next morning, as is his memory of their faces. It has never been said aloud to him, but he knows that he was not born to Mom and Dad. He knows that as surely as he knows that tomorrow is the last day of summer. The day after that he goes to school, for real. Kindergarten had been only until noon each day last year, and now he will be away all day until the bus brings him back at three. He's worried about being away so long every day from the farm and his pets and his room with his globe and his favorite books, but he's resigned himself to this new phase of life. He enjoyed playing with the other boys and girls last year, but over the summer he'd come to like his solitary existence again, and he isn't sure that he will fit in with the other children. Dad says that he thinks too much sometimes, and that he'll fit in just fine. Dad says that he'll get back into the groove, whatever that means.
William would sit here musing upon his elusive little dream world until the sun went down if he were allowed, but Mom will be calling him in to dinner soon, and after that they will watch television or a movie before bedtime arrives, always a little earlier on Saturday than Friday, since there is church the next morning. He is somehow feeling older tonight than his five and a half years, but that will pass. Most of the time he feels just like the boy that he is. Maybe going to school will make these odd spells go away. He ponders that idea for a moment. Does he really want that to happen? Sometimes his heart is so full he thinks he will explode, but then things return to normal just in time. The groove, he thinks, what a funny word. But if getting back into it makes him feel normal, then he hopes he can do that.
He gets up and starts walking back to the house. Along the way he hears cawing and looks up to the sky where he sees crows flying over. There have been a lot of crows this summer, and sometimes William will imagine that he is one of them and is flying away. Far away? To Ireland? Or maybe just to the next town? That could be, couldn't it? Yes, he will fly away. To wherever they are. His dream people. Or are they?
Summer has ended.
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This story is (c) Copyright 2003 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.