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Sugar Coated Peaches

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4:40 pm, May 12th , 1985

“Okay, okay how about this one-“

“Dustin, shouldn’t you be looking for the birds” she reached into the can of sliced peaches, her fingers dunked into the syrup and slipped between the slices before successfully pulling one out and dropping it into her mouth, a knowing grin appeared on her face as she chewed.

They sat on a plaid blanket in front of the cabin, the evening sun shining through patches of green leaves that just had happened to come out after an excruciating long winter. Flowers and tall grass surrounded them carelessly as El leaned back on one arm and she reached for another sticky peach with the other, dropping it in her mouth. Dustin would reach over here and there to get one for himself but his hands would become patched with sugary water and he’d be forced to go into the small house and rinse his hands again, having no self control to stop himself from another bite.

He rolled his eyes and disregarded her comment before saying another joke.

“Why did the scarecrow win an award, El?” She blinked back at him until Dustin signaled for her to continue the line while reaching for the can of fruit, she sighed and asked:

“I don’t know, why Dustin?”

“Because he was the best in his field!” He says it so enthusiastically you’d honestly think he was trying for a second, he looks at El and how she munches on her peach, trying to get out a word without talking with her mouth full but instead she gives him six fingers.

“Six? that was at least an eight, I am giving you quality content here!” She smirks and covers her mouth to contain her giggles and the remainder of fruit in her mouth, when Dustin groans she only laughs more before he sets aside his worksheet and binoculars and makes way for the cabin.

“Where are you going?” Her voice is a bit hoarse from swallowing the peaches fast enough to ask, Dustin responds saying that he’s going to wash his hands again and El can help but roll her eyes, as if he hasn’t done that billion times already.

El looks over at Dustin’s empty worksheet, he was supposed to be looking at birds for a science club activity, using Lucas’ binoculars to describe their appearance. But instead he got distracted (as usual) and started ranting about how no one in the party appreciates the beauty of a dad joke, El made the mistake of asking him to tell her a few and they ended up wasting an entire hour on the cheesiest jokes he could remember. It was pleasing though, as much as she enjoys Mike’s company there’s something so calming about hearing Dustin blabber about the tiniest inconvenience, all she has do is listen and eat whatever sweets his mom accidentally over-stocked that week.

“El, where are the forks?” He yells from inside the house

“They’re in the kitchen, second drawer, next to the fridge-“ El screams “-Bring more peaches!”

She wipes her hand clean on the grass along side her and reaches over, grabbing the binoculars aswell as his textbook. She gazes though the lens’ and directs them into the trees, trying to find something that might be lurking, at the same time she hears Dustin’s footsteps creak the wood of the cabin steps and how the grass and blanket ruffle when he takes his seat in front of El again.

“You see anything?” Dustin says through his munches, El shakes her head before opening her mouth signaling for Dustin to feed her one of the slices. She hears him groan before she bites down on the peach he offers and chews happily while scanning through the trees again.

“Can you tell me what I’m looking for exactly?” She drops the device and lets it hang loosely against mike’s AV shirt, when she picks up a slice whilst Dustin reaches for his textbook, she manages to get juice droplets all over the collar and binoculars.

“Okay so, we’re looking for a White-Breasted Nuthatch“ Dustin nods to himself but when he looks to El he’s met by her confused gaze.

“um…it’s a small songbird, stocky, big head, short tale, it has blue-gray upper parts and a chestnut lower belly. He’s 42, enjoys long walks on the beach-“ He giggles to himself but the joke goes completely over el’s head, she’s got the binoculars in front of her eyes while searching the description of a bird amongst the trees.

“You said they have blue-gray hair on the top of them?” Dustin hm’s in agreement, and El takes the binoculars off and hands them to Dustin, pointing at a distinct patch of trees to the left of him. He takes the lens’ quickly and looks towards the direction El indicated.

“I saw something like that earlier in that tree.” El says silently, as if the bird could hear her

“Where?” He whispers, she grabs Dustin’s head and straightens it towards the birds former direction, when she hears him gasps she think she’s got it right and lets go.

“Holy shit, that’s it!” He reaches blindly for his pencil and starts scribbling the birds mannerisms into what used to be an empty box, switching his gaze between looking at where he’s writing and at the bird.

El feels content with herself and reaches for dustin’s fork and peaches while he finishes up whatever he’s writing down and stuffs a slice into her mouth.

“Great! Only eight more species to go!” He looks up with his wide smile but he’s met with El’s tired expression, she sighs tiredly and flops onto her back on the patch of grass where the blanket doesn’t reach.

“El?”

“Yes?

“You wanna hear another joke?”