I was twelve when I first met Eli, his denim-clad legs draped over his new porch steps as his parents fought over where to put the garden gnomes. His mother had her hair woven into her signature braid, the forceful blonde whip striking the air as she wrestled the ceramic, pug-faced monster away from her husband. Eli’s hazel eyes were focused down the street in his signature stare, cutting through sunlight and air to see something no one else could see.
I used the full force of my tween body weight to drag Wags out of our suburban home. The aging lab dug his paws into the ground, struggling to drag us away from the dangerous newcomers across the street.
Eli’s head jerked toward us. He blinked a few times to bat out the July sun, but when his eyes settled on me, he maneuvered his wrist into a small wave. Just for kicks, I waved back.