Under The Shady Tree
“Tobias, why are you so tall?”
Alexis asked him as though he were going to respond. She sat under him, fiddling with her pencil as she left her homework undone for greater matters, like talking to her tree.
She’d been coming to that part of the park for months now, and she decided as part of her ritual that she’d name the trees. He, the tallest of the lot, had been dubbed “Tobias”. He rest at the top of a small knoll towards the far side, away from the streets and towards the gated forest beyond.
The sun was low in the sky as afternoon was giving way to evening, and she found herself warmed by “Sunny’s” embrace. She continued to ask question after question.
Tobias, were he able to, looked down at her homework as she babbled along. He noticed, quite readily, that her homework remained half-done and wholly-wrong as her ramblings aloud staggered from diatribe to distraction, fleeting fancy to life-long dream.
“One day, I want to grow up to be a scientist! I’m going to make new medicine that will make everyone better.”
Tobias smirked, as best as a tall tree could, as he looked down with a combination of — as much as a tree could muster, mind — skepticism and scorn.
“The answers to your homework say otherwise, kiddo,” he mustered, breaking his otherwise-stoic silence, arms shading her from what remained of the setting sun.
N.b., To “throw shade” is to denegrate the worthiness of another’s being. It can be categorized as far more disrespectful than to “diss” and far less playful than simply “playin’”. For example, one might say, and one would not be accused of overstating a fact, if one was to say that Leo done been straight throwin’ shade at Gaga last night, y’all.