Read and find out.
It was him. The boy from English. The boy I’d literally run into. Brown hair, brown eyes, friendly smile. I guess it was a massive coincidence that he was there at the same time as me. Maybe.
“I’m Fredrick.” He pulled a face. “Preferably Rick. I’m, uh, in your English class.”
She nodded. “Yeah I thought so. And I ran into you. Sorry about that.”
“It’s ok.” He swung slightly. “It’s not every day I get knocked over by a crazy English girl.”
She smiled awkwardly and there was a silence for a few minutes.
“So how come you’re out here? In the Forbidden Park?” he asked, his gaze fixed on a point in the distance. “Didn’t know it was forbidden,” she said alarmed. He turned to face her, his eyes piercing her with a mocking look. “It’s not. Well, not literally. But ever since those bodies were found in the lake, it’s not often people come here.”“
“The, the bodies?” Joanna asked.
“Yeah. Course you’ve just moved here.” He had on black fingerless gloves and his long slim fingers were curled round the rusty chain, which held the swing up. “Not so long ago. Maybe six months, some bodies were found in the lake. Ever since then there’s hardly ever any kids here. Just some teenagers.”
“So why are you here?” she asked, looking across at him, interested in his answer.
“I was lonely,” he said simply, still gazing at something in the distance.
“So why’d you come where no-one else comes?” she murmured, her gaze dropping to her feet.
“Because I can’t be lonely if I’m not alone.”
His cryptic answers were intriguing me. And him in general was intriguing me. I guess it was because he’d been nice to me. And wasn’t a 5 ”7’ girl beauty. He was a 5” 9’ boy punk. Well, he wasn’t really a punk; he wore too much black for that. So a punk with a muted colour palette. A punk wearing dark jeans, with a studded belt, a fitted black T-shirt with a black jacket over that, not forgetting the black fingerless gloves. Oh and Doc Martins. Don’t forget the Doc Martins. Not really a punk, huh?
“But you’re not alone,” Joanna pointed out. “’Cause I’m here.”
He smiled slightly and dragged his gaze away from what ever he was looking at to watch her. “A contradiction indeed.”
“Yeah,” she agreed.
“I guess you looked lonely so I thought we could be lonely together,” he shrugged nonchalantly.
“Another contradiction,” she countered.
He raised an eyebrow. “True. Very true. However we haven’t really talked about anything have we? So we could both still be lonely.” He smiled again revealing white teeth. “You should be telling me all about your impressions of America and it’s people.”
She rolled her eyes, turning in the swing so she was facing him. “America’s okay. Wish I was home again though. And I’ve got friends here, honest I have, they’re just not in our half of the year.”
I could have talked forever. Anything to keep him there; showing an interest in what I had to say. I think we talked for about an hour and a half but it felt like a lot less.
“So I guess America’s okay, it’s just I want to be back in England. Where I fit in.,” she concluded finally.
He nodded solemnly. “But isn’t sticking out better than fitting in?”
She shrugged awkwardly, her limbs having stiffened in the cold. “At the moment I just want a normal life.”
He half smiled. “Well I think soon you’ll be experiencing part of a normal teenagers’ life.”
She cocked her head. “Yeah and what’s that?”
“Your parents blasting you out for being out in a strange neighbourhood in the dark without calling them.”
She looked around, surprised at how dark it had become. “What time is it?”
“About twenty past eight,” he replied.
“No way!” she said standing up sharply. “I have to get home.”
He nodded gravely. “Do you know the way?”
“Yes! Course I do. I, er…no?” she admitted after looking round a few times.
“I’ll walk you then,” he offered, standing up and blowing on his fingers, presumably to warm them up.
“No! I…um…” She trailed off feeling like she’d just ruined the tentative friendship that had been built up.
“Let me guess? Parents?” he asked. She nodded, staring once more at her feet.
“I’ll take you to the end of the street then,” he said. “Don’t want your Dad to batter me with a baseball bat.”
She smiled gratefully. “Thanks.”
He shrugged. “Well we can’t let you get murdered after your first school day can we?”
Joanna rolled her eyes. “I guess not.”