the way back
Reece and I got a text while he was playing the ring toss even when I told him he wasn’t going to get anything but he insisted that he was doing it for fun.
I dont understand the logic but I was getting cotton candy so I was happy.
my phone dinged while I was stuffing my face with the beautiful fluffy sugary cloud. I took it out of my pocket trying to avoid using my sticky fingers.
when I finally did, it ended up a text from Megan. I can imagine her typing away furiously at her phone. I bet she’s still mad at us for being ‘no fun’
it was a simple text saying we could leave without her but I could easily detect the passivity in the writing. like saying ‘im fine’
I just shrugged and went back to my cotton candy happily.
as I watched Reece fail for about the fifth time he finally came trudging over here with a grumpy face
“aww what’s wrong? didn’t have fun?” I pout at him and laugh when he sticks out his tongue at me.
“whatever. I wouldn’t know what to do with a five-foot Pikachu anyway”
is he serious? “like a million things! go to the fair, go to a concert, get milkshakes, make snowmen”
when his laughing fit is over I just roll my eyes and grab his hand and start pulling him to another ride
“whoa there speedy, I think it’s about time we leave”
I glance at my phone and groan “that is so unfair. I just want to live here”
“yeah, you have fun then” he goes to let go of my hand but I quickly grip on tighter.
Is this supposed to be weird? it doesn’t feel weird. holding your friend’s hand is fine.
“fine let’s go” I groan dramatically
He pulls me along and out the gate. I hold my arm out reaching back “ill miss you, old friend”
when we get back to the regular sidewalk and the road back to my house keeps getting shorter and shorter I can’t help but feel sad. today was fun, mostly. I’m really glad I got to see Reece again and hopefully, we can do this another time
“so I was wondering,” Reece looks at me while asking “who was- what was her name-..megan?”
I scrunch up my nose “she’s my cousin. came for a visit earlier”
“do you have any other family?”
“Yeah, I live with mom and dad who are absolutely crazy and my little sister Natasha, she’s a fifteen year old drama queen” I laugh at myself. I truly live in a crazy family. I love them though
“how about you? any crazy family members of your own?” I look up at him curiously
He rolls his eyes “yeah actually. there’s my mom, dad, little sister, and little brother”
wow. full house huh.
“How old are your siblings?”
“well, Grace is eight, and Liam is nine. they’re a lot of work but I love them.”
as we continue to walk I direct him to my house because he says that it would be rude to leave me to walk on my own even when I said I would be ok
the houses become the ones from my neighborhood and I know we’re getting close. rounding a corner, my street comes into view.
“Hey Reece, stop right there” I stand in front of him putting my hands in front of him “try and guess which house is mine”
its a silly game but when my sister was younger, she always did this to people thinking they would never guess, however, our house is a bright lavender color successfully standing out in the sea of grays and whites. there is a yellow house. so I guess that could also be an option
the yellow house belongs to those mysterious neighbors I’ve never seen. maybe they’re ghosts.
I dont know how I would feel about a dead family which could possibly haunt my soul moving in next door.
I know my family didn’t care enough to say hello, but maybe I should. maybe
“what do I get from this little game?” he asks putting a finger to his cheek looking at me expectantly
My brain rapid fires through pretty much all the things I like and try and pick one.
not necessarily for my own benefit but I just dont really know what would appease him
so of course, I choose another one of my favorite sugary drinks “milkshake” I blurt “ill buy you a milkshake” I say a little more confidently
He nods in thought “ill make you a counteroffer, if I can guess your house by the time you run to the end of the street, ill take that milkshake. otherwise, ill buy you one”
I raise my eyebrows “you want me to run to the end of the street?”
my mouth falls open “seriously? exercise?”
shrugging with an indifferent look he says “well, I can run but that would be stupid because you would be looking for your own house”
“so I have to run” I state with an unamused face
shrugging again, he raises an eyebrow “you could walk, even crawl if you want to, but just know that amount of time given would practically be you signing over a milkshake. they’re a little more expensive than a slushie. just thought you would want to know”
was that a challenge? that was a challenge! ok Reece, you wanna play? let’s play.
“you have to take three seconds in between each guess” I yell over my shoulder
his mouth twitches up at my agreement and he gives a slight tip to his head in acknowledgment
I ready myself as he does a quick scan of the area.
before he can finish looking at everything I quickly shout out “three two one!” and I ran
I took off faster than my legs could carry and I was soon zooming, almost falling because my legs couldn’t keep up
“fourth gray on your left!” I head him shout somewhere behind me
I just smiled a little knowing I was already almost there and he would never guess it in time
“yellow!” he yelled again
I just giggled a little as I neared the end of the street.
but at that moment, I saw movement, it came from the yellow house. the mysterious ghost house and I was a little freaked. I tilted my head and squinted just to try and get a peek at whoever lives there but it was gone as soon as I saw it and it passed by my sights as I took my final steps to the end of the street
“purple!” he yelled and I couldn’t help but let out a cry of frustration with only one step away from the end.
I lean over breathing heavily. I really need to work out
glancing over at him, he wears a big smirk and I knew at that moment he knew I would lose. he knew my house before we even started. that little cheat!
we both move towards each other and end up meeting in the middle. ironically right in front of my house.
I cross my arms a look at him blankly “it’s lavender”
his eyes widen “are -are you s-serious?” he stutters out
I nod and then smile “tough luck, ill see you…Monday, ill take chocolate with any and all the chocolate candies you can find thanks”
with a roll of his eyes, he huffs and agrees “fine. hows dairy queen?”
“Perfect!” I clap my hands and bounce in my spot, already excited to eat
I dont really want him to go. plus, Megan will probably be back soon and that’s enough explanation in itself
I take his hand once again and start taking him to the back yard
“where are we going?” he whispers in my ear
“careful not to talk too loud or you’ll wake up the trolls under the bridge. they eat people like you for dinner” I tell him also in a whisper
“oh yeah? what kind of people is that?” I already know where this is going
I continue to lead him to under a tree where I have him and I sit
“the imposter trolls”
I then add “the ones who are too ugly to be considered trolls” I have to giggle at that but looking back at his emotionless face I stop quickly, well, sometimes a giggle slips out. I have bad giggle control
his face remains void and I’m a little startled. I’ve never seen him without any sort of emotion showing. he reminds me a little of Aaron right now
“I didn’t mean it! sorry!” I reply putting my hands up like a way you would back away from a scary dog
he still doesn’t say anything.
“you’re not ugly! promise, you’re actually quite pretty!”
this time he breaks his emotionlessness and starts laughing “pretty?”
I can feel heat radiating off my cheeks as mumble a yes in more of a question form
I see his smile even with my head facing my lap. we both lean on the tree contently
We sit for a few minutes until his phone goes off. he sighs and picks it up
I try not to listen to the person on the other end but with Reece sitting right next to me gives no choice but to hear him mumble sounds of acknowledgment. nothing too interesting but when he ends the call he looks to me and opens his mouth to speak
we’re both distracted when I hear a loud familiar screech yelling my name “Rowan!!”
that’s Megan. “I should go” we both end up saying at the same time. we laugh quietly
“is there any way I can get out without having to confront her?” he asks with a slight cringe
“no..no way without crossing paths… but, we can get you away without her seeing you”
he takes a second for the realization to set in and when it does he nods.
we creep along the side of my house until we’re watching Megan stomp angrily towards the house, from across the street.
I turn to Reece and give a single nod and he salutes me.
I finally come out of hiding “oh hey Megan, where have you been?”
when she sees me she looks angrier than before “you left me at that stupid park! I could’ve died! you are the absolute worst person rowan! what would you have done if i-” as she continues talking I move my eyes so subtly towards Reece who is crouching in the bushes that I totally believe we could be spies but this is not the time
I give the absolute tiniest bob to my head before carefully sliding my eyes back to a ranting Megan.
I watch in my peripheral vision as he creeps out of the bush and starts backing away keeping his eyes on Megan the whole time
I nod my head at Megan when she finally stops talking looking out of breath and red
“I understand Megan, I promise it will not happen again” Reece is almost around the corner and I start guiding her toward the house
then, of course, Reece has to trip and fall backward creating a loud commotion
Megan’s head whips around as Reece scrambles to get up and makes a run for it
we hear his quickly retreating footsteps and Megan yells “was that Reece?!”
“WAIT!” she yells and tumbles her way to where he was.
for his sake, I hope he ran fast.