The ghost

I never told my dad about Alex, he was my secret. Dad wouldn't approve of Alex because he has no mummy and daddy. One time I told him that I had no mummy. He just looked a bit sad. He always looks like that, a bit sad... He's my special friend though, and even though he leaves me, I know he'll always come back.

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2. the gift

Thursday, 6:30

He went over and sat on our seat next to me, crossing his legs carefully. He was at least a head taller than me, but he was a lot skinnier, He always looked like he was about to drift away. I don't know why. I never asked. "How have you been" He said, and as usual I fell into our ritual without thinking. Meeting. Talking. Leaving.

" Well, last night my dad was telling me about my mum again..." I carried on, trying to repeat every thing my dad had said about her, and Alex sat there watching me intently. Every now and again he would smile at something, not the funny parts, just the normal parts, I didn't mind. When I was done Alex reached down too pick up a small bag made of straw. I hadn't noticed it before, but I was to intent on what it was to care.

"I bought you a birthday present" He said.

"It's not my birthday," I replied automatically.

"I know," His eyes never left mine, as I looked at the bag he'd gave me. He always watched me, trying to work out what I was thinking. I liked that, sometimes my dad didn't even notice me. Even when I talked to him... he just stared at a wall absent mindedly.

The bag was made from some sort of itchy straw, and was the length of half my arm. I opened it slowly. Inside  was a small gold charm bracelet. I don't think it was real gold, but I couldn't be sure. It was pretty though, and I counted 7 charms: A sea horse, a mermaid, a purple dolphin, a sun, a bubble, a star fish and a gold fish. I loved it. I stroked each of the small charms. "The mermaid looks like you" He murmured. I forgot how strange the sentiment was; I had to many things I wanted to say. I never talked at home, so my words built up like a bubble inside me. Now I could speak all I wanted.

"Then you can be the dolphin, because he's next to the mermaid and he's purple..." I trailed off, in realization... "I don't know what your favourite colour is!"... I was a terrible friend, how did I not know something so important???? Best friends always know each others favourite colours. What if Alex didn't like me any more?! "Purple and blue" he gave me one of his rare smiles and I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew you couldn't have two favourite colours... but I didn't want him to be sad, so I kept my mouth shut. He had never got me a present before but I didn't ask where he got it. I don't know why. I just didn't feel like it.

We then spent ages talking  about which element we would be, just passing time. I would be earth because I like green. Fire scares me. The sea sometimes scared me. Air disappears to much. People should stay. Always. and never leave.If people leave then other people will be lonely. "I would be air," Alex smiled "It's always fresh and new, it always listens to you and is always there... even when you can't see it,"

"If you can't see it, then how do you know that?" I argued. If the person doesn't know your there, then they would still be lonely, what help would that be? "You can sense it" He smiled. I disagreed profusely, but didn't bother to argue my point. I  didn't want to argue. I wasn't sure what I wanted any more.... Suddenly thoughts were storming round my head, of what I wanted to do... secret, sad thoughts, even Alex didn't know about. I wanted to run away from my problems. To just leave them behind. To forget. But I was always confined to this island, to my problems...

God isn't fair. Why give some one a mum and dad... then others none. I decided I didn't like God. If he loved me, why didn't he give me a better life? I needed to get away. To run away from the emotions that were clawing at my clothes. I tried convincing myself I didn't have problem's. But sharp, hurtful words, stampeded through my mind that made my eyes sting with tears. Unloved. Unwanted. Isolated. Insignificant. Stupid. Unworthy.

Usually I could ignore my sadness... pretend my mum was alive, that my dad loved me, that Alex was really my brother. I would not cry. I was a big girl, nearly nine.

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