Icebound

A young boy, living with his father and stepmother, is being bullied by older students. He meets an enigmatic lady, who becomes his only friend. Everything is not what it seems though.

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4. Dinner

 One time as I waited on the wall, feeling the edges of my toy puzzle box I asked her something which had been in my mind for a long time. Without eye contact, I said curiously, “Every time he arrives, you disappear. Are you a ghost?” 

  She laughed. “Maybe, who is to know?”

  “I want to show you my home. Can you take me home instead today?” Looking up without blinking, she didn’t answer and there was a pause. The silence felt strange.

  “I guess I can.” But as she said this, there was no enthusiasm and it didn’t feel like something she would say. I tried to smile and I pulled on her arm.

  “Let’s go then. I can show you the way.”

 My dad didn’t notice me and Anna come in, nor did my step mother, so I showed her around. I let her stay for dinner and I felt glad that she agreed before disappearing again.

  “Who is this?” I looked at her, anxious that he might force her to leave. My stepmother then came in, wondering what all the commotion was.  

  “Anna,” she finally said.

  “Samuel wants this odd looking woman to stay for dinner,” he told my stepmother, as she raised an eye brow.

  “She can stay,” she said with her eyes wide, taking in her strange appearance. Staring back, Anna nodded and that night, she sat at the end of the table, staring at my father. Her eyes were wide with curiosity and her head was cocked slightly to the left, like an eagle stalking its pray. She watched his every move and he noticed this, just as I did. Though I didn’t mind, in his eyes she was a weird stranger. No one talked and no one dared to.

  He glared and finally dropped his fork before leaving without a word. “I think you should go now,” my step mother said, standing up and showing her to the door.

 I could tell she was also agitated by her manner. And even when she was shut out, I glanced down from my bedroom window above the door, and saw her standing there… waiting for me.

  “I’m sorry; he doesn’t like people very much.” We traipsed through the gritty snow as I walked through the school gates and she walked along the other side of the fence.

  “I don’t mind. I’ve met him before.”

  I sat down. “I sometimes feel like he bullies me.”

  “You must not let him; you must not listen to what he says.”

  “The seniors do it too. They say I’m weak and they blame me for things which I didn’t do… or didn’t mean to do.” I gazed into her silver eyes and let the round mirrors reflect my profile. I felt ashamed.

  “You need to stand up for yourself. You need to stop being so fragile.” Her words were wise so I nodded.

  "So what do I do to stop it?” I asked.

  “If they say you are weak, tell them that they are weaker. If they upset you any further, tell me and I can sort it out for you. There is always a simple way to handle these things.”

 

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