Over the next few weeks I gradually got my strength up, nothing weird had happened, and I was almost back to usual. Emphasis on the almost. We visited the hospital, and they seemed happy with my progress, at the time, I didn’t get why they made such a big deal of it though, I fell, that was it. We had got the builders in, and had them fixing everything they could, whilst the two of us set about re painting everything, Kirsty even braved it and went to inspect the loft, turns out it’s not the spooky, creepy room we thought it would be, it had recently been done up, it was a large open space, complete with all the furnishings, a large sofa, three armchairs, a bookcase filled with books, a television, a coffee table, cushions and more lush furniture. The walls had been painted cream, and the hard wood floor boards had been covered in the middle by a soft, white faux fur rug. “And to think we were scared of this room, it must have cost a fortune!” she grinned to herself, “Yeah… I wonder why they left it all.” I stepped over to the sofa, and sat down. “It is really nice.” I said, running my hand along the armrest, it hurt my wrist, pulled at the scabs, but I didn’t mind. It hadn’t bled itself in a long time, and come to think of it, I hadn’t been re cutting it much since the clock people had. I still had their words inscribed onto me though, and every time I caught a glimpse of the scars, it sent a shiver down my spine, I tended not to look. So we spent many summer evenings on that sofa, either watching telly, or staring out the window in awe. The garden was amazing, so many mornings I had ventured out there with my toast and a novel, listening to the birdsong, but neither of us had wandered into the forest, and we didn’t plan to. One particular morning, I was sat there with my toast and jam, simply listening to the sounds around me. We weren’t far from the outskirts of London, yet there wasn’t any traffic sounds, we had no neighbours, and we only rarely got the occasional dog walker following the road out the front. But today, there was definitely a dark figure in the middle of the field in front of me, I didn’t see them walk In, I just looked up, and there they were. Stood, a silent silhouette, hair blowing gracefully in the wind, I got up to look closer, and peered down and my feet as I did so, but the moment I stared back into the field, they were gone. I searched the entire area with my eyes, but there was no sign of them. I grabbed my not empty plate and hurried inside, that put a stop to my fresh morning air. Later that day, I planned a trip into London, I needed to be prepared and ready to make a good first off impression. I spent the whole day in the city centre, trying on new clothes, shoes, bags etc. I had all my savings, everything I had ever got from Grandma, before hand, I had denied to myself that I had any, it was for emergencies, and this was an emergency, I was going to kick start my life, and I needed all the help I could get. Occasionally, I would grab a coffee from a nearby café, and sit on a bench or lean against a wall near a group of others, listening in on their conversations subtly, taking mental notes on how to keep a conversation going. After billions of coffees and hot chocolates, I really needed the toilet, so I dragged my many shopping bags up the escalators, and squished them and myself into a cubical, changing into a new outfit out of what I had bought myself. I washed my hands, and left, without drying them as the hand dryers creeped me out slightly. I waddled over to a park bench, and sat down to examine my purchases, I had bought a mobile phone, not an amazing one, but a phone was a phone, and as long as Kirsty didn’t find it, all would be fine. I got five pairs of jeans, all in different colours, there was conventional denim, chinos, bright blue ones, red ones and yellow, along with many tops, t shirts, blouses, vest tops, there was a really nice jacket, a pair of shorts, a few skirts, and a neon orange shoulder bag. I planned to be a brightly coloured, bold and bubbly person, that’s how I thought I would have been if I hadn’t lost dad and been lumped with Kirsty. I glanced at my new watch, I had ten minutes to kill before the bus was due, so I decided to stay sat on the bench and play around with my new phone. I felt someone sit down next to me, I continued trying to turn on the handset. It didn’t want to work. “S’cuse me, do you want some help with that?” said a soft voice from beside me, I looked up, blushing, to see a boy, slipping his popular fruit based phone into his back pocket, he looked about my age, and dressed like it too, with his plain white v neck loose over his jeans, he smiled as I gingerly handed it over. He opened the back, and shuffled around the sim card, I felt so stupid. He grinned as he passed it back, the logo flashing up on the screen. “Thanks.” I smile back, “What’s your name then?” he leans back onto the bench, flicking his smooth brown fringe out of his face, his eyes, a calming blue. “Vanessa, yourself?” I smiled, trying not to sound or look star struck, He chuckled, “You’re not from around here are you? I’m Danny, where do you come from?” “Up north, were you born here?” it felt like a stupid thing to ask as soon as I said it, but he smiled and answered, “Yep, lived here my whole life I have, not a stunning place to live, it’s all buildings and that, you’re probably not too keen huh? What with being used to lakes and mountains and that.” “Well, I do miss it a lot, but we’ve moved in just outside the city, right by a forest, though we’ve never been in.” why did I say all that? “Settled in?” he had his head tilted to the side, and looked genuinely interested, “Yeah, I suppose, had a bit of a dodgy start, ended with me in hospital, but it’s fine now” why… me and my big mouth “Hospital? What happened?” the smile disappeared from his face, and was replaced by a frown, “Oh, nothing really, I tripped and fell, I’m on these grim tablets now, but it’s fine. How old are you?” “You poor thing.” He lowered his eyebrows, then replied “15, and yourself?” he mocked me, a teasing smile returned to his face, I blushed, “14, 15 in a few months though, when’s your birthday?” “Last week. Was the best!” a huge smile spread across his face “Why? What happened?” it was my turn to tilt my head, “My girlfriend invited me over, thought it’d just be us, which would have been fine of course, but I don’t really reckon she’s that into me anymore, anyway, I turned up, and everyone was there. It was so amazing, saying that though, couldn’t help but get the feeling she used my birthday as an excuse to get Reece over, he’s my mate you see, but she’s nicer to him than me, sorry I’m going on too much, you here with family then?” I didn’t know how to reply, did I ignore his girlfriend story? Or would it be too harsh? Was he expecting sympathy? He asked me a different question anyway, and above all, he had a girlfriend… “I’m sure she’s not going behind your back with him, if he’s your mate, surely he wouldn’t do that to you? And yeah, I’m with family of sorts, here with Kirsty, it’s always been just the two of us, no siblings, no dad.” His face looked puzzled, so I added “Kirsty’s my mum, we don’t get on well.” “Oh.” It was silent for a bit, I looked at my watch, ”Oh, I should catch my bus, umm, bye Danny, it’s been nice meeting you.” I smiled and stood up, gathering my things, “Right, alright then, bye Vanessa of the north.” He smiled and stood too, took my hand in his, and joke kissed it, like they did in the olden days and with important people. I giggled, he laughed, and we parted. As I sat on the bus, I couldn’t help but wish I’d taken his number or something, he was really nice, and it would have been good to have at least one friend for keeps. But he had a girlfriend. I got home, ran upstairs, hid away my phone before taking a pill, and for once in my life, I genuinely didn’t feel the need to cut myself, grinning ear to ear, I shut my door, and walked downstairs to make a sandwich ignoring Kirsty’s nagging, I wasn’t going to let her ruin my mood.