Someone knocked on the door. Milo was too lazy and too angry to get up, so he just shouted: "Who?". The door slowly opened and Kendric's head appeared.
"What?" Milo grumbled. It sounded rude. The little boy quickly walked into the room and dropped three small rolls on the bed where Milo was lying. Milo was the first boy who had to go to the orphanage, so he didn't have to share a room. The others had to.
"I thought you might be hungry," the boy muttered. Kendric couldn't be older than 10.
"Did you steal it?" Milo asked. He knodded shyly.
"Well, I hope the master didn't see you then." Milo grabbed one of the rolls and took a bite of it. "Thanks, buddy."
Kendric smiled and left the room as fast as he could. Milo realised the little boy was scared of him. He got up and walked across the room to watch in the tiny, broken mirror. His right cheek had a dark, almost black colour, where the master hit him, and his eye was swollen. He looked terrifying. He grinned. He didn't really care. Now he had another great story to tell Hellon.
He went back to his bed and he lay down, smiling. Every boy in the orphanage was scared of him. Even those who were only a few years younger then he was, those who he liked the most. Except for him, the oldest boy was 16 years old. And there were no girls. Female orphans were placed in foster families.
The rolls were nice; it was better then go to sleep without dinner. But when he had extinguished the light, he was wide awake. No matter how hard he tried, his eyes didn't become heavy. The book he had to read for school, was lying next to his bed, but he didn't want to continue reading. So he decided to do something else. He got up from his bed again and he crept silently towards the door. He opened it, just a little, and peeped through the hallway. All the lights were out, except for those in the last room, at the end of the hallway. He heard voices, Marie-Rosie's and one of the little one's. He probably couldn't sleep. Milo closed the door again and walked to the window. He could not get caught. As quiet as possible, he sneaked out and closed the window again. He ran away, in the direction of the city.
Although he knew it had to be past midnight, there was still light in the mayor's house. He could see Mr Marple in the sitting room, talking to a man, whose face he couldn't see. They had drinked too much: they were laughing and taking sips of gigantic cups. Milo grinned. How many people could say they had seen the mayor drunk? No one could.
He went around the house to one of the windows at the backside. There, he picked up some pebbles and he threw them one by one to the window. First, nothing happened, but then he saw Hellon's beautiful face, his girl, who peaked through the window anxiously. Of course, she couldn't see him, because he was hiding in the shadows of the other houses, so he took a step forwards. Once she noticed him, a smile appeared on her face.
"You scared me, Milo MacGraffle," she whispered, after she opened the window.
"I couldn't sleep, because I couldn't stop thinking about you."
"Are you coming with me?" he asked, grinning.
"The hanging tree."
Her smile disappeared. Apparently, she hadn't overcome her fear yet.
"Hellon Marple, I didn't know you were so fearing. I do not know you like that."
That convinced her. She slowly crawled out the window and she climbed down the rain pipe. She had done that before, because it wasn't the first time that Milo came to her house in the middle of the night. Milo watched her, while she was getting closer to the ground. When she finally reached him, she noticed the bruise on his face. She carefully touched it.
"The master hit me again," he answered, shrugging his shoulders. "Because I came home late."
He took her hand and they walked silently out of the city, into the woods. It was pitch-dark and from the pressure of her hand in his, he knew she was scared. She was never scared. He actually thought it was kind of cute.
When they had reached the hanging tree, they stopped. It was so quiet, you could here a pin drop. He was still holding her hand and he turned around towards her. He moved his hand to her face. He caressed her cheek and put his other hand on her hips. She smiled at him. He gently pressed a kiss on her nose and then he kissed her intensely. He even let his tongue enter her mouth. He did that a few times before, with other girls, but it never felt so good as with Hellon. He put his second hand on her hips too and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Fire flared up inside of them. He ran his hands over her thin body. He longed for her, for her lips, for her body, for her everything. He longed for her like he never longed for anyone, or anything. And she longed for him. But when his hands reached her breasts, she pulled back.
"No, I'm not ready yet."
They lay down in the grass. She put her head on his chest, her hand in his hand. They lay there for a while, without saying anything. Then, she suddenly said: "My brother is here. I mean, in the district."
"Benon?" Milo asked. She nodded. "Why?"
"He's getting married. He wanted to tell us that."
"Wow, Benon's getting married. Didn't see that coming," he said.
"Why not?" she asked.
"I don't know. Guess I thought he was too busy with his work, or something."
Suddenly, she started to cry. He looked at her, surprised. She shrugged her shoulders.
"What's wrong, sweetheart?"
"I just love you, very much. That's all," she sobbed.
He laughed. "Does that make you sad?"
She shook her head. "No, of course not." She kept silent for a moment.
"When Benon told us he's getting married, I became aware that we have no future together. My father would never allow that. And that's what makes me sad, because I don't want a future without you, Milo," she said, still sobbing.
He gently wiped the tears of her cheeks. Then he came closer to kiss her, very tenderly.
"We'll figure something out," he reassured her.