Hero

Darrel Hannigan's life was all black and white, a bore. But when the girl his heart has been waiting for comes along she starts tossing sparks of colour over his life. Now, he will never be the same again. This girl is Lily-Anne and she is the girl of this ordinary boy's dreams.

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1. disaster

Saturday night, wondering the streets. Alone. A hazel-eyed, black haired girl (with a single red streak running through her fringe) runs up to me, giggling. 'My friends bet that I couldn't get a handsome lad like you to go clubbing with me. Are they right?' Her voice is innocent but she has a look about her that intrigues me. I shake my head, mouth open as if to speak. She yanks at my hand and runs with it. Almost pulling my shoulder out of its socket. I can't help but smile at her  excitement.          

We're at a place I've never been before. But as I walk in I hear Led Zeppelin. 'The immigrant song', if I am correct. She drags me onto the dance floor and starts to rocks her head back and forth, having the time of her life. Again, I just smile at her. Her energy sucks up my soul and I end up doing the same. My brown curls flopping around my head. Laughing along with her. It's contagious. 

 

Her fingers interlock with mine and I feel my cheeks turn a tomato colour as the song changes. She rests her head on my shoulder and starts singing along to a Coldplay song. I rest my head against hers and we sway. I close my eyes and drift away with her voice. 

 

She stops. Still. I hear a sob, swollowed by my shoulder as 'There is a light that never goes out' begins to play. She disappears, in a flash. I snap back to reality and run straight after her. I hear her, again as I gain closer to the back door. I see her. Her face cupped in her hand. I gingerly walk over to her- scared of startling her, like a deer. She looks up and throws herself at me. I stroke her hair for a good few minutes, calming her down. Silence. I don't think about what I'm doing, I just do it, I kiss the top of her head.

 

Finally the silence is broken, with a sniffle. 'I'm sorry for ruining your night..' 

I don't know what to say so I just pull her onto my side by wrapping my arm around her. I ask her if she wants to talk about it. She takes a deep breath 'My brother. And my mother...' She wipes her eyes which are big and puffy. I want to cry, I don't even know what happened but I want to cry for her. I swallow the lump in my throat. 

'It was my seventh birthday. My balloon flew away so I ran into the road to catch it. There was a truck coming. My brother, he was only four years older than me, ran out after me and threw me to my father. The truck was gaining closer,' she pauses and places her head on my shoulder. I feel bad for smiling.

  'My mother panicked. She jumped to save Patrick, my brother, but it was too late and the truck hit them both.'

I choke back a sob as does she. I understand why the song upsets her. There is a line, 'if a ten tonne truck crashes into us'. As I remember this line tears begin to flow down my cheek. She wipes them away and kisses my cheek and she says 'to heal you', which she tells me her mother used to say to her. She did the same to her mother when she was hurt by the truck and it wasn't working. She shouted at the truck, a sigh that upsets me even more than it probably should. But it's her.

 

'It may be an incredibly awkward time to ask you this but what is your name?' She whispers in my ear 'Lilly-Anne' she suddenly becomes giddy again 'have fun with that.' And she winks at me. 'What's your name, honey?' I smile a little as I feel my cheeks go slightly pink. 'Uhm... Darrel?' She giggles, again. 'Are you onehundred percent sure your name is Darrel, I mean you don't sound too confident about that.' I nod. She pulls out a marker and scribbles something down on my arm and kisses me next to where she had just written, before skipping away. My eyes follow her.

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