“Stop it.” The two words echo round my brain before actually making me snap out of my daydream.
“Stop what?” I ask and try to casually lean on the thin wall of the wiring running along the outside of my porch. Instead, I miss it completely and fall forwards, straight onto the lawn of next door, and straight onto the boy.
My cheeks blaze like my hair and I try to scramble up as he tries to help. He grabs my hand as I try to push myself up, so I fall and hit my head on his knee, then roll onto the soft grass with my legs somehow wrapped around his. I lay there, my head throbbing, groaning.
Then I feel a tapping on my shoulder, and the boy grins. His green eyes are illuminated by the red and he gently un-tangles our messy heap of limbs.
“Sorry,” I say and tuck stray strands of red behind my ear. The boy laughs and holds out a hand. I take it and he yanks me up with surprising strength.
“Hey Cassy,” he says and I shrink back. Cassy? That’s my name! How does he know my name?
“Stalker!” I squeak in slight shock and nervousness. The boy laughs again, shaking his head. The creases by his eyes deepen when he smiles.
“I heard people talking about you. I’m Evel.” Slowly, I take a few steps towards him. So he’s not a stalker. That’s good, that’s really good.
“Hi Evel. I see you have red hair,” I say and then slap a hand over my mouth.
“I see you have red hair too,” he says and I smile, removing my hand. We both sit back down on the grass. Sub-consciously I begin to pluck the strands of green.
“It’s terrible isn’t it?” Evel says and I turn to look at him.
“Terrible?” I ask. I take in his looks, his deep red hair, his sparkling green eyes, the sprinkling of freckles over the bridge of his nose and spreading out to his cheeks. The way the creases under his eyes expand a little when he laughs, and deepen, and the way stares so intently.
“Terrible the way we’re being judged. I mean, our hair colour? Just by looking, one glance, they know everything. It’s so stupid that they think we don’t know what they’re up to, that we don’t know what Head is doing, because we do. I do. Do you?” I shake my head. He sighs heavily, and this makes me a little annoyed. What is he sighing at? Is it wrong I don’t know what Head is doing? Even if I have the colour red, it doesn’t mean that I’m so incredibly un-predictable that I know every little thing Head is doing! Or does it?
“I can’t tell you out in the open like this! Besides, people start coming home in about ten minutes, they could over hear. Also, I don’t want to be stared at even more thank you very much.”
“Neither do I.” I admit and stare at the grass. His hands are wrapped around his knees which are brought up to his chin. He rests his head on them and keeps staring out into the distance, in some sort of mysterious trance.
We stay like this, with him embracing his knees in his trance and me, staring at the grass as I pluck the green strands without a thought. We stay like this until the slow emerging trickle of tired workers slide through the street, shooting wary glances at us, silently judging.
Evel pulls himself out of his position and the mystical trance vanishes. I leave the grass alone and clumps decorate bare patches. We both stand up, almost synchronised, and smile.
“Goodbye Cassy,” he says and it seems strange to hear him say my name unlike before. Cassy.
“Goodbye boy with red hair,” I say and he lets out a little laugh, that barely escapes his lips.
“I normally go by Evel.” I grin even wider and step over the small wall of flowers separating our gardens.
“Well, I’m not normal,” I whisper and with that shut the door firmly, leaving him standing in his garden.