Come on Ada, it's just a cupboard. Ezra rolled his eyes and crossed his scrawny arms. Ada stared into his mesmerising green eyes and sighed. His pupils danced with the need to know what was inside, stronger then Ada's curiosity.
Ez, your my best friend. She put on her I-love-you-so-can-you-do-this-for-me voice and a stretched, entirely fake smile. Ezra tapped his foot against the floor, shoved in a pair of smart brown sandals. He seemed to be the only one that did not give into her voice. Him and Mama.
Ada, I know. That's why I'm making you do this! Remember when we met? Ada nodded slowly, wiping the smile and replacing it with a pondering frown.
Ezra had moved next door roughly nine months ago. His mother had trooped him round, knocked roughly on the door and hoped to find some neat and lovely neighbours with a friend for Ezra to play with. She was greeted with a highly obese, highly drunk and highly sweaty Stefonie with Ada staring contently at the door in wonder of possibly having a new friend.
What do you want? I'm not adopting that Schwein! Mama had glared at Ezra, who shrunk back a bit at the stare.
Ha. Ha. Very funny! strained Ezra's mother, the fakeness of her own laughter making her wince.
No, I'm Mrs Torron. This is my dear son Ezra and we just moved next door. Who's that little angel at the table? Stefonie swung round as if looking for this precious child Mrs Torron spoke of and then realised she was speaking of Ada.
That Measle? That's Ada. Rotten rat she is. Perfect for Ezra, hey? Stefonie let out a loud snort and jokily elbowed Mrs Torron. With a quiet tut, she brushed down her floral dress Stefonie had marked with grease.
Now, now, that isn't quite the way to talk about a child. But I am sure that Ezra would get on with quite well with her. Maybe set up a little playdate sometime soon?
Yeah. I'll shove him round yours at half five, in time for you to feed his greedy belly, hey? Bye now. With one hand, she tugged at Ezra's spotlessly white polo top and with the other, slammed the door abruptly in Mrs Torron's face.
Hey Measle! There's a Schwein here to see you. Go upstairs and don't disrupt me! With that, she flopped onto the sofa and dunked her greasy hand into some cheese and onion crisps.
Come with me upstairs. Sorry about her whispered Ada, grabbing Ezra's clammy hand and pulling him upstairs.
What's that? Ezra asked, jabbing a finger at the Crying Cupboard as they crept along the hall way.
Something I will never touch.
Why not? Let's see what's inside!
No! Maybe one day. One day. Ada had then dragged Ezra into her room to mess around for countless hours. That slowly grew into the routine each and every day.
Remember you said one day? Today's the day Ada! Come on. Ezra's voice leaked with whining and plead, a sort of grating hope that wrapped around Ada and steered her towards the cupboard.
Ez, I just don't know. I mean, this is insane. What's behind here is too big for words.
Maybe we can put it into words, Ada. Before you release a song you have to have the lyrics. Before you put the lie into words, you need to know the lie. Get it?
Ada sighed and took a step closer. It was right in front of her now, looming and seeming bigger then ever before. The giant X made of red tape was peeling at the corners. She picked at the fold, flicking it between her fingers, doubts stampeding like wild horses through her mind.
Come on Ada! Just split the tape. That's your first step, okay?
Ada ran her fingers up from the peeling corner, along the surface of the red, stopping at the centre. She could feel the old of the tape, how worn down it was. Like it had been peeled off countless times, then re-stuck on, hoping to seal whatever lay inside. Underneath, the shadow of a padlock pressed against the tape.
You're nearly there whispered Ezra, eyes wide with wonder. Ada picked up the nail file on the bed next to her. With a sigh she traced five letters against the tape.
Taking a final breath inwards, long and sharp, she slipped the nail file against the red. The tape ripped open, revealing a rusted padlock straining the doors shut.
Ezra leapt into the air with victory and Ada shut her eyes in misbelief that she was a padlock away. But they couldn't rejoice just yet because as she exhaled, an alarm rang loud and clear.