I soon realised that inviting our new neighbours for a little get together was actually a huge thing in the eyes of my parents. For the next week while my father had been at work my mother had dusted and hoovered and cleaned and gardened and was constantly nagging at me and Sally for leaving stuff around or sitting on a chair and messing up cushions which had just be re-pluffed.
A couple of days before the BBQ fit for royalty arrived, I decided to take a wander after Sally had gone out to the gym and my mother had urged me to get out of the way so she could re-hoover and tidy. I decided not to go past Hadley as I was almost sick of the words 'The Carlsons' and turned left out of my drive instead of right. I got the the opening of the street where it joined the wider road and left my close. I often followed this route up towards my school but instead of carrying on up the road towards the shops and eventually the school I decided to cross the street and have a look at the bigger houses in the opposite close. These houses were a lot more like the Hadley House. That's partly why it looked so out of place because it was built like these houses. They were spaced out with big drives and a lot had iron double gates in front. The second I stepped onto the street I felt like I'd trespassed on expensive land and went to turn back when someone coming from down the drive I paused outside caught my eye. He looked about my age but I figured he must go to the private school because I hadn't seen him around my own; his hair was a chocolate brown and he had big brown eyes to match. His eyebrows were furrowed deep in thought and I noticed with a second glance as I walked on hastily he was tall and muscular with a sharp jawline. 'Uh hey,' I jumped and looked around as though expecting him to be speaking to someone else even though the close was quiet and empty.
'Hi.' I said trying not to stammer and casually putting my hands in the pockets of my jeans.
'You don't live round here do you?' He said his eyebrows furrowed again as he looked into my face.
Uh, no. No I don't I was just taking a walk. I'll, uh, I'll just..just be going. See ya around or something.' I cringed at my own words as I walked back past him and towards the entrance of the close.
'No don't go!' He said quickly and rather loudly and I heard him take a couple of steps in my direction.
'Huh, you, you want me to stay?'
'Um,' He paused and prushed his fringe out of his eyes. My heart skipped a beat and promised myself I would murder myself for feeling so silly under his gaze when I got home. 'I get kinda lonely sometimes. People don't normally just wander down here and, uh, I dont go to school or anything.' I wondered why he was telling me this.
'Oh, okay.' I laughed awkwardly, 'I'm Nola Wells, and who might you be?' I said in my sweetest voices holding out my hand to shake.
His hand met mine and he smiled at me, 'A name as pretty as the face that owns it. I'm Jack Mason, it's really nice to meet you Nola.' I felt so odd and my heart beat was going crazy for a sudden moment I wondered if he was ever going to let go of my hand but he did and it dropped back to his side. 'I'd better go.' He said eventually. 'I'm supposed to be meeting my mum in town when she's finished work, I guess I'll see around.'
'You definitely will.' I regretted saying it as soon as I had but we both laughed awkwardly and parted ways at the end of the street.
When I got home Sally was back and I recounted the whole thing to her in full, with maybe some exaggerations of hair flips and stolen smiles but she was as excited as I was. 'Oh gosh, I have to bump into him again!' I gasped after I had finished.
'Yes we must!' And again little sleep was had as we planned romantic ways to capture the heart of Jack Mason of Maple Tree Close.