I managed to avoid Mummy for the rest of the day Saturday, but I had to break my vow of silence yesterday. I didn't say much, but she asked what I wanted for dinner because she was going food shopping.
"April, you have a visitor!" At first, I thought it must be Daddy. I still haven't seen him since Friday night. My mood lifted when I saw Justin standing in the doorway. He found my house! I pulled him out the door, telling Mummy we were going out. I didn't want to talk to her properly, but she didn't seem to mind me going out. She had this weird look on her face, like she knew something, and she couldn't stop smiling.
"Yeah, it wasn't that hard, this town is tiny." He replied. "Where do you want to go?" I thought for a moment.
"We could go to the beach?"
"Sure! You better go get your swim stuff, I want to play in the sea." I hadn't thought of that, and sighed as I realised I'd have to go back inside. But, it was a hot day, and I knew I'd hate it if I couldn't go in the sea.
"April! Come here!" She shouted to me. I looked at Justin, and he seemed happy to meet more people, so we went over. I introduced them, Emily and Travis are a couple now. They have been for about a month. It's a bit yucky, we're still too young for boyfriends, I think, but they seem happy. They're never far apart anymore.
"You must be April." He smiled. "I'm Scott."
"Mummy say's it's rude to call grown-ups by their first names." I said, confused about why he was talking to me. I guess news travels fast around this small town, and he'd heard about my parents. Either that, or Emily told Dahlia, who told him.
"Well, you can call me Scott, if you want." He smiled again. Infact, he just kept smiling at me while I squirmed a little. I'm not really shy, I just get a little uncomfortable around people I don't know very well. Especially grown-ups. I remember Daddy telling me never to talk to strangers, but I don't think this counts because I know who he is.
"Lets play in the sea now." He almost demanded, looking at Scott as if he had been about to grab me or something. I nodded, and let Justin pull me gently towards the shore. "I don't like him. He looked at you funny." He said, angrily, when we were out of earshot. I glanced back, trying to see what he meant, but Scott had gone back to talking to Dahlia.
"He's just being nice." I replied. Justin stopped pulling me, and turned to look at me.
"Why would he be nice?" He looked confused. Maybe he hadn't heard yet.
"My parents split up Friday night. That's why I was crying the other day. I think Scott was just checking I was ok." Justin's face dropped.
"Oh, I'm sorry." He started staring at me the same as he did at the park the other day. "I didn't know. Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'll be fine, I guess." I lied. I'm far from ok. I just want to go back in time. He started pulling me towards the sea again, and once we were in the water, he glanced back to see if anyone else was coming in.
"Did your parents split up too?" I asked when he didn't continue.
"Yes. My real Dad left before I was born, so I never met him, but my Mum had a boyfriend who raised me like his own. I called him Dad, but they split at Christmas. I never really got on with my Mum, but now I owe her." He grinned at me, which I thought odd as he'd just told me a sad story.
"Because she moved me out here to the backside of nowhere, and I met you!" He grinned even more, which I hadn't thought possible. I blushed a little, not used to compliments. We stood there a moment, just looking at each other. I didn't know what to say.
"What's with him?" Emily asked, stepping closer to me.
"I don't know." I replied, and wondered about going after him. My mind was made up when Dahlia appeared next to Emily. She smiled at me. Actually smiled, like she wanted to be my friend. She usually fakes a smile when Emily is near, but this was real, and creepy. "I'll go see what's up." I said, trying to ignore Dahlia's obvious attempt at pitying me, and chased after Justin. I had to run because he'd been stomping off quite fast.
"Why do you let her treat you like that?!" His tone of voice was as if he was shouting, but he kept his volume at a normal talking level.
"Who? Treat me like what?" I honestly had no idea what he was on about.
"That Emily!" He waved his hand, gesturing towards Emily who was still in the sea. "Why do you let her push you around?"
"She doesn't push me around." I replied. Even more confused.
"Yes, she does." He accused, "She just comes up to you and throws water at you. That's pushing you around."
"No it isn't, she's just playing." I doubted myself now. Does Emily push me around? I hadn't noticed anything before, but we do always play games that she picks out. I thought it was because I'm bad at choosing games, and usually just tell her to pick one out because I struggle to make that final decision. Justin sighed and started staring at me again. I can't place the look in his eyes, it's kind of thoughtful, but there's something else in that stare too. I don't know if I like it. It makes me uncomfortable to have someone stare at me, but I can't help but look back at his eyes.
"Shall we go back and play with them, or do you want to do something else?" I wanted to play in the sea, it was hot, but I know Justin has no other friends, and didn't want to leave him on his own. He shrugged.
"What else is there to do?"
"Not much, really. There's the park... That's about it."
"Why do you say 'Mummy' and 'Daddy'?" I was a bit confused about the question.
"Because that's what I call them." I replied, simply.
"Don't you think your old enough to say 'Mum' and 'Dad' now?" I know he didn't mean it to sound hurtful, but it did. All my friends call their parents 'Mum' and 'Dad', and I've thought about changing what I call my own parents before, I just never knew a good time to do it. I shrugged. "It's not a bad thing, I just wondered."
"Well, I better go..." I said slowly.
"I don't want to go home." He rushed out. I didn't know what to do.
"Well, I have to go, my Mum- my Mum will worry." I smiled at him as I said 'Mum' instead of 'Mummy'. He smiled a little back, but he didn't seem like he felt like smiling.
"Ok, see you tomorrow?" I nodded, and headed home.
I like Justin. I feel bad for him because he's had a hard life, but I think he's a fun boy to be around. I wonder what we'll do tomorrow? And I wonder how I'd feel right now if I hadn't met him? I still can't wait until Lottie is home, she always knows what to say, but there's still over a week until that.
Argh! This chapter has destroyed my faith in my laptop. It took three sessions to get these pics. Kept crashing.
-I am aware that there are awful lighting issues at the beach, some of the shots were taken as the sun was setting, I had every intention of re-shooting, but after 3 crashes this evening, I gave up and attempted to edit them instead. I wanted this chapter out last Monday, so I'm just chucking it out.
-Ignore ghost-tree in the last pic, I dunno what happened, but that shot was taken as the game crashed.
Now to run the save file cleaner, and hope it was just my laptop hating on me...