In Between Lives: Chapter One

21st June, 1987.


There is a boy in my new room.

There is a boy with a hammer in my new room.

I have no idea what to do with this information.

I ought to be afraid, I suppose. But he doesn’t look very frightening. Wearing a Pretenders t-shirt and large, askew spectacles, he is stepping back and forth on the floorboard, as though making sure it won’t give away under his weight.

It takes him a couple of seconds to notice my presence. When he does, he stands straight and grins at me.

I notice two things; the boy is very very tall—even for a boy—and that his friendly, perfectly amiable smile is what actually scares the bejeezus out of me.

I haven’t spoken to a boy since last Christmas. Unless you count Kenny, our mailman. The only thing more terrifying than the male species are the male species that are about my age.

I stand there stunned and blinking as he begins talking. It takes me a moment to step out of my head and listen.

“… It should hold just fine unless you decide to throw a hoedown up here.” He says (I don’t have a clue as to what a hoedown is supposed to be) and continues grinning.

I continue staring.

`“I’m Kevin.” He says after an awkward pause, eyebrows raised, like he can’t decide if I’m mute or simply rude.

“I’m tired.” I say as my arms give away and I drop my luggage on the (apparently) now steady wooden floor.

He flushes; brows furrowed, and stammers, “Oh. Of course. I imagine it’s been a long journey. I’ll just leave you to your thoughts then.” He walks around me and lingers by the doorway, “Good night.”

The door shuts behind him.

First impressions are fifty percent real and fifty percent perception.


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