I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt so childish.
“How much money have we got?” I asked Matt, “I mean, how much have you got?” I corrected myself,
“What’s mine is yours Rosie, God doesn’t want me to be selfish with what He provides,”
“I know, but I feel bad, this is all you own.” I pointed out to the small amount of change,
“I trust God, he’s provided for me my whole life, why stop now?” Matt said, I smiled,
“What’s your favourite?”
“Get those,” he said pointing,
“What are they?” I asked looking at the brown sweets he’d just pointed out,
“Root beer barrels,” he said smiling and scooping up a small bagful, I raised an eyebrow and turned towards the counter. “What’s that face for?” Matt asked laughing,
“Nothing,” I said smiling back at him, he playfully punched my arm and put the bag on the counter,
“That’ll be two dollars and twenty cents dears,” said the lady at the counter, Matt tipped the remaining coins and notes onto the counter.
“Oh rats, sorry Rosie, I don’t think I can afford it,” Matt grimaced,
“Oh that’s okay, never mind,” I said, Matt winked at me,
“You’re ten cents short, but I’ll let you off,” said the woman smiling. Matt grinned,
“Thank you,” he said sincerely as he picked up the bag, I followed him out the shop,
“See, proof of God’s love in action,” He said popping one into his mouth. I copied him, it tasted like toothpaste moulded into a hard ball to me, but Matt seemed to be enjoying them as he put a second one into his mouth. We walked along the Riverfront Promenade along side each other, sucking on the toothpaste balls, Matt occasionally pointing out buildings.
“How long have you been living in the US?” he asked, I turned to him,
“A few months,” I replied, he nodded thoughtfully,
“How do you like it?”
“I love it here,” I said, “the weather, the people, the food,” I said pointing at the sweets which I was getting used to,
“I do looove candy,” Matt said, he beamed at me again and I couldn’t help but smile back at him. We sat down on a bench in Waterfront Park and began to get to know each other.
Matt was 16, his favourite food was lasagne, he had a best friend called Antony, he liked to ride his bike and write. We shared a similar taste in music and both shared the same faith. And even though I was petrified about the future, knowing I could spend it with someone like Matt made me feel better. The sun began to set across the water,
“Where are we going to sleep tonight?” I asked, Matt shrugged,
“We’re a long way away from last night’s accommodation,” he explained,
“Hey, why don’t I pop home and grab some stuff?” I asked, Matt looked at me,
“By pop you mean…”
“I mean go in and come out, or actually, why don’t you stay at mine tonight?” I offered,
“Is it safe? You’re on the most wanted list, they’ll be sure to guard your house, in case you return,” Matt said, I sighed,
“We could always try, I have no clothes or money, and if I pick up my bank book we’ll be set for a few months,”
“I have no clothes either,” Matt said pulling at his off-white shirt,
“Well you can pull off anything,” I said and suddenly regretted it, Matt chuckled,
“Thanks,” he said standing up, “Well let’s try,” he smiled. I stood up too and we headed back to my house. We snuck in the back way, Matt was right there was a police car outside the front, but they were none the wiser. It was late by the time we arrived at the backdoor,
“My parents will be asleep,” I whispered, “Wait here,” I commanded, “I’ll climb through the window and open the door.”
“I should go,” Matt said stepping forward,
“You’re six foot!” I hissed, “You’re too big,” I saw Matt smile in the moonlight, “Give me a leg-up,” I whispered. Matt cupped his hands and I trod in-between them, I pulled myself through the small window, grabbed the key and opened the door. “Welcome to la maison de Rosie,” I smiled,
“I can’t speak French,” Matt replied. I led him upstairs into my bedroom,
“I’ll grab what I need, we’ll leave early tomorrow,” I whispered, “Sleep in my bed,” I said to Matt. He looked around my bedroom, located the bed and laughed to himself, it was hot pink.
“I think I’d prefer the floor,” he said,
“Sleep in the bed,” I said forcefully. Who knew when he’d last slept in a real bed? He obeyed and climbed in, kicking off his oversized shoes and taking off his shirt. I was as quiet as I could be as I collected my belongings together, I didn’t know why I felt such a duty to leave my family behind me. I guessed it was because Matt had killed his family – I still didn’t know how to feel about that – and I didn’t want the same to happen to me. I left the bags by the door and curled up on the end of my bed pulling over Matt’s shirt to keep me warm; I rested my head on something hard, probably Matt’s foot, and tried to catch some Z’s.