I watch her descend the hill, her footfalls crunching lightly on the foliage. She turns and the sun catches on the gold filagree in her chocolate hair. She waves the wing of her seagull kite, giggling. The sound rises, ringing, and I smile, crooked.
I just read over my earlier entry - maybe I should explain.
Right. So I was sitting in the graveyard, hunched over, trying to make out Gabriel Ramses' epitaph, like I said. I had peeled a slice of ham out of my sandwich, sucking on it as I copied it down. Maybe I was preoccupied with writing, or maybe the overwhelming honey ham taste blocked out my other senses, but I didn't notice the kite until it nosedived into my skull.
It knocked the ham out of my mouth. Into the dirt. Its string wound around my antlers, caught on the prongs. I panicked, dropping my pencil and springing up. This is why you always wear a hat - my mom's voice running around my head, slapping against my ears like the fabric seagull's wing.
I could hear crunching. Somebody coming. I slipped behind the Angel's outspread arms, up onto the pedestal.
A girl came up the ridge. Her head was ducked in her collar and she'd shoved her hands in the pockets of her over-sized coat to keep out the cold. There was a noticable shudder as she entered the graveyard. She studied my picnic suspiciously, eyes widening.
"Hello?" She called, her voice muffled by a large scarf. She glanced around, "I lost my kite. Um. It flew up here?"
I watched her through a gap over the Angel's shoulder as she tugged down the scarf blocking her face. My breath caught, snagged. Her hazel eyes glowed, a brown curl slipping over them. In my condition I'd been homeschooled for the entirety of my school life; and it's not like I'm particularly social anyway, so it's not surprising I'd never seen her before.
Maybe she caught sight of the kite string waving in the rising breeze, or that whole 'breath caught in my throat' cliche thing was out loud. Either way, she locked on the Anglican Angel and strode around the side. Apparently, she saw my feet.
"Er. Hello." She didn't seem overly concerned that someone was hiding in a cemetary, or just didn't care. "Do you know where my kite is? It's a seagull."
"Um. Yes. It went that way," I waved vaguely, head still obscured by the bronze arm.
"Into the wind? Kites don't generally do that."
"Ah. OK. Right." I was panicking again, my breath started to condense on the rusted robe from my panting. "Tell you what - the truth is... your kite is. Er. Stuck on my head."
"Uh, sorry?" She sounded confused. "Can't you get it off?"
I laughed nervously, "Would if I could, believe me."
I heard her steps as she tried to sneak around. "What's it caught on?"
I skittered around to the front, clutching the Angel around the waist, trying not to fall off. "Nothing. It's. Uh."
"Let me help." We circled again. "Come on, this is ridiculous."
I had to agree. Just not out loud.
She ended up at the front by my picnic where she pouted, hands on hips. "Fine. I'll wait, then," she flopped on the checked blanket, fingered my lunch. "Lovely sandwich. Mind if I have some?"
"Look. Can't you just - you know - leave?" At about this time I was in a debatably blasphemous position, squeezing the Angel about the waist and pressed to its back. The heels of my shoes hung off the edge of the granite display. "I'll leave it at the lost and found, mail it to you, or something. You want money? I'll buy you a new one!"
"You'll find I'm pretty stubborn. I. Want. My. Kite."
We waited in silence. One minute. Two. It was getting extremely awkard, my face pressed in the Angel's sculpted hair.
"Hey! Are you actually eating my lunch?!"
She gulped melodramatically. "Give me my kite and maybe I'll stop. Oo! What a pretty diary!" This girl was taunting me, goading me into coming out. She wouldn't dare.
"Deer Diary," she paused, "You spelled dear wrong, you know."
I sucked in a breath, slid down to the ground. "Just leave," I pleaded.
She noticed the tone in my voice. She stopped. "Sorry. I don't want to be mean; but I really need that kite back. It's important."
"Come around and get it, then!" I spat, collapsing. "If it's so freaking important."
The girl rose up. Stepped around the Angel. A gasp.
"Take it," I muttered, hugging my knees.
The sun had lowered in the sky. It glanced merrily off the off-white projections sprouting from my skull. A cool breeze rustled throught the fire maples. They laughed.
She inched over, crouched. Lightly brushed a string off my shoulder. The wind lifted her dark hair and her eyes flicked across my face.
"Sorry," she bit her lip.
"You didn't know."
She ran a finger over the prongs, feeling the fluting near the root. Curling a bit of twine around her finger, she said, "My name's Rachael."
I blinked up. "Pan."
Rachael smiled, her hazel eyes softening. The Angel towered over both of us, grim and unmoved, watching.
"Pan," she echoed.