Eli liked staying there in Julian’s house as the police put signs and notices up about him. He played with Eleanor and Jimmy, which was fun despite the fact he couldn’t talk to Jimmy. But after a few minutes of being with them he was laughing.
Eli didn’t really mind about his parents. Of course he wanted to see them, but as he couldn’t remember them, he didn’t care as much.
Julian looked in on Eli and the others occasionally. He found them playing fondly with each other in Eleanor’s bedroom. The bright pink and purple striped walls would’ve put any boy off going in there, but nevertheless that’s where they were. She had let Jimmy get his train set and they had it going around the bed, under the bed and over the bed in a maze of complex tracks.
The single train looked at a loss as it came to a junction on the wooden path. It stopped abruptly as Eleanor flicked the switch, telling it to stay there. Jimmy suggested how it was could carry on to the left, and then climb up the almost vertical track to over the bed. Eleanor quickly took in his suggestion and flicked the switch once more. The train huffed and puffed up the much-too-steep hill and finally arrived at the top with a bit of a push from Eleanor. Eli cheered as it reached its destination as he stood next to the bed awkwardly, not wanting to disturb them.
“Come on, Eli. Join in! You can flick the switch now. That one there.” Eleanor pointed to the wood and metal switch on the train-set on the bed. He hovered over it for a moment before using his first finger to flick it gently and the small plastic train carried on down the other side.
Eli bent down to see the train going down the vertical drop on the other side of the bed; he laughed as it hit the ground and sped up quickly, still going around the track. It came back round to them and stopped slowly.
“Oh...” Eleanor picked up the blue train and held it near her face, inspecting it.
“Is it broken?” Jimmy signed to her.
Eleanor nodded and tears came to her eyes.
“Oh Jim! I broke your train! I’m sorry!” She said out-loud and hugged him.
Eli picked up the train as Jimmy and Eleanor were hugging.
When Eleanor had let go of the surprised Jimmy, she was just as surprised. The train was now whizzing around the track again.
“Did you fix it, Eli?” She asked him, confused.
“I think so. You just needed to connect that wire to that wire, see? They were loose.” He picked up the train to show her and Jimmy, using as much hand movements as possible.
“Are you clever then?” Eleanor folded her arms, not sure how to react.
“I must be.” He said, also unsure.
“Julian!” She suddenly burst out.
“Yes?” Julian puffed as he ran up the stairs.
“Eli’s really clever! Look! He fixed Jim’s train!” Eleanor held it up to show Julian, who nodded and raised his eyebrows.
“Well done, Eli.” He said, patting Eli’s shoulder. Eli beamed at Julian.
“Now, who wants ice cream?” Julian shouted, loud enough so Mitchell and Bonnie could hear in the next room.
“Me!” Bonnie squealed, running in hearing “ice cream”.
“Okay then. Come on.” Julian chuckled, following all of the children as they ran down the stairs.
“Right. We have... chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mint choc chip, banoffee or coffee. I think I know what Bonnie wants.” Julian smiled, scooping three big balls of coffee ice cream into a cone and handing it to Bonnie.
“I want coffee too!” Eleanor piped up. Julian laughed and gave her some in a cone too.
“What do you want, Eli?” Julian asked him, hovering the scoop over chocolate, he couldn’t be sure why, Eli just looked like he wanted chocolate.
“Has he even had ice cream before?” Mitchell said loudly.
“Mitchell. You aren’t getting any. That was very rude.” Julian told him off.
“Fine.” Mitchell stormed off.
“Eli?” Julian shook off the anger building inside him.
“I don’t know. I’ve never had ice cream before.” Eli confirmed Mitchell’s suspicions.
“Oh, well, do you want to try a little bit of each before I give you some?” Julian put a small spoonful of each into a bowl for Eli to sample.
“Banoffee, please. It’s definitely the best.” Eli said quietly after tasting each one.
“Sure thing.” Julian piled the ice cream onto a single cone which looked like it could break at any moment.
“Thank you, Julian.” He took the huge ice cream from him gratefully.
“And you, Jimmy? What ice cream do you want?” Julian signed, showing Jimmy the flavours.
“Chocolate, please.” He signed back, almost instantly.
“You can all go in the garden if you want. Just be careful not to drop them.” Julian waved them off as they walked cautiously into the garden, making sure not to let the melted parts dribble down the cone.