Part of me wants to get up and run again. A large part of me. But I don't, I remain completely motionless, cursing the how pathetic I am wanting to run away from this man I don't even know. I don't know what to do- there's not reason for me to run, no reason for me to react at all but I feel that by staying here watching them, watching him, I'm doing something I shouldn't. As though I was seeing something private
I held my breath as they drew closer, pulling into myself in an attempt to remain unseen.
I can hear what they're saying now, they're teasing one of the guys, he looks even younger than me, perhaps fifteen, and he seems to be taking it all with a bashful grin. I think they're calling him by name but I'm not quite sure, it sounds like they're calling him ‘cakes'.
‘Come on kid, admit it-'
‘Cakes, you couldn't have done a worse job-'
‘-Just disastrous-'
‘-beyond bad-'
‘-how can you hold you head up after-'
‘-such a rookie-'
I have to double check their expressions to make sure it really is all in good humor, but there are smiles all round. If I wasn't so tense I'd be smiling at the sight of five obviously familiar friends laughing and joking. They're directly opposite me now, on the other side of the street. My bench is between two streetlamps, just out of range of the light; so I'm hoping, that maybe, just maybe, they won't even see me. Yeah right.
‘Is she looking at us?'
One of the woman, short blonde hair spiked up and eyes so blue I can tell their colour from here. Her voice is sharp, cuts across the others easily, drawing their attention to me. Instantly five pairs of eyes are fixed on me. And just as instantly I'm wishing the ground would swallow me up. I feel like a rabbit trapped in headlights, and I don't entirely know why. But I'm suddenly very scared.
My eyes flick from one face to the next, lingering in his for a second longer than the others. I can't make out his expression. Disgust? No, not quite. Fear perhaps? Of me? Definitely not. He is stood where he stopped walking, none of them having made a move to continue, and this has put him slightly behind the others but I can still see that he is very tense. Almost as tense as me. The third guy speaks next.
‘Yeah... hey I thought we were the only ones here?'
‘We are.' The woman with blonde hair, glances at my guy for confirmation. He nods.
‘Well, apparently not. Hey, Girl, what're you doing here?'
It's the kid who speaks to me. The only thing running through my mind is that he shouldn't even be out, it's a school night.
‘Cakes, what are you-' The other woman speaks this time, spinning round to face the kid sending her long hair flying she actually she looks like she's trying not to hit him.
‘If see can see us, she's one of us, regardless of weather she should be here or not right?' That pacifies her a little. She doesn't see the look that passes between the two guys stood behind her.
‘...I guess... Sal?' She turns to look at my guy, again for confirmation, perhaps he's in charge. He smiles at her suddenly, the tension leaving his body as he does so, a total contrast to a split second ago.
‘His logic is good Kearé. He's a smart kid.'
‘Sal, you of all people should know that there is more-'
The other three have taken their piercing eyes off me and are watching the exchange now; I stay still though, not knowing what's going on. I'm intrigued though. One of us?
‘Why are you here?' My guy this time, Sal. I should answer, but what to say. I settle for the truth but I know its going to sound hollow.
‘Came for a walk.' I'm pleased that my voice rings both coolly and easily into the dark.
The blonde girl laughs loudly at that,
‘By yourself sweetie? Tough one are you?' None of the others even acknowledge she spoke. The kids turns to me again.
‘Why don't you come with us, we're celebrating,' he grins at this, obviously proud, ‘the more the merrier you know.' The others seems to consider this invitation, glancing at each other over the kids head. The long hair woman, Kearé turns to me after a second and smiles, and her face is at once transformed. Years drop off her face and her whole demeanor becomes beautiful and kind all at once.
‘The kid's right, why don't you come along?' And, for some reason, I don't want to say no.

The End

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