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Stable Ground 5

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s I looked him up and down, a familiar thought occurred to me. Not a thought, but more a memory. A memory of him. He seemed like someone I had known in kindergarten or first grade; the little play-dates that our parents set up, worried that their child couldn’t make friends. Then I had suddenly almost figured out where I knew him from, but even more suddenly, the memory left, and I drew a blank, but the familiar feeling didn’t fade.

Finally I spoke, pulling Jonathan from his own world and setting his feet back into reality.

“Are you coming in, or are we standing out here for a reason, or…” I trailed off as he finally looked up to me. The fierceness of his gaze bore down upon me, almost making me feel like hiding, despite the kindly smile that went along with the aqua eyes. I shook my head, clearing the fog he left me in. “What I was trying to say is are you going to come in or is it just fun to follow me?” I finally concluded, proud of myself for completing the sentence.

“Actually, I was just making sure you weren’t going to pass out again,” Jonathan said as I opened my door.

“Why? Would you catch me or just laugh?” I asked. He grinned at my joke. “And I didn’t pass out, I just got dizzy and … fell over,” I corrected, entering my room and throwing aside any thoughts of Jonathan’s most likely non-existent criminal record: I left the door open for him to enter or walk away if he chose to.

He entered behind me and left the door open behind him, looking around my room. Nothing on the walls, all color absent, almost looking as if it had been unoccupied if it weren’t for Erica’s stuff lying around.

“Not a very decorative person, are we?” Jonathan laughed as I climbed into the top bunk of our beds. He inspected the walls and the cluttered desk, glancing out the window that sat in front of it. “You should’ve seen what my mom could have done to this,” he sighed, returning his gaze to me “she was amazing.” Jonathan smiled, gesturing to my desk chair. “May I?” he questioned. I nodded.

“What happened to your parents? You don‘t seem crazy enough to be in here for your health,” I asked slowly; cautiously trying to make a joke, while leaving it obvious that it was a real question.. After I asked him, I realized that I should have been more precautious, after all, he could have been a spy and if I were subjected to that information, I might be massacred. I discarded the thought with a laugh at my overactive brain.

Jonathan seated himself gracefully into my swivel chair and looked up at me, his face expressionless.

“My dad died in the war,” he said quietly. A pang of guilt swept over me; I had basically accused him of mass murder and child molestation, while the only thing wrong with him was that he probably missed his parents. “And my mom was a nurse. There was a contagious disease that spread through the hospital where she worked and half the staff was dead within the hour. They sent me to England because we had distant relatives there. A week ago, though, the family was tired of me and they got a blood test. We were in no way related whatsoever. Apparently, my mom had lied to give me a home. She did a good job, too. The people were one of the richest families in Europe, besides the Queen. They hated me and threw me in the streets with five-hundred American dollars and said, ‘leave’. So I did. Then I got sick a few days ago. Really sick. I went to the hospital, and when they found out I was a minor, they called the cops and then I got dumped here,” Jonathan finally took a breath to look at me. “Are you happy? Now I’ve spilt my guts out to you too,” He laughed and I couldn’t help but too smile when he did. My stomach growled then and I looked over at my clock. It was two o’clock; we had missed lunch. “We missed lunch, I take it? Unless it’s common in America to eat late?” he asked, following my gaze to the clock.

“Yeah, we did,” I agreed. “Are you hungry?”

“A bit,”

“Do you wanna go get lunch?” I asked. He looked at me inquisitively.

“I thought we missed it?”

“Yeah,” I shrugged, hoping down from the top bunk and landing in front of him. “But no one eats at school. It may be our home but the foods worse than a school cafeteria.”

“So where do we go?” he asked, standing up beside me.

“Where everyone goes.” I said obviously. “To Truffongton.”





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