Well, time for a short story today, people.
Poking at Long Lost a little more, I decided to do a small piece from Chase’s point of view of the first time he and Zoey met when they were little kids.
Hope you guys enjoy!
I opened my eyes and stiffened in my bed, blinking a couple of times. The walls were the wrong color. The Star Wars poster wasn’t right next to my bed like it should be. The light was coming through the window at the wrong angle.
This wasn’t my room. This wasn’t…
Right, we’d just moved.
First morning waking up in the new house.
I took in a breath and let it out in a slow whoosh, closing my eyes again for a few seconds. Just lying there under my blankets with my eyes closed, I could imagine my room back to the way it was before. Everything in the place it was. And I could even imagine down the street, every house and what it looked like. Which houses my friends were in, and the route I rode my bike to the park with them…
My nose felt tingly for a second and I sniffed, opening my eyes again and rubbing at them.
The picture in my head of my own room disappeared, replaced by the new room surroundings, still mostly bare and stacked with boxes. Everything was quiet, except for the noises of a few birds chirping outside, and the sound of a car passing on the road nearby.
I pushed my blankets off and swung my feet over the side of the bed. I just sat there for a second, thinking. Mom was probably still asleep. She was really tired last night, so I wasn’t going to wake her up.
Maybe the house would look a little more friendly in the daylight. I could take a walk around and see.
After all, there were going to be a lot more mornings of walking out from this room and going around to do stuff with Mom. Might as well make the most of my first morning.
I hopped down off my bed, my feet making a soft slapping sound on the floor. Stepping as quietly as I could, I moved over and grabbed my hoodie off from where it hung on the doorknob. I put it on, even though it wasn’t as cold as I was used to. Michigan wasn’t a whole lot warmer than Saskatchewan at this time of year, but I could definitely tell a difference.
I scuffed out into the hall, peering out the windows at the bushes in the front yard. My hoodie zipper sounded loud as I zipped it up, and I winced.
The whole house almost felt like it was watching me. Everything was too quiet. The air was too dusty and it felt too big for just me and my mom.
I folded my arms over my chest and hunched my shoulders, shuffling into the kitchen. Leftover pizza for breakfast sounded good. I almost never got to have that, and leftover pizza was about the only thing we had in our fridge right now.
The new kitchen’s windows didn’t face the sunshine in the morning, so it looked grey and sad. I stood there and frowned for a few seconds before moving over to get some pizza from the fridge.
I looked towards the windows the sun was coming through. The backyard had sun in the morning. Which was all backwards from the house I’d grown up in so far. But it felt weird to not eat breakfast in the sun, so I started walking towards the back door.
The big door opened just fine, but the screen door squeaked a little, and clacked as I let it fall shut. I bit my lip and hoped it didn’t wake up Mom.
My hoodie felt a lot warmer outside than I expected. The sunshine shone all over the yard and right in my face and I squinted. At least it still sort of smelled like home out here. The dewy, grassy smell I was used to had stayed the same in the morning, despite the move.
There was a big tree in the yard, rustling in the breeze and casting a shadow over a patch of the grass. Mom said it would be a good tree for a treehouse. Right now it just looked like a good tree to sit next to while I ate a pizza breakfast.
I stepped down off the porch and walked over towards the tree, ignoring the wet on the cuffs of my pajama pants from the dew. I got over next to the tree and looked down at the roots. One side had a big ant hill. I wrinkled my nose and moved over to sit on a big lump of root.
Birds still chirped, sounding closer now. I sat there quietly and nibbled at my pizza, looking over the yard. It wasn’t a bad yard. A lot bigger than our last one, like Mom kept saying.
Maybe I could have friends over and we could play games once I made a treehouse. And… made some friends. I wasn’t sure how long that would take, since I’d never started from scratch like this before.
Taking cookies to the neighbors was a pretty good idea. I could help make some cookies and then maybe…
Suddenly, a raspy whisper broke into the quietness, coming from right above my head.
“Is that pizza?”
I jumped, almost dropping my pizza in the dirt as I whipped my head around and looked up to see who had said that.
A blonde girl sat up on one of the higher tree branches, peering down at me through the leaves with wide, interested eyes.
I stared. “Who…? What…?”
“Your mom lets you eat pizza for breakfast?” the girl persisted, her voice less of a whisper now.
“I… uh…” I looked down at the pizza. “I guess.”
Her voice got quieter, almost reverent. “That is awesome.”
I wasn’t sure what to say.
The girl turned around and started climbing down out of the tree, moving almost as fast as a monkey. A few seconds later, she dropped down on the dirt next to me. She brushed the twigs and dirt off her sweater, then looked up and grinned.
I blinked at her for a second. “Wh-where did you come from? Other than… the tree, I mean.”
The girl jerked her head sideways, pointing over to the house next to ours. “I live in the house over there. Dad said there might be a kid in this house yesterday, so I wanted to come over and check. And make friends. My name’s Zoey, by the way. What’s yours?” She stuck out her hand.
I fumbled for a second, moving my pizza to my other hand before shaking her hand. “I’m Chase. We just… moved here from Canada. Yesterday. My mom… uh… got a job down here.” My voice squeaked a little. “I’m having pizza since we… that’s what we had for dinner last night.” I could feel my face getting red. I hadn’t meant to talk that much. She hadn’t said nearly that much to me.
But Zoey didn’t seem bothered. “Cool. I’ve lived here for years, so I can show you around.” She smiled, pulling a small twig out of her hair. “I’ve never had a nextdoor friend before. This’ll be sweet.”
A little bit of my nervousness went away and I smiled along with her. “I… yeah I’d like that. Thanks.”
She looked up at the tree. “You got the house with the very best tree, so I hope you like climbing.”
I looked up at the tree branches because she was. “Y-yeah, climbing is awesome.” I rubbed at the back of my neck. “Actually I was sort of thinking about… building a treehouse? Maybe we could hang out in that.”
Her mouth opened in a perfect O and she sucked in her breath. “Heck yes.”
I felt warmer inside and grinned. I already had a cool friend. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad living here after all.
So, that’s your sweet, fluffy story for today. ❤
Any other Long Lost drabbles you’d like to see? Tell me in the comments!