He and his father moved in next door to my family that summer. I was excited to hear a new family was moving in, since there were no kids in the neighborhood, but when I found out the only kid in the new family was a fourteen year old boy, I was disappointed. Well, disappointed may not be the right word. I was excited, since I’d just started to think that maybe boys weren’t as gross as I had thought, but I was sad that I wouldn't be getting a new BFF. After all, no fourteen year old boy wants to be friends with a girl two years younger than him.
I was wrong. The first thing Oswin did that day was climb over the fence and land in my backyard. I was drawing with chalk and wishing I had a friend. Oswin came right on over and sat next to me.
“What’re you drawing?” he asked.
“A mermaid.” I told him.
“Can I draw too?”
I was trying to act calm, as though sitting next to a fourteen year old boy in my backyard was the most normal thing in the world. This was made difficult by the fact that he had sandy blond hair that was a little on the long side and these grey eyes that completely made me weak. I concentrated on the tail of my mermaid, every once in a while glancing over at his drawing. It was a big shark, poised to eat my mermaid! I was so mad; I didn’t even care how cute he was.
“Your shark can’t eat my mermaid,” I said.
“Yeah he can. Do you see these teeth?”
“But my mermaid is magic.” and, before I could stop myself, I waved a hand over our drawings. My mermaid flipped her long red hair and then made a face at his shark. The shark turned around as fast as it could and swam away – disappearing off the sidewalk.
I stared at the drawing, my mermaid still swishing her tail in a proud sort of way. I was horrified at what I had done. Every time I had used my “talents,” it had scared people away. The kids at school all avoided me, thinking I was some sort of witch. And here I had gone and used my powers right in front of the only kid who didn’t know about them, the only kid I could possibly have been friends with because he didn’t know what I was. Now I had scared him off, and he’d call me a witch like all the others.
Except he hadn’t been scared off. He was staring at my mermaid with an awed look on his face.
“Aren’t you going to run away?” I asked him, unable to handle the suspense.
“Run away? Why would I? That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen! Can you do other magic?”
I stared at him.
“You mean, this doesn’t freak you out?”
“No, I think it’s awesome!”
I knew, right then and there, that Oswin and I were destined to be best friends.
When he went home that day, I noticed that several pieces of chalk were missing, but I didn’t worry about it. After all, I had a friend who didn’t think my magic was freaky!
Oswin came over almost every day. I was in heaven. He taught me to play video games, and I showed him how I could make my stuffed animals dance. For my thirteenth birthday, he gave me a toy lightsaber, and we had a great jedi battle. In return, I held his hand and we flew over the neighborhood. Every bit of magic I did for him delighted him – he couldn’t seem to get enough of it. Because of his encouragement, I got better and better at using my powers, and was no longer so ashamed of them. It didn’t matter if everyone else thought I was freaky and weird, so long as I had Oswin to cheer me on.
But then, just before I turned fifteen, Oswin left. We didn’t see the moving vans, and they didn’t tell us they were leaving – but one day, Oswin and his father left our neighborhood, and I feared I would never see him again.
Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "The truth about your childhood friend." Courtesy of Fantasy Writing Prompts.
And Happy Birthday to my amazing father!!! ♥