The undercover hero looked out to the street through the window of the coffee shop. A girl with beautiful, long hair stood at the crosswalk, waiting to cross. For some reason, he felt entranced by her. Beauty like he had never seen - this girl was the very definition of it. He wanted to talk to her. He had to, before she disappeared in the sea of people on the other side of the street.
Abandoning his coffee at the table, he stood and made his way outside. Weaving through the busybodies of the afternoon, he hoped to get to her before the signal turned. Before he knew it, he had bumped into someone. Looking down, he saw it was the girl. They gasped from surprise, and he was at a loss for words.
She was so beautiful up close. Long, black hair like the night. Bright, blue eyes like the clear skies. He wanted to apologize but found he was only able to mumble one word.
Whoa. That sounded too real. Could I be imagining things? The book couldn't start talking...could it? No, that's ridiculous. It's just my imagination again. Stupid brain, always playing tricks on me when I was reading.
"Hellooo! I'm talkin' to you!"
Okay. That most certainly was real. But who said that? I looked up and scanned the area. My gaze soon landed on the hugest brown eyes I'd ever seen staring back at me.
"Are you, like, seven or eight?" the owner of the eyes, a boy, asked. He tilted his head, wearing a childish looking poker face. Black hair hanging down, casting a shadow over his eyes. His staring somehow felt like it had became more intense.
"Seven," I responded hesitantly.
"Cool! I'm new to the neighborhood, haven't seen a kid my age since! I'm eight, by the way," he whispered that last part like it was a secret. "I saw you from my window, I wanted to come to say hi. You live in that house, right?" He pointed to the brick house I called my home behind the cherry blossom tree I was sitting under.
I nodded once.
He smiled, "Well, we're neighbors now. I'm Zeph - but call me Zero!"
"Zero...?" What an odd name to be known as.
"Yup! It's like a superhero name, only I'm not a hero yet. I will be when I grow up though," he stated proudly. He moved to sit next to me, leaning back against tree trunk. A silence settled over us with me not knowing what to say. What could I say?
"I like your eyes," he suddenly said.
"I said I like your eyes. They're so bright." I took a moment to take in what he said. I quickly looked down at my book. 'Is it predicting my future?!'
"So what's there to do 'round here? Don't tell me you just sit in front of your house all day reading. That's boring."
"You don't talk much, huh? It's okay, my parents always said I was a talker. I talk a lot. Maybe one day I'll get you to say more than one word! Could we be friends then?" he laughed. His eyes wrinkled at edges as he did.
"Hm." It was kind of cute.
Still leading the conversation, he continued, "Also, I've never seen someone with skin as pale as yours."
"Oh," I almost winced, waiting for him to call me names like the other kids did. He only poked at my arm and giggled.
"It's cool! It's like you're a real life vampire or something! Are you a vampire?" he asked. I only blinked, shocked. He thought my pale skin was cool? Adults always say I look like I'm sick or as kids preferred to put it - a freak.
"Skylar! C'mon honey, we have to go now!"
I nearly jumped out of my skin. I had forgotten why I chose to read outside. I was waiting for my mom, I had somewhere to go. This boy though; he's weird. Cute...but weird. I mentally rolling my eyes at myself for thinking that. I could at least be happy someone took the time to actually talk to me.
People don't usually bother to anymore.
"I have to go..." I simply said, closing my book. I got up and scurried off to the car my mom waited beside.
Upon seeing Zeph, she asked me who my new friend was - I only shrugged. I climbed in the backseat, and she got in, taking that as a sign of me not wanting to talk about it. As much as I appreciate him coming to talk to me, I felt I shouldn't get to close. I've had people pretend to be my friend, only to have them laugh at me behind my back. I really wish I could trust him.
As mom backed out of our driveway, it allowed me to take one last look at the tree I left Zeph sitting under. He was still there and he was...smiling?
'What's he so happy about?' I thought he'd be gone by now.
Geez, that boy. I didn't understand it then, but after thinking on it some more, I nearly gasped. What he had said to me before I left. I had said more than one word - however unintentionally. Did he take that as me wanting to be friends? 'No, he probably didn't mean it anyway.'
Little did I know that, that was the beginning of our adventure...