An eerie quiet falls over 31 Park Terrace. The stairs whisper. The doors creak and the floors murmur. Our voices ring out loud and shrill. Echoing in the vast emptiness of the house. “It is actually kind of scary now, don’t you think?” Angela whispers, eyes wide with dramatized fear. I grin. Muted giggles and faces pressed into sleep bags. We inch our closer to watch Lucy playing on Angela’s Hp.
Time drifts closer to midnight my mind becomes foggy and my eyelids heavy. It is astounding how much energy is required to simply keep your eyes open.
The sun wakes us up in perfect golden haze. I rub the sleep out of my eyes, little bits of crust crumbling on my fingers and falling onto the floor. Angela is already standing. She stretches her back, so that her tank top exposes her flat stomach. Her blond hair is adorably messy. She smiles with smooth pale pink lips. Her freckles dance on her cheeks.
“Which one do you think I should wear?” she questions me. She holds up an exquisite dark purple top with braided straps and a light-blue long-sleeved shirt with cute white buttons.
I shrug my shoulders, “I like them both.”
She rolls her eyes, and turns her back toward me to pull on the purple number. I quickly get out of my sleeping bag and change into my long-sleeved grey-black top. When I turn to face her again I catch an emotion flickering in her eyes, but it disappears to fast for me tell what it is. “What?” I ask.
She shakes her head, “Let’s eat breakfast. I am starving.”
Downstairs we share a breakfast of cornflakes, strawberries, and 2% milk. We are quiet as we spoon the cereal into our mouths. Only slurping, chewing, and thinking.
“Do you want to practice doing handstands,” I ask her, “We have so much space, it is a perfect place to practice.”
Angela nods, proceeds down the two steps into the carpeted living room area. She takes a mocking bow to an invisible audience before completing a near to impeccable handstand. Skinny legs upright in the air. A tight muscled stomach. Strong arms. A shiver runs through me as she flings herself around the living room; flaunting her handstands and cartwheels.
“Come join me,” she calls. I bite my lip and shake my head. The cold burns my hands. “I changed my mind. I can’t do a handstand.”
“Try it.” Angela stops her show to stare at me, a dare evident in the devious sparkle in her eyes. I inhale a deep breath. My fingers spasm with cold. I plant my hands firmly onto the ground and kick my legs up. Instead of falling back onto my feet like expected to, Angela grabs my legs, holding me upward. “What are you doing,” I cry, panic a vivid note in my voice.
“I am helping you,” Angela insists, not dropping my legs. Dark color rushes into my face. My arms shake under my weight.
“Please,” I beg her, breathless, “Let me go.”
She lets me fall safely back to the floor and avert my eyes to floor still trembling.