The boy with the floppy black hair jumps up and down along the street, and I watch from my bedroom window. He was always so happy, so full of energy, compared to me. I always seemed to be ill, so weak, so sickly. I never go to school, too large a chance of illnesses and that other word the grown-ups use... infections! The doctors say in a few months I can start going into school, if my rate of improvement (whatever that is) stays the same, but until then I’m stuck here wishing I was outside.
Stifling a cough, I look back at the street. The kid’s head jerks up towards my window and I don’t have time to duck so instead I just give him my best smile. I don’t smile very often, but I give it a go anyway. He smiles back at me and waves up at me. I wave back. This is the longest conferashun (no cofersation? Conversation!) that I’ve had with anyone but my mummy in years. Even the doctors don’t speak to me, they speak to mummy and I just stare at the floor, because I’m terrified I’ll say something wrong.
“Hello!” the boy shouts up, still waving.
“H...hi!” I croak back, my voice sounding rusty.
“N..nice to meet you... I’m J...Jack”
“Hello Jack! I have to go home now!” he calls, frowning slightly.
“Oh, okay...” I say, disappointed that we have to stop talking.
“Wait, Dean! Tomorrow can I ask mummy if you can come for tea?” I ask, as a spur of the moment thing.
“YES!” he shouts, running down the street happily.
I’m curled up on the sofa, shaking slightly from nerves. I’m about to have a friend (can he be counted as a friend?) round for tea. I’m 7, most people have had people round for tea by now but I’ve never even had a friend before, let alone had anyone in my house. My house isn’t like those on telly, it’s full of medicines and big bottles and machines which mummy says help me breathe if I have trouble and fix me when stuff in my body goes wrong. But normal people don’t have that.
The doorbell rings and mummy answers it, and in bounds Dean with a huge smile on his face.
“Hello Dean!” I squeal, suddenly not nervous anymore.
He runs up to me and I hug him, which is lovely because he seems to give better hugs than mummy. And I’m taller, which is cool because I can rest my head on his which is really awesome and I feel like his protector. I love the feeling it gives me. It’s all snuggy and lovey and nice.
“You boys want some pizza? And then you can maybe watch a film?” mummy says, coming into the room.
I nod, and so does Dean, so we run through into the kitchen and sit at the table.
“Thank you Jack’s mum!” Dean says grinning.
“No problem Dean.” She says smiling.
We eat in silence for a few moments, before I start feeling faint and get a nosebleed. Luckily mummy is there and does the needle-y thing and puts the tube in my arm. She says it’s a two-letter thing. M-R? I-A? I.V! That’s it! It’s an IV thingy! Dean just looks on, not saying anything until the tubes in and I start eating again.
“Are you okay Jack?” He asks.
“Yeah... mummy just says I get sick sometimes!” I reply, not wanting him to think I’m too weird.
“Oh okay! I’ll make you better!” he says, leaning forwards and kissing me on the cheek. “My mummy and daddy say that kisses make everything better!”
“Thank you Dean! I feel better now! Can we go watch a film now mummy?” I shout.
Mum nods and we go through to the living room and cuddle up on the sofa to watch Peter Pan together, my favourite film. I’m suddenly not so scared of going to school anymore, not if Dean will be there to kiss me better if I get sick again.
-A few hours later-
I wake up, still cuddled up with Dean on the sofa. I must have fallen asleep on the sofa, I do that sometimes. I kiss Dean on the cheek, then fall asleep on his shoulder again, dreaming of me and him going to the park.