SILVER SANDS

"Lee...I don't think we should be friends anymore..."

Lee looked up at Saffron. The raven haired boy was sitting across the table, looking troubled.

"Saffron?" Lee blinked. He was hearing things...Yep! Saffron hadn't opened his mouth.

"I said..." Saffron's gaze fell to the floor. "I don't think we should be friends anymore."

Lee looked up at him again.

"W...What?" He asked, his voice shaking slightly. "But Saffie, we're best mates, remember? We're gonna stick together no matter what!"

Saffron's sapphire blue eyes met with Lee's emerald eyes briefly, before his gaze returned to the floor.

"I'm sorry Ash...but I just...can't help it."

"Woah!" Lee gasped, almost falling off of his chair. "Your serious about this?!"

Saffron nodded.

"I'm sorry..."

"Yo, Saffron, sorry ain' t the word! This just ain't happening!"

"I'm sorry..." Saffron repeated as his eyes glazed over with tears. He was hiding something...Lee knew it.

"Well...if it's over...then you might as well tell me why." Lee was acting brave about the whole thing, but inside, he was shattered. Saffron was his best friend...they had known each other since the age of six. They were inseperable...like brothers...the dynamic duo of their village...until now...

"Um...I..." Saffron swallowed hard. Lee forced a smile.

"Look Saffron, if this is about Mika, I don't have a crush on her. I don't even like her as a friend-"

He was abruptly cut off.

"It's not about her." Saffron said icily. "I don't regard her as a friend either."

"But Saff, I thought you liked her."

"I never liked her...and...to be honest...I don't like you either..."

Lee's eyes widened.

"S...Saffron?"

Suddenly, Saffron was on his feet, heading for the door.

"It's over Lee."

With that, he left.

****

"Lee? Lee?? Lee!!! For god's sake! Answer me!!!"

Lee turned to face Caleb. The sixteen year old seemed to tower over him. Yeah, Caleb was tall for his age, but now he looked huge because Lee felt so small.

"What do you want?" Lee asked. Caleb's face took on an expression of total exasperation.

"What do I want??? I want you to stop ignoring me!"

"I wasn't ignoring you."

"Oh yeah? Is that why I shouted you about twenty times?!" Caleb yelled. "Damn, you annoy me Ashmore!"

Savannah pulled a face.

"Don't call me Ashmore!"

Caleb stuck his tongue out.

"Why? What was it that red-head called you? Ash? Ashley?"

Caleb had always called Saffron 'red-head'. Saffron's hair wasn't even red, it was black, but Caleb had always found this funny, as Saffron was a shade of red.

"Don't call me that either." Lee replied bitterly. Saffron had always called him Ash...and right now, he didn't want to be reminded of him in anyway.

"Why? I thought Red-head was your best mate." Caleb asked curiously.

"Yeah...well...not any more..."

Caleb's mood turned to one of utter delight within seconds.

"Yee! You mean that you and him aren't friends at all anymore?!"

Lee nodded. Caleb grinned. He had always wanted to be Lees best friend. He thought that Lee was an amazing person and once he had attached himself to someone or something, he just couldn't let go. He was like a little limpet.

"It's nothing to be happy about." Lee pointed out. "I'm a loner now."

Caleb squinted over at the oaktree.

"Hey, there's Saffron now. Talk about crap and it hits you in the face."

Lee pouted, unamused by Caleb's little comment.

"He's been hanging out with Keir alot recently." The hyper-active teenager brushed a few strands of his golden hair away from his face. "You know, maybe you should talk to him."

Lee sighed.

"There's no point."

"Why not?"

Caleb slid over beside him and poked him in the ribs.

"Because I said so, that's why there's no point!"

"Say Ash..."

Lee glared at him.

"OK!!! L-E-E...if you ever need a new best mate...you know who to call!"

"It's not as simple as that!" Lee replied firmly.

****

Keir gazed at Saffron. The young Goth looked so...distant...so sad... The gentle breeze blew strands of golden brown hair across his face, but he didn't bother brushing them away. He was fixated on Saffron. How could he look so depressed? He had been so cheerful and optimistic last week. Why had that all changed? Keir sighed. Just being in Saffron's company was making him depressed. He wanted the old Saffron back!

****

Saffron glanced at Keir and then turned away.

'Why is he looking at me like that?' He thought. 'Am I that bad?'

He turned away more, but Lee was sitting over in that direction with Caleb. Caleb? What the hell was he doing with Caleb? That guy practically stalked him! He thought Lee was absolutely wonderful for being able to compose such moving music...Moving music...yeah, sure...more like music to slash your wrists to... He blinked. He was critisizing Lee's talent. Why? Did he hate him? No...he was jealous of Caleb, that was all... Lee wasn't his friend anymore...and it was his own fault. He'd blown it. He'd blown it big time... Still, Lee couldn't know why Saffron was distancing himself from him. It wasn't fair...and yet, it wasn't fair that he didn't know... Saffron blinked. He was confusing himself. He turned to face Keir.

"Um...hey...Keir... Why don't we go somewhere else?"

"Where do you want to go?"

"Somewhere far away from here... How about the cinema?"

"What's on?"

"I don't know...something..."

Keir blinked at him.

"Oh...come on...I've still got some cash left from last week. I'll pay for you."

****

'Seven days have passed...and he still isn't talking to me...' Lee thought. He looked over at Caleb who was stretched across his bed, eyes fixed on the TV screen. He was focusing all his attention to the video game. Lee ran his hand through his own dark burgundy hair, and then opened his mouth to speak to Caleb. No words came out. He tried again, but all that came out was a high pitched squeak. Caleb paused his game and then rolled around so that he was lying on his back.

"You say something Ash?"

Lee coughed before continuing.

"Why...Why do you think Saffron ditched me?"

"Cause he's an idiot. I think you're the best person in the world."

Lee gave a soft smile.

"That's easy for you to say..." He whispered.

He and Caleb had left the park soon after Keir and Saffron had left. Life was boring without Saffron and Lee realised rather quickly that he'd been taking Saffron's friendship for granted. He ssat down on the bed beside Caleb. Caleb squinted at him and then shrugged.

"What's up? Is it Saffron?"

Lee nodded.

"Why are you letting it bother you so much? Don't let him get to you." Caleb threw a spare Playstation controller in Lee's direction.

"Here. I bet you can't beat my highscore!"

****

Saffron wasn't paying attention to the film. What was the point? He wasn't even enjoying himself. He noticed Keir staring at him and watched as the brown-haired boy's gaze return to the screen in front of them. They had been spending alot of time together recently...perhaps too much time together... Keir was beginning to take Lee's place and that...just couldn't happen...Saffron wouldn't allow it. Even if it meant that he spent the rest of his life without any close friends, no-one could poosibly take Lee's place. He was torn from his thoughts as Keir's elbow made contact with his ribs.

"Ow! The hell was that for?!" Saffron snapped.

Keir gave him a mischevious grin.

"To get your attention, stupid!"

Keir leaned down a little so that people in the seats behind them couldn't see.

"You aren't enjoying yourself, are you?" He whispered. Saffron leaned down too and mouthed the word "No."

Keir nodded.

"It's kind of obvious. You've done nothing but sit there brooding. So," He grinned. "Who's downfall are you planning?"

Saffron raised his eyebrow.

****

Aw man! Saffron was so cute when he did that! Despite the whole emotionless Goth act, Keir knew that deep down inside Saffron was just a messed up kid.

Saffron glanced at the floor.

"Why are we leaning down?" He asked softly.

"I just want to know..." Keir began quietly so that no-one else could hear. "Why you're acting so callous towards Lee..."

Saffron blushed.

"It...It's none of your business!" He gasped, biting his lip. Whatever it was that was bothering him, was bothering him badly.

"Oh, come on Saffron...It's no big deal. Here," He held out his hand. "Pinky-promise I won't tell anyone."

Saffron looked up at him, his eyes sparkling with curiosity and innocence.

"You promise you won't tell?" He asked timidly. Keir nodded.

"I promise."

"Okay..." Saffron leaned over and linked pinkies with Keir as he told him what was bothering him. The more he told Keir, the wider Keir's eyes got. When he finished, almost ten minutes later, he let go of his friends finger and leaned back into his seat, relieved that he had got the whole thing off his chest. Keir swallowed hard, but then forced himself to relax too.

"So...that's it, huh?"

Saffron nodded, running his hand through his raven black hair.

"Well...let's just say that I wasn't expecting that..." Keir stared at the floor for several minutes and then glanced up at the screen. The hero and heroine were busy kissing the faces off each other. He blushed lightly and then looked at Saffron again. The fifteen year old looked satisfied that he'd told someone about his problem.Wow...Keir thought. How could Saffron be so calm when he was suffering so badly?

****