Prologue

It was an average day. Average as could be.

You know those days when the snow's been gone for a few weeks and it's just beginning to look like the worst of the cold is over? Where the grass is starting to green and suddenly the thermometer decides to stop being sluggish and rockets up to about seventy when the average is around fifty if we're lucky?

It was one of those sorts of days. The mercury in the glass was rounding sixty-eight and I was sick of being cooped up in the tiny house on the corner of the Stately Merit Drive. So I flipped off the TV deciding to take a walk with an enthusiastic Slush.
Slush, is about the best dog you could ever have. He is a Siberian husky and me and Uncle Rob loved him to bits.

I'd grabbed the dog leash while Slush was running around in circles in front of the door. I pulled on my roller blades, as it was so much easier to keep up with a one hundred and twenty, fully muscle husky on wheels than on your flip-flopped covered feet, I'll have you know.

I hooked up Slush in the sloped driveway and we were off.

The only really good way of explaining the feeling of being dragged up a street on roller blades by your panting three foot-tall dog is by simply stating it's like water skiing on pavement. We were rolling along, stopping here and there for Slush to "make his mark," as Uncle Rob likes to say, when I saw the moving vans up the street on Cotton Field Lane. Cotton Field was just off of the much bigger, much busier Stately Merit Drive. It also had a lot better houses, I realized as I gazed at the green home the moving van was parked in front of.

The windows were a dark cherry wood, and the whole place smelled the way new houses seemed to smell. I paused as Slush stopped to sniff at the mail box. The hired men who looked to be about in their twenty's were hauling furniture in through the front French door.

Up close the place looked even grander. Two towering double story windows were beside either side of the porch leading up to the front door. Ah, wouldn't it be bliss to live there? I thought listlessly. I was still staring at the house when a woman with dark mahogany colored hair emerged from the front door, narrowly avoiding a long board that must have been part of a bookcase. She was talking angrily to one of the moving van guys.

"What can you not read?" I caught the fuming conversation as Slush began to slowly pick up his pace and walk down the street again. "It says fra-gile, or are you blind?"

The man was looking very distraught as he replied, "Ma'am I assure no one meant to break anything. Perhaps we can help you replace it?"

Poor man, I thought pityingly.

What happened next wouldn't make sense even if I told it to you. It'd be bizarre, insane, and all at once thoughtful.

Time stood still.

Everyone was freeze framed as they were. The newcomer lady, with her purple/red, mahogany hair, the stressed moving van guy, the movers, even Slush looked up from the scents on the ground and held up a paw on a ready to run position.

I merely remained they way I was when the Boy came out from the house.

I call him "the Boy" because at the time I didn't really know his name yet. Yet, that is.

"Mom, just calm down, it only broke a bit," he said in the calmest of ways as he stepped slowly around a pair of men towing in a sofa. He was wearing baggy khaki cargo pants with a plain burnt orange shirt.

I could tell easily that he was related to the woman who was yelling at the moving guy besides the fact he'd called her mom. He had the same sort of purplish hair, though his was far redder with only a hint of the dark brown.

The thing that caught my eye about him wasn't the hair or the clothes, or even the freckles spotted all over his face.

It was his eyes. His stone grey eyes.

They were the sort of eyes that seem to always be looking right at you, like an Uncle Sam poster. Never did they leave you. At least that's what it felt like. I'm not going to be selfish enough to believe that he'd be looking right at me.

No, he was turned to his mother now. It'd been just a brief moment that he was looking straight out from the porch, right onto the street, right at me.

"It was only one bottle of rum," he was saying gently. "I'm sure it's not even their fault."

At these words, the man looked relieved. He hoisted the box he was carrying higher up and walked on. The woman looked slightly calmer too, but it was sympathetic calm.

"You should be resting," she said in a tone that might have once been a telling-off. The Boy just smiled a soft and cool smile and turned back to the porch.

He seemed to look at me for a long time, even though I know it was just a few seconds. That's all I needed, as I was purely confused by now. He seemed nice enough, but so eerily calm….

I shook my head, noticing that the Boy had gone back into the house. The woman was following behind him, shaking her head in the way that most mothers do when they're slightly annoyed, but still have a sweet spot for their kids.

I glanced at my dog, and nudged him slightly. He raised his head up a little bit higher and began pulling me along again.

I forgot about the Boy for a while after that.

Author's note: So starts my not-so-secret-anymore story. Heh.