Chapter 1: Alex

"Alex?" Her voice broke through my thoughts like the gentle waves of the ocean against the beach. "Are you alright?"

I didn't look at her. I couldn't, instead gazing at my hand, at the long white fingers, flawless skin and the prefect blue veins undamaged by time.

"Yes," I said my voice steady. How had I managed that? I wasn't alright and I knew it but the response was normal never changed. She couldn't change it, and nor could anyone else.

"You seem…." She words faded and I heard the concern in them, and her gaze on me. Those warm, enchanting….

No! I told myself, don't think that way! Even though whenever I met her the same feeling came over me.

I placed my hand on the table, fingers splayed exactly the same distance apart. Then with a great effort and looked up and met her gaze. Her amazing green eyes somehow soothing my soul, calming my mind.

"I'm fine." I repeated hoping I sounded convincing.

"If your sure…" She said, her voice so warm and soft it was almost like a loving caress to my skin, soothing the pain that persisted in my right leg.

"Positive." I smiled and she smiled back. She nodded.

"I was asking if you wanted to do something this weekend?"

"Sounds prefect!" I said, dread filling me from top to toe. But I couldn't refuse her anything. Any time I got to spend with her was…. Special… There were no other words to describe it. And after so long of being without a friend I relished the opportunity. "Did you have anything in mind?"

She smiled. "I have as it happens…" I leaned back in my chair, studying her closely and smile creeping onto my lips. She always had something in mind, something that she wanted to see if I couldn't do. Testing my abilities determined to find out what I couldn't do.

"Oh…" I said, watching with amusement as she hesitated. "What is it this time?"

"I've signed us up for art class!"

"Art?"

"Yes art, painting…. You know…"

I nodded. "Alright. Art it is."

"On Saturday… 9a.m, don't be late!"

"When have I ever been late?"

She frowns that look of deep concentration appearing on her face as she tries to remember a time when I was late.

"Alright!" She said eventually. "You've never been late for anything, or at least I can't think of a time when you were."

"Exactly, so don't worry! I'm not going to be late!"

"Good."

I sit in silence for several moments, both of us lost in our own thoughts. My thoughts taking a darker more painful route, one I did not want to think about, one I would rather not dwell on. She surprises me by saying, "You know if there is anything wrong you can tell me."

I stared at her, what? Was it that obvious? "I know." I said picking up my drink and taking a sip, anything to distract myself.

"I'm just worried about you…" she said quickly before I can say anything to change the subject. "I just seem so quiet some times. Are your parents giving you a hard time?"

If only. I thought, but I smiled at her and said. "No, they're not, I just…." How could I possibly explain my behaviour?

"And another thing," she said just as my phone began to ring. Saved by the bell! I took my phone from my pocket and looked it, inwardly sighing, here we go again!

"Hello Hannah." I answered.

"Hello Darling." Her sweet voice sounded in my ear, I cringed inwardly, knowing she wasn't happy, though what I had possibly could have done this time to upset her I would never really know. "Where are you?"

"In the park." I lied trying to sound cheerful, "I thought I would get some fresh air."

"Well I want you home!" came the sharp reply.

"Ok… I'll be home in five minutes." I said, knowing that when I did get home, things were not going to be pleasant.

I ended the call, and stood.

"Are you going?" I turned to her, not wanted to go, not wanting to leave, but I knew I had.

"I should probably head home now." I said looking into those beautiful green eyes, drinking them in as if they would give me strength. "I'll see you tomorrow." I smiled, she nodded, watching me concern in her eyes.

"Yes." She said. "At the same time, same place." She smiled, and my heart melted a little. I loved it when she smiled!

"Yes!" I said smiling back, I couldn't help it, she had a hold over me that meant it was possible to stay away.

I left and began my journey home knowing what would happen when I got there, but for the moment not caring as I closed my eyes and saw those beautiful green eyes.