The First 15 Steps (Untitled)
Atkins was standing outside the house. He'd been there an hour + a half
since I first noticed him, and I was beginning to get a little impatient.
The main thing was how did he get round the back? Mum wouldn't have let him
in through the house, she's as sick of him as I am. The hedge by the fence
seperating our house from the Ramaan's is not possible to get through and he
can't have come over from Mrs Bilden's on the left as I hadn't heard her dog
barking, as is his habit when anyone but Mrs Bilden is in the house. The
only other possibility could be he came over the wall at the back, from the
railway lines, but to get there would mean scaling the barbed wire fence at
the north end (the dodgy end) of the park and walking down the long tunnel
on the tracks. I think Michael and Greg tried it once but didn't get more
than half way down the tunnel before turning back and almost getting hit by
the 11.05 express train.
But he was there. Still there. I wondered what to do.
"Lauren, food!" Mum was calling from downstairs. She wouldn't be able to see
Atkins from the kitchen or living room because of where he was standing,
between the shed + the old den Tim made last summer. But I could see him. He
was just standing there looking straight ahead, facing the shed, as he'd
been the whole time - and I remebered how he used to be so so skinny when he
first came to our school, and James called him 'Atkins Diet', soon dropping
the 'diet'. It was silly but the name stuck. Most people didn't know his
real name - Charlie Darwin, which I always thought was a ridiculous
oversight by his uneducated Catholic parents.
"Lauren, it'll be cold" mum called.
I headed downstairs for dinner.