The Dead Kid Returns:
Chapter 3: A Quiet Beginning
Beth felt one thing for sure - Time was running out.
She could feel the spirit of the new kid, the bright female spark hidden inside a male shell getting weaker. She knew she had to act fast, if she was going to help the new kid, so she steeled her courage, and waited until classes got out.
This might be difficult enough without an audience.
She followed the new kid for a block, and then said, “Hay. Wait up!”
The new kid turned, and looked at her.
“Hi. I ... I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve noticed you’re alone a lot. I .. I just wanted to say that you dont have to be. I would like to spend time with you, if you like.”
The new kid said nothing.
“I ... I mean, we could do something together. What do you like to do?”
“I like to read.” the new kid said softly.
“Well, we could read together.”
The new kid stared at her, and then said, “Okay. if you want, I ... I have a spot nearby where I like to read.”
“Lead the way.” Beth said, with a smile.
The new kid led her to a park, went to a spot on the grass, and sat down. Then the new kid pulled a book out a backpack, and said tentatively “Do you have a book? I could lend you one.”
“That would be cool. What book is that?” Beth asked.
“The Martian Chronicles. Its a favorite of mine.”
“Then I would be honored if you let me borrow it.”
The new kid handed her the book, and Beth made herself comfortable on the grass near the new kid.
They read silently for ten minutes, and then the new kid said, “I have to go home now.”
“Okay. Can we do this again?”
“Tomorrow, if you like.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
The next day, she did it again, and the day after as well. Part of her wanted to hurry this along, but she understood if she moved too fast, the new kid would get scared, and not let her help.
“First, I have to gain her trust.” Beth thought to herself.
On the fourth day, she handed the book back to the new kid, saying “I finished. It was a great book, thank you for lending it to me.”
“Do you have a favorite part?”
“That one story, about the automated house. It was kinda sad, but neat too.”
“Ah, yes. ‘There will come soft rains’. that’s one of my favorite parts of that book.”
“You have any other books?” Beth asked.
“Here. Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’. Its the first of a series of books, and its fantastic.”
A week passed, and the one result of Beth’s time with the new kid was that the new kid seemed more ... solid in class. People seemed to have less trouble remembering her, even if they called her by a male name.
And the girl within seemed to be stronger, her bright flame shining through, especially three days a month. There was still a lot of sadness associated with that, but it was better than it had been.
Another week went by, and the girl inside the new kid was no closer to being able to break through the male shell.
Beth realized it was just about time for Phase Two .....
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