- Vol. 01
- Chapter 05
Best FriendsWe took it up to the roof of Lisa’s garage. Did we think it would survive better up there, or did we secretly believe it wasn’t of this earth, with its huge bug eyes and barely skinned bones. Maybe we believed it could ‘phone home’ more easily from there.
“It needs worms to eat,” I said, crouching over its crumpled angles in the middle of Lisa’s smooth, pink palm. She had this way with animals. It made me cross when Norah’s dog, Ratty, ran back to her on our walks to the River Lea. Sometimes I would carry a bit of left-over sandwich in my pocket – cheese worked better than jam – and Ratty would fuss over me, but all Lisa had to do was click her tongue and Ratty would be licking her face like she was made of cheese.
“Let me hold it,” I said “You go and get it some worms. ”
She fondled its see-through head. “You get the worms,” she said, her dark curls shaking “I need to keep this little fella warm.” She cupped her other hand over it and settled back on her haunches.
“That’s not fair. I found it. Give it back. ” I tugged at her fingers.
“Don’t,” she said, twisting away from me, so she nearly toppled off the roof.
“We need to make it a nest,” I said, “then we can put it in there to keep warm and get the worms together. ” I scrambled over to the corner of the roof that met the wall of my house. “This moss will make a good bed,” I said, tugging at it.
Lisa stood up “S’okay, I‘ve made a nest. ” She turned round triumphantly, stroking the pocket in the front of her dungarees, squeezed out of shape by her new breasts.
“That’s not fair,” I said, trying to stop the tears because she would call me a baby and remind me of how my breasts were still flat like Peter’s.
“It’s like I’m pregnant,” she said.
“It’s my baby bird,” I repeated and stomped over. “Give it back. ” I reached out, my fingers eager to grasp the alien form I’d been too scared to touch when I first found it.
“Don’t. You’ll crush it.”
“You’ll hurt it,” she repeated, her voice high pitched as she took a step back to evade me.
And I am still grabbing for her pocket and she is falling and it is all happening so slowly and so fast and I am shouting, “Lisa!”
The thud is loud and there is a crack and we are not supposed to be on the roof. Lisa is on her back, her eyes are open and she is looking up at me. I wait for her to grin. I hold in my anticipatory giggle with my hand. It’s lucky you landed on your back, I am going to say, otherwise you’d’ve killed it. And I am going to forgive her for being mean.