Sixth Grade

"So I guess Mom wants to move out," he said quietly. Angrily.

I bit my lip and didn't respond. My emotions would spill over with any words I said and I couldn't let the emotions get in the way. So I said nothing.

We stood silently, solemnly, until the silence was so thick I couldn't breathe. "Look, I can write, you know? I can call and stuff, and you can give me your address and I can come visit and…" I trailed off because the way he looked out the window and not at me, told me I could not do those things. "Okay," I said softly, "okay. It'll be okay. It'll all be just fine." Maybe if I had said it more often before this wouldn't be happening.

Another silence.

"Bella, I…"

I looked up and searched his face for something, though I wasn't sure what for. I just knew something was missing.

He sighed. "Thanks, you know? You're all right for a girl." He smiled half-heartedly and I laughed.

"Ya think so?" I tried to joke, but the pain was a sharp edge in my throat when I spoke.

"Bella, stop crying, please?"

I rubbed my eyes angrily. "I'm not crying."

"Yes, you are. Only wimps cry and you're not a wimp." He tried to comfort me but it only made it worse and I could feel the sobs threatening to come up like bile. When I looked at him, our eyes met and locked. In them I saw a weariness, but also a sort of aged maturity that made me think he was forced to grow up before he should have.

"Here," he said, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a small object and reached for my hand. "My dad made two for me. He was always doing something with paint or clay, stuff like that, and he said it took him two months to get them just right. You better not lose it."

In my hand was a small clay lizard, painted the same green of his eyes with gold spots down its tail. The texture was detailed, scaly like a lizard's. It was clear his father had really worked on this.

"I have one. So we both are still connected somehow, you know?" He smiled at the little lizard in my hand. I smiled too.

I sighed shakily. "So can I name it Eddie?"

He narrowed his eyes. "Ha. Ha. Ha."

It didn't need to be said that we were grateful for the lighter atmosphere, because for the next few days we would suffocate in the heavy tension of goodbye.

*

Is this intriguing enough for my first story? I promise it's more interesting than it sounds right now. I have other chapters written but I need encouragement. I don't expect too many reviews :)