Half Moon Investigations (C) Eoin Colfer

Written for the 4th iu_fanfiction challenge. Prompt is The way it was before. Also inspired by 31 days prompt:We touch, we hold, we keep one another free. Fletcher/May, because I think they could have been cute together.


Redux

My name is Moon. Fletcher Moon. And I'm a private detective--the youngest graduate of Bob Bernstein Private Detective Academy's online class. I received my badge during my seventh grade in Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School. And I have solved enough cases in my lifetime to match the number of times Bella Swan described Edward Cullen using every positive adjective she can find in the English dictionary.(1)

Being a detective is both a reward and a burden. Nothing beats the intoxicating happiness of solving a crime, of unraveling the truth. However, along with this feeling of accomplishment comes the inevitable consequence. I have made more enemies in this field than allies. I have risked and eventually lost possible friendships, all for the sake of truth. But this is the life I chose to live so I do the best action I can think of.

I deal.

But dealing with everything is not as easy as I make it sound. Just a day ago, during one of my investigations for the Case of the Missing Love Letter (2), I happened to see May Devereux, practicing her dance routine on stage for an upcoming school show. She's in her seventh grade now and judging by what my observant eyes have seen, the past two years have been very good to her. She has gotten taller, prettier and amazingly, she has gotten better in dancing,too. Oh, and guess what?

She still hates me.

I don't blame her though. I sent her dad to jail. That alone is a reason enough for us not to be the best of friends. Which is a pity because I genuinely like May. She was one of the few people who didn't call me 'Nerd!' straight to my face. And despite what had transpired between us, she still doesn't. She called me a life wrecker though, which, of course, is ten times as worse than being called a nerd.

Ah, the price of doing the right thing.

Welcome to my life.

Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School is not a very big school. Or to be blunter and less politically correct about it, it's a small school. As a matter of fact, it's so small that news travels as fast as an hour, everyone knows each other's name or what each other had for lunch and the percentage of meeting someone you do like in the school hallway is ninety-five percent. Unfortunately for May Devereux's case, this statistic also means that there's also a ninety-five percent chance of her meeting me, most likely the person she wants to avoid for the rest of her life, in the school hallway.

I met May as she was on her way to her next class. She was wearing the regulation uniform—dark blue coat and a checkered skirt—and her long, blond hair was tied into a ponytail. As oppose to her exiled cousin, April, there wasn't a shade of pink on her—except maybe for her rosy cheeks and currently smiling lips which were all natural, devoid of any make up. And—wait. She's smiling. At me.

At me?

At me?!

At me!

I felt my heart pound. May Devereux was smiling at me. For real! Now, that was something I didn't expect. Herod Sharkey permanently giving up his life of crime had a greater probability of happening as compared to May smiling at me.

Or so I thought.

She raised a hand and made a royal wave. Instantly, I panicked. What should I do? Should I wave back? Should I say 'Hi,May, it's been a long time.' I feel so unexplicably giddy. And for once , after so many years, my mind went blank. So I stopped thinking and let my body do what it wanted. I smiled back at her as my hand slowly moved to wave back.

Things, afterward, began to roll like a slow-motion picture. This was the highlight, the part wherein the lead actor and the lead actress would meet, patch things up and live happily ever after. I prepared all the courage I could muster and opened my mouth to speak o May after two, long years.

"Hi, May—"

Then, she walked past me to greet a classmate (3), a classmate whose name was currently escaping my usually sharp memory. I was mortified. I was disappointed. And now, I think I'd lost a few of my brain cells.

I heard some sniggers from all the students who had witnessed another one of the many embarrassing moments of Fletcher Moon's life.

"It sucks to be you, Half Moon."

Needless to say, it was just your normal, ordinary day in Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School.

My name is Moon. Fletcher Moon. And I'm a private detective. But of course, you already know that. What you don't know is that I'm a private detective who's about to get soaked in the pouring rain, unless I can find someone who's willing to share his of her umbrella with me. (4) But finding that person is as difficult as--pardon the cliche--finding a needle in a haystack. For the students of Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School, the name Fletcher Moon is equivalent to a toxic waste warning sign.

Warning:Fletcher Moon. Freak. Do not touch , not even with a ten-foot pole.

The rain continues to pour down heavily as I ponder what will be the best course of action in this situation. Be soaked or wait for the rain to stop, which will probably be around night time judging from my observation of the weather . Either choice doesn't sound so promising, but the worst part of all is the fact that I still have to make one. And I did. Eventually. Removing my coat and using it as a cover for my head, I decided to do it-- Red Sharkey style. So, I went down the school's three-step staircase of ,all ready to meet the rain and be the Irish personification of Spongebob Squarepants.

But it never happened.

I looked up at the umbrella shielding my head and then to the person beside me. Imagine my surprise to find that it's May Devereux, the girl who supposedly hates me. Am I dreaming? I wish Red were here to punch me awake. On second thought, Red's uppercut packs a wallop so for the sake of my face and my low tolerance to pain, I retract that statement.

"You know what, Fletcher, for a supposedly smart detective, you sure are stupid. Do you want to get sick like Red?"

I stared at her incredulously, her words fleetingly passing through my ears. I still can't believe she's finally talking to me!

"May,I…well…er…"

Great. Now, I'm the one who forgot how to talk properly.

May shifted her gaze to her right and her lips form that familiar pout. "Don't misunderstand. I'm still mad at you. It's just that , you look so pitiful, and I can't stop myself from helping you out. Contrary to what you might think, I don't have a heart of stone."

"I never once thought you did," I told her sincerely. May looks back at me, the color of her cheeks matching the rosy color of her umbrella.

"Enough talk, Fletcher. Let's just get you home."

"Sure."

I took the umbrella from her hand as it was the more gentlemanly thing to do, and side by side, we went out into the open.

The rain poured twice as heavily as we walked out the gates of Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School. But despite of this, the biting cold wind, the occasional thunders, and my brand new shoes getting soaked, my mood becomes a whole lot better. And no, May's hand holding onto my arm for support has got nothing to do with it.

She tightened her grip on my arm, just around the same time a flash of lightning appeared on the dark, gray sky. I smiled to myself.

Or maybe it does. Just a bit.

We reached my house in a few minutes. It's weird to have the girl drop the guy off instead of having it the other way around, even in a non-romantic, not-even-close-to-a-date situation like this.

"Thanks for bringing me home."

She only nodded in response. Then, she turned her back on me, all prepared to leave. But I still didn't want her to.

"May!"

She looked back at me curiously and I said the two words I've really wanted to say to her for the past two years.

"I'm sorry."

She didn't say anything; only stared at me with unreadable eyes. Then, she cocked her head to the left.

"Let's talk about it some other time, Fletcher. When I'm ready and when your sister's not around."

I looked back and groaned upon seeing my sister Hazel watching us with amusement and curiosity through the living room window. Talk about bad timing.

I redirected my attention back to May, only to find her already on the pathway leading to her house. I sighed.

"Yeah, some other time," I whispered before entering the door and being greeted by an unwelcome teasing from Hazel.

May never spoke a word to me the day after she and I shared an umbrella, and the days after that. But I always meet her along the hallways of Saint Jerome's Elementary and Middle School and she walks past me as if I don't exist. Although sometimes, I can catch her looking at me for brief moment before giving her attention back again to whomever she's with. Sometimes, I can even see her smile at me. Red says I'm delusional. I say I only tell what my eyes have seen.

Two months and three day after the Umbrella Incident, I see a letter from May Devereux in my locker. Unlike the note I have received from April two years ago, the paper May used was plain,white and devoid of any allergy-inducing perfume. Opening the note, I couldn't help but grin. The message inside it is short and not really sweet, but quite meaningful. To me, at least.

Fletcher. I'm ready.

And now I see hope.

Wish me luck.

Fin.

Footnotes:

(1)For your information: I didn't read Twilight because I wanted to. It's part of my sister's documentary on the Twilight phenomena. Hazel wanted an opinion on the book coming from someone of the opposite gender, and since I am her brother, her most accessible guinea pig, I was forced to do her bidding. (Or else she'd tell mom and dad about the bruise I got from one of my latest adventures.) So I read the book.

And the boy who bought the three succeeding books the following week? That wasn't me. No way.

(2) My own snitch, Doobie, hired me for this case. It was a letter he had written for his classmate, Ella Jane. Up to this day, I still can't understand why anyone would want to steal a love letter anyway. Then again, Red told me he doesn't understand either why I even bothered to take up the case.

Guess what? I don't, too. (Boredom, maybe?)

(3) But I think she looked at me. Yes, she did. Our eyes met for a brief second and for a moment, I think she glanced at me with the same kind look she used to give to me before the talent show of two years ago.

"I think she has forgiven me, Red."

"Well, I think you were imagining things, Half Moon."

Thank you for the encouragement, Red. I appreciate it very much.

(4) Red is no longer an option as he's been absent for the past two days because of the flu. Which is due to the fact that he got caught in the rain . Because he didn't bring an umbrella.


Thank you for reading.