It Started With a Kiss

by Kiwi

Part 2

When I came back from the shower, all fresh and clean, smelling nice and looking gorgeous, with nothing but an old towel wrapped around my waist, Chalky was already there with his nose stuck to the window. He wasn't interested in my many attractions, even when I took the towel off. He was far too interested in what was happening next-door.

"Hey Chalky. How's it going?"

"Hey Davey. How many bloody kids do you think they've got over there?"

"I dunno. Dozens. More than the Hollisters anyway."

"The Hollisters had no kids, no young ones anyway. These people have got their own school. Hey, your brother's over there!"

"Bruce? Where is he?"

I tried to look around Chalky without anyone else seeing my nakedness.

"Of course Bruce. You've only got one brother. He's up in the treehouse with those redheads. Remember when we got caught up there? The old lady was going to turn the garden hose on us."

"Yeah. The old bag. Wintertime too, it was. Well, if Bruce is over there, we should go and meet them too."

"Yeah. Sounds like a plan. You might want to put some pants on first though. Which one was it that you saw kissing the old guy?"

"Believe me now, do you? I haven't seen him there today. The old guy is though, he must be the kids' father."

"Eww!"

"No, Dimwit. Not the boy's, the other kids' father. I suppose that his boyfriend wouldn't live with the rest of them."

Chalky had gone by the time I was ready. Dressing didn't take long - just boxers, shorts and a t-shirt, but coaxing some order into my bloody hair did. I've got these horrible curls everywhere, long and loose and impossible to keep tidy.

I'd shave the lot off, but Mum wouldn't let me. She likes it as it is. I wish she'd at least let me put some blond high-lights in it. When I was little, I looked like one of those chubby little cherubs that you see on Christmas cards. By 15, I wasn't little, or chubby, anymore, but I still had the bloody curls. Why couldn't I have straight hair like Chalky's? His hair looked great - long and blond and hanging flat around his head like a helmet. Mine looked like a mess of snakes! (Our pubes are the same though).

Satisfied at last, sort-of, I went downstairs and out to our backyard. I wasn't sure how to go about meeting these people. I mean, you can't just poke your head over the fence and say, "Hi. Nice to meet you."

But, apparently, Chalky could. He was standing up on the compost bin, hanging over the fence and talking away to someone over there. I jumped up on the bin next to him and looked over. It was one of the hot girls he was talking to, the one with the short hair. Trust Chalky, he doesn't know the meaning of the word 'shy'.

"This is Davey. He lives here, he's 15, same as me. Davey, meet your new neighbour. This is Chatty."

"Hi. Hello, umm, Chatty?"

"Yeah. Hey Davey, I'm Chatty. It's short for Charity, my grandmother's name. It could be worse, at least I got named first. My sister's named after our other grandmother. Hey, Teaser! Come over here and meet the cute neighbour boys!"

The other girl came over to us, a big smile on her beautiful face. She was looking good enough to turn a gay boy straight - well, almost. I was blushing like an idiot. Cute? Me? No way! Chalky is though.

"This is Teaser. That's short for Theresa. She's sweet sixteen, I'm seventeen. Tease, these are Chalky and David. How old are you guys anyway?"

"Um, fifteen. I'm called Davey. We're both named David, actually. But he gets Chalky and I get Davey."

Teaser smiled up at us. I felt like my face was going to burst into flames. "Hey Guys. Why would your parents give you both the same name?"

"They didn't. Not really. I mean, we're not brothers, just friends. I live down the street and we're nearly sixteen." Chalky stammered, he doesn't usually get this flustered, it must be the hormones.

"Oh - kay," Chatty smiled. "So, are you going to jump down here, or are you just going to perch up there on the fence? Come on over, come and meet the mob and you can tell us all about our new town. It shouldn't take long, there's not much to it, is there?"

She was well-named, Chatty. They both were. I wouldn't have been surprised if Chalky had already sprung a boner. He hadn't - I checked.

So, we leapt over the fence like a couple of action men. Well, skinny action men. And we went to meet the neighbours. It took a while to sort it out, I certainly didn't get all their names the first time, but I eventually got it right.

The family were - the father, David, (yeah, yeah, another David, very funny), the mother, Mrs. Marie Mathews, Chatty, (Charity aged 17), Tease, (Theresa 16), big brother Matt, (Matthew 19), and the rest of the evangelists - blond Mark, (aged 12), Luck, (Luke aged 9), and John, (8). The little fat boy was Chuck, (Charles 6), and the little girls, Dossie, (Dorothy 4), and Arne, (Anne 3).

The redheads were twins, aged 14, Richard and Janet. They were called Dick and Dyke, which I thought was a bit rough, but no-one seemed to mind. They were Matthews too, and part of the family but they were actually Mr. Matthews' younger brother and sister. He and his wife had raised them since their real parents died when they were babies. He called them his inheritance. That meant that they were actually Aunt and Uncle to all the rest of them, even the older ones.

There was no sign of the other boy, the kid that I'd seen first. I wanted to know but I couldn't ask, he might be the dad's boyfriend and they wouldn't know about him. Or want to.

But then, Chalky did ask, (trust Chalky!), "Hey Chatty, where's the other kid? Davey said that he saw another boy here the other day."

"Oh, that will be Carter. He's inside somewhere. Carter doesn't talk to anyone much, but he's one of ours too. He's Mum's inheritance, she inherited him when his parents died.

They were Mum's sister and her husband. Carter just lives in his own little world. You probably won't see a lot of him, but he's your age, 15. He's not a Matthews, he's Jordan Carter, but he is one of ours."

"We're nearly sixteen," Chalky protested. "So this Jordan, he's like your cousin then?"

"He's called Carter, just Carter. It's his surname really but that's all he'll answer to, if he answers at all. He decided that he didn't want to be called Jordan. He is our cousin, but he's like nothing you've ever seen."

'He's not? Is he a bit simple or something? I've got a cousin who's simple."

"No," she laughed. "He's not like that, or maybe he is simple. He's just different. Simple like a computer maybe."

Chalky was intrigued now. "So he's really like a genius then?"

"No, I dunno, maybe. He wouldn't tell you if he was. He's just Carter. You'd call him an eccentric I suppose. Gran calls him her angel, but if angels are like Carter then heaven's a pretty weird place."

I just had one question. "Does Carter go to school?"

"Yeah, he goes to school, sometimes, when he's in the mood. When he's got nothing more interesting to do."

"And your parents just let him get away with that? Can't they make him go to school?"

"Make Carter go to school?" Tease laughed. "Not likely. No-one makes Carter do anything he doesn't want to, you'll see. You'll hear him anyway. He likes music, Beatles music - LOUD Beatles music. You'll be hearing plenty of that, I hope that you like the Beatles."

"I don't know much about the Beatles really."

For some reason, the girls thought that that was very funny. They called Matt over and told him, and he thought that that was very funny as well. Strange people.

We hung around for a while and then we had to go. There was a game of softball on and Chalky was playing. I wasn't, I was just watching. Sometimes they roped me in when they were short of players, but I'd rather just watch really. Chalky said once that I should get some cheerleader's pom-poms, but he changed his mind when I told him what I'd do with them.

Later, in the evening, we were back up in my room. Chalky was staying the night with me. (Yay!) I was lying, invitingly, on the bed, Chalky stood looking out of the window.

"Whoah! Davey, did that Carter kid have blue hair?"

"Blue hair? No, it was just brown, I think. Why?'

"Well, someone's got blue hair and he's just climbed up on the roof next-door."

"He what? Who's climbed up on the roof?"

I jumped up off the bed and joined Chalky at the window. Someone had climbed up on the roof and he was standing on the edge of the peak at the back of the house.

"Is that him, or what?"

"I dunno, maybe. It could be, but he definitely didn't have blue hair last Tuesday, I would have noticed that. Wouldn't I?"

"No. You could hardly miss it could you?"

And you couldn't. The boy up on the roof, next-door, had really long hair - longer than Chalky's, even longer than mine would be if you pulled it out straight, and it was blue. It was bright blue, almost the colour of the sky.

With the late afternoon sun on his face and his long blue hair flicking around in the breeze, he stood on the back of the roof a full three stories above the ground. He was standing still, his arms outstretched in front of him, his eyes closed and his mouth wide open. He looked like the kid in that old kids' movie, The Boy Who Could Fly.

Chalky must have been thinking the same thing. He said, quietly, as if not to startle him, "You don't think that he thinks he can fly, do you?"

Then he did! The kid flew. He just leant forward, arms still outstretched, he toppled off the roof and he flew - about 25 meters - straight down!

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