Camp NaNoWriMo Part 3
Genre: slice of life
Darius looked between his guest and his housemate. They ignored him in favour of their staring contest.
“Do you know each other?” he asked.
“Do we?” his housemate said.
After a pause, his guest said, “No.”
A thought struck him. He hadn’t told her about her housemate. She must be staring because she was suspicious of him, and his housemate must be staring back because he liked teasing people.
“This is Walter, my housemate. He knows first aid. He won’t hurt you. Right, Walter?”
His housemate didn’t respond. If Darius was a little braver, he would have nudged the other man.
“Right?” Darius prompted.
“Of course. Come, take a seat…”
Walter looked at the girl, waiting for a name. When she didn’t say anything, he turned his attention to Darius. Darius lifted his hands and shook his head.
“… little girl,” Walter finished.
Something flashed in the girl’s eyes. She sent Walter a glare.
“Lily,” she said.
“Lily,” Walter said with a nod.
Lily settled on a chair and Walter opened the first aid kit.
“How did you end up like this?” he asked as he treated Lily’s wounds.
“Accident,” she muttered.
It was like watching a vet treat a jumpy wild cat. Darius really shouldn’t feel so amused at the scene, but it was hard not to. Once he was sure the two of them wouldn’t start a fight, he left before he burst out laughing and turned their annoyance at him.
He headed into the kitchen and kept himself busy putting a snack platter together. His parents had never let anyone leave the house hungry, and neither would he. Even if Lily turned the food down, at least he gave her the option to do so. Anyway, food was good for recovery. He was somewhat responsible for her injuries after all.
Once he was done, he lifted the platter and returned to the entrance hall.
Walter and Lily were pinching each other’s cheeks. Walter looked amused, Lily looked ready to push someone off a building.
“… What are you doing?”
“Bonding,” Walter said.
“Bonding,” Darius repeated in a daze. His mature, dignified,
always sometimes scary housemate was ‘bonding’ with a girl almost half his age by pinching each other like kids.
“It’s great. You should try it. Breaks the ice 10 out of 10,” Walter said.
Darius looked at the scowl on Lily’s face.
Ice wouldn’t be the only thing breaking if he did that.
“I brought food. Hungry?”
The two kids dropped each other’s cheeks and reached for the buns on the platter. Almost as one, they peeled the crunchy outer layer off the soft inside. They looked at each other, then looked down at the two bun pieces in their hands. Walter paused the crunchy skin to Lily. Lily handed over the soft bread heart in exchange.
“Are you sure you don’t know each other?”
Sure. And he was a cat from the moon.
Darius bit into his own bun. If they wanted to pretend they didn’t know each other, fine. He wasn’t blind. The clues were there. And if he played detective well enough, he might finally learn more about his housemate who had mysteriously dropped into his life last year.