Sunday, 27 January 2013
04:43:35 PM (GMT)
Salem heard a scuffling as he opened the door to his (recently elusive) friend's
room, "Hey, you haven't eaten all day, you gonna come out?"
By 'eaten', Aiden knew something was wrong. He moved away from his pillow, where
he'd just stashed something, and got up from his bed, looking at Salem closely with a
frown, "You're sad. Are you okay? Why aren't you okay? Did something happen?"
He looked up with a deep sigh, meeting Aiden's eyes with little to no emotion,
"Nothing. I'm fine. Did you want food or not?"
"Not if you're sad. Why are you sad? Did I do something wrong?" The boy darted
down, trying to meet his friend's gaze as he looked away, seeming childish without
meaning to be. "Tell me, Salem. I can try and help!"
He merely shook his head, "It's just a bad mood. You can't help." Aiden frowned,
hesitating a moment before stepping forwards and hugging him as tightly as he
possibly could, closing his eyes and resting his head against his friend's.
"I can try."
"It won't do anything..."
"I like a challenge." Aiden said softly, drawing back, "I can try." He said again,
and Salem shrugged,
"If you like..."
Aiden forced a smile, poking Salem's chest, "Right, we're going out, kay? To the
park." His friend groaned, but Aiden shook his head, "You don't have a choice. Put
your shoes on, smelly, I'll be out in a sec." He said, pushing him out of his
bedroom before slamming the door and pulling the scarf out from under his pillow,
adding a few more stitches before holding it out in front of him and smiling at the
product. Yes, it was far from perfect, and yes, he'd run out of red before he
planned, but he'd finished it (despite numerous attempts and tantrums) and he hadn't
given up. Not once. He pushed it into a paper bag, and quickly sellotaped the top
closed before jumping up and pulling his coat and shoes on, "Ready?" He called,
jogging down the stairs to the door, bouncing with an excitement he hadn't
experienced in months.
"Yeah, yeah..." Salem's footsteps plodded heavily down the stairs, and Aiden hid the
glee from his face. This was sure to work!
At every step, Aiden frowned more at the dragging noise of Salem's shoes against the
gravel of the park tracks, and eventually, when he thought he might be forced to
physically lift his bloody feet off the floor to make him walk properly, he took hold
of his best friend's arm and tugged him to a stop, grinning inanely.
Immediately, Salem was on guard. The last time Aiden grinned like that, he thought
their neighbour had been murdered. "What?"
"Okay..." He started, rocking back and forth slightly, no doubt making Salem even
more on edge, "I know I missed your birthday... And Christmas... Actually, last year
too- Anyway I made you something and it's not very good, and I probably could have
bought a better one, and I slept with it every night because it was fluffy, and it's
probably rubbish and you'll never wear it-"
"Aiden, what are you talking about?" Salem asked, giving him a withering glare.
He chewed his lip anxiously, pushing the paper bag into Salem's hands, "Happy
birthday and Christmas and everything else I missed..."
After a moment of looking at the soft parcel doubtfully (at this stage, he wouldn't
be surprised if it was Semtex) before ripping it open, an uneven beige and scarlet
striped scarf dropping out, which he caught before it could land in the puddle at
their feet, "You... made this? For me?"
"Sorry it's rubbish, but it's fluffy and warm, and when I'm sad, you hug me, and your
jumper's fluffy and warm and makes me feel nice, so I thought, because my hugs aren't
as good as yours... I thought you could hug this instead... And I wasn't good enough
to knit anything else..."
A hint of a smile brushed Salem's lips as he wrapped it around his neck, and he
paused, feeling it's warmth before closing the distance and hugging Aiden tightly.
One of his infamous bone-crushing hugs. Aiden smiled too. He must be feeling
"Thanks. Thanks Aiden. And for the record, I'm still waiting for my birthday
The detective rolled his eyes, giving his best friend a light whack on the shoulder,
"You're a git..."
"I love you too."