At the edge of the lake my parents had built a small deck. They had intended to use it for a small boat we might one day get, but for now it was the perfect place to just sit near the edge of the lake, and to only get your feet wet.
With my big toe I made shapes in the water and I watched how the fish beneath me were startled by the sudden movements I made. Just when I started to get bored of my little game I heard somebody walking up the deck.
I looked up to see a boy with golden hair of about my age. He smiled at me for about a second and then sat down next to me, without even asking. I started focusing on the fish again and ignored the boy until he was the one to talk to me. When he did start to talk, he asked me why I always sat here, not doing anything.
I didn’t answer, not knowing what to say, not wanting to lie, not wanting to tell the entire truth.
Instead, I asked him a different question. “Why did you bury those pieces of paper there?”
I looked over at the oak tree, where years ago I had seen him with the wooden box. I had wondered so many times whether it had been part of one of the dreams I used to have when I was younger. Why else would the swans not be scared of him? Why didn’t they leave when he came closer? I always thought he had just been another silhouette belonging to the shadows.
But meanwhile, something at the back of my head told me differently. It told me he was here, alive, not a dream.
“My secrets.” He told me. His face showed me he hesitated to tell me, but his voice was quite stern.
“Why?” I asked.
“So no one can ever find them again.”
“Someone could grab a shovel, and dig them up.” I said, with my eyes glaring over the grass around the tree. “It shouldn’t be too hard to find them.”
“Please don’t.” He said, his voice trembling.
For the first time I looked at him directly. I had never noticed that his eyes had the same green colour as the leaves of the tree, and his hair exactly the colour of its roots.
I wanted to ask why not, but I didn’t. I didn’t ask him anymore questions because I felt like he didn’t want me too.
So instead, I started watching the fish again.