“Are you serious? What is he doing, back here?”
“Who are you talking about?” Sarah asked, coming behind the two girls, who were talking.
“The devil!” The girls said in unison.
“Yes. You don’t know yet, because you just moved, but if you see a man, with white hair, and red eyes, stay away from him.”
“What do you mean, why? Didn't we just told you?”
“Come on sis, let’s go. She won’t understand, anyway…” And they left, chattering away.
“Weird girls, those two!” Sarah grumbled. “Devil, that’s stupid. Now I don’t fell like going to school anymore. I really hate it here. It’s a total bore. Maybe, if the devil would really be here, it will make things more interesting.” She said, while turning in the opposite direction, and walking slowly.
“Mm, I’ve never been here before.” She said, when she noticed a road, a little farther from the central one. The road was secluded, by a row of trees, on which the treetops, were filled with pink flowers. Some of the flowers, were scattered onto the road, forming a soft cover to walk on.
Advancing on the pathway, while kicking rocks that were on the way, Sarah heard a strange noise. When she looked down, she noticed, she had kicked a metallic ball of some sort. She took it up, and stared at it. “What is this?” She wondered, while examining it. When she shook it, she could hear noise, coming from it. “There is something in it.” She said, while shaking it some more. Then, she turned it on all sides, but could not figure out how to open it.
While she was preoccupied with the ball, her cell phone rang. She took it out, and answered it: “Yeah? At school. No, I’m not! I’ll come back, after school hours. Yeah, bye!” And she hung up. She tucked the ball in her bag, and went back to the main road, heading in the direction of the school.
Sarah was a thin girl, her hair was raven black, shoulder length, and she had dark blue eyes. She came from the city, around a month ago, with her father. She was only 17 years old, but because of her mother's death, when she was little, she had to take care of the house chores, so she was more experienced and mature, than the rest of the girls. As a consequence, she never got along well with her classmates, being considered conceited.
When night came, just before going to bed, Sarah heard the sound of pebbles, hitting the frame of her window. She looked outside, but the sky was covered with clouds, and she could not see anything. She took a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a summer jacket, descended from the window, onto the balcony, and jumped on a tree near her. She then, lowered herself carefully on the tree, until she could touch the ground, with her feet.
She looked around, to see who had thrown the pebbles. It was even darker, as she distanced herself from the house. Not long after, the clouds started dissipating, allowing the moon rays, to fall onto the ground. Then, she saw a person, with white, long, flowing hair, heading down to the same road, she accidentally discovered that day. Without hesitating, she followed the man, who did not even turn around to see if she was following him.
When they arrived onto the pathway, surrounded by trees, the man disappeared after a tree. Sarah followed. When she squeezed herself, through a pair of trees, she raised one of her hand, to block the strong light which was hurting her eyes. When she got used to the bright light, she remained in awe, unmoved, for a couple of seconds. She could see a large, blue lake, outstretched on the horizon. Fishes were swimming around, and moons pale shafts of light, shining down on them. The fish were reflecting the moon rays, which made them look, like moving jewelry stones.
She then noticed the man, who was squatting, on the edge of the lake, playing with white pebbles. She approached him slowly, careful not to startle him. When she looked at him, she saw that his eyes were dark red, and they stood out even more, alongside his fair skin. When she reached, the place he was at, she sat down beside him, and turned her gaze to the lake.
“Why did you call me here?” She asked him, without even looking in his direction.
“The ball.” He replied, shortly. His voice was melodious, and he had a foreign accent.
“Oh, it was yours? Sorry, I didn’t know.” Sarah said, excusing herself.
“I know.” He simply said, smiling softly, and extended his arm, with his hand open.
She took the ball, from the pocket of her jacket, and handed it to him.
“What is in that ball?” Sarah asked.
The man pushed a small knot, on one side of the ball, and the ball opened easily. From it, colorful pebbles fell, onto the ground.
“Ah, I see.” She said, staring at the pebbles.
“Do you collect them?” He nodded.
“They’re beautiful!” She exclaimed, while looking at each, in turn.
“What’s your name?” The man asked.
“Sarah. What is yours?” She turned to the man, waiting for an answer.
“Whitley” He said, lowering his head.
“It means white meadow, right?” She asked, in a casual tone, and then continued. “It’s a beautiful name.” The man turned at her, and smiled.
“Yeah.” He said.
"Are you the one the local girls call the devil?" She asked with an nonchalant tone. He showed signs of nervousness, but still answered without his voice giving away what he felt.
"Yeah. They call me that..."
"Why?" Sarah said, with a genuine curiosity and innocence. Whitley answered while raising his tone a little.
"What do you mean why? Isn't it obvious? It's because of my looks." He turned his eyes away from her.
"I don't understand. I like how you look. And it's not your fault you have albinism either. So why call you devil. That's just stupid. That's why I hate this place, so many ignorant people." She said in a rush. Her cheeks turned red and her fists were clenched on the ground. He turned around and stared at her amazed.
"How did you know? Not many are aware of the cause of my looks." He asked while smiling gently.
"My mother..." She answered while leaning backwards, on her elbows, and making a short pause in her speech. "... She had it too..."
"Ah I see." He said while avoiding her look. "Where is she now?" He continued.
"She died, when I was 8." Sarah replied with a bored tone.
"I'm sorry." He said.
"It's okay, let's just change the subject, it's boring." She said while looking at him, and smiling softly.
They stood there, by the side of the lake, talking about everything, and anything, until it was time to go home.
“When are you coming, again?” She asked.
“Next year.” He replied. Sarah was disappointed. She had finally found, a person to talk to, and he was leaving, for a whole year.
“Here, take care of it, for me. And I shall bring more, to add to the collection.” And as he said that, he placed the metal ball, in her hands.
“Okay, you can count on me!” She said happily. “I’ll see you next year!” She shouted, as he was moving away. He turned, and waved to her, before disappearing among the trees.