‘You don’t look very approachable with that sad look on your face.’ Elliot looked up and found the source of the small voice standing by his table. She had sounded out the syllables of ‘approachable’ as though she had only just learned it, which was funny because Elliot had only just mastered the spelling of that very same word, and his mother told him he was driving her mad singing out the letters all weekend.
She was a skinny, freckled little girl with murky green eyes that reminded him of the frog pond in his backyard.
‘No one ever approaches me anyway,’ Elliot mumbled, ‘They don’t like me very much.’ The girl didn’t respond, as though it was of no consequence that he was a complete loner.
‘I’m Elliot,’ he announced loudly, so that Brett Turner would hear him from the corner and know he was introducing himself to the new girl before he was. He saw Brett look over his shoulder at them and snigger to the boy beside him, surely jealous. ‘You can sit with me if you want to.’
The girl smiled widely and swung her leg over the bench opposite him. Her red jeans were scuffed and dirty, as though she’d been rolling down hills. ‘I’m Julia. It’s my first day here but my Mum and I moved a week ago. I’ve been so bored not knowing anyone.’
‘Maybe I can ask my parents if you can visit this weekend. We live on a farm.’