Annette had left a few days ago to go off to school. They had said their goodbyes, and Heidi thought she was okay with her friend's absence. But sitting beside the stream, like they used to, made Heidi miss her friend terribly.
There were footsteps behind her, and she looked up.
"Hi," said someone.
"Who are you?" Heidi said bluntly.
"I'm Drew. We just moved here from New York. I really don't know why moved out into the middle of...well... nowhere really."
"Hi Heidi. Nice to meet you. Have you ever been to the States? We lived right down from Central Park. I used to see some of the biggest movie stars and--"
"I don't mean to be rude but I came here to be alone, so if you don't mind..."
"Oooooh...I see...well I'll see you later Heidi!"
"Yeah bye." Drew turned and walked off. He seemed a little upset by Heidi's snappy replies, but Heidi didn't really care. She came here to be by herself, not with some yappy american.
She looked behind her, and noticed that Drew was just heading off into the grove of trees that cut off the bridge from the view of the road. Sighing, she got up.
"Wait!" she called, after him. He turned around. "I'm sorry," she said. "I've just--well, my best friend moved away a few days ago."
Drew nodded. "I had to leave all my friends too." He looked so sad that Heidi felt like an even bigger jerk.
"Um, would you like to come sit by the river with me?" she asked, suddenly. She pointed to the bridge. "I like to play pooh-stick."
"What?" Drew blurted.
Heidi laughed. She realised how that must sound to someone who wasn't familiar with it. "That game that Winnie-the-pooh invented. You've read Winnie-the-pooh?"
He nodded. "I get it, now. Sure, I'll play with you."
"Okay you grab that twig there and I'll get this piece of grass."
Drew grabbed the twig and they both stood hanging over the bridge.
"Ready, set..go!" As soon as Heidi finished saying go they both let go of the pieces they were holding then ran to other side of the bridge. Drew's was the first to come out from under the bridge.
"Woohoo! Oh yeah, oh yeah! Who da bomb!" Drew danced around the bridge very delighted with his victory.
"Where's mine? It didn't even come out!" Heidi replied disapointedly. She bent over the bridge to see if the piece of grass was stuck on some weeds.
"I can't see it," she groaned. "I wonder if it's stuck under the bridge. On a rock, or something."
"I'll check." Drew leapt over the side of the bridge and landed in the water with a whoop. He was drenched from head to feet, but didn't seem to mind. He splashed through the knee deep stream, and poked his head under the bridge.
"I don't see it," he began. There was a pause, and Heidi tried to look down between the slats of the bridge, but she couldn't see anything. "Hey--ow!"
Drew jerked his head up, and smashed it on the underside of the bridge. There was a splash, and then silence.
"Drew?" Heidi asked, hesitently. "Drew?"
There was no reply.
Heidi hurled herself off the bridge into the water. She found Drew face-down in the water and pulled him onto the bank. He was still breathing, thankfully. Drew coughed a couple of times but seemed to be okay. He started to come around.
"That little bugger bit my nose!" Drew rubbed his nose.
"What are talking about?" Heidi said, starting to calm down from the shock.
"I was just looking around, when I saw a little turtle. I bent down to see it and it snapped around and bit my nose!" He paused, rubbing his head. "I guess I must have bumped my head." He coughed once. "I didn't find your stick, either. Sorry."
Heidi laughed. "That's all right. I'm just glad you're okay."
"Yeah. Thanks," he said, gratefully. He got to his feet. Heidi didn't really feel like sitting by the bridge any more.
"I think--" she began, "I think I had better be going."
Drew looked downcast. "Okay. Maybe I'll see you later?"
"Yeah..." Heidi stood up. She was soaking as well.
"Well...would you like to come over to my house for a bit? My mum can make you some tea--and we can lend you a towel..."
Drew laughed. "Sure," he said. "Sounds like fun."