1. Shoe

There was a problem with trying to leave. Sneaking out meant the lights staying off, for fear of waking the boy still curled on top of the duvet, and making no noise, for that same fear. Not that the boy looked like much to be afraid of: he had managed to burrow under the pile of pillows so only one arm, bony shoulders and a small chin protruded. Charlie exhaled quietly, he couldn’t help the goofy smile on his face when he was near his best friend, and he looked tenderly at the sleeping form. He was sitting on the other side of the bed, trying to pierce the gloom in the hope of discovering his shoe.

His shoe was the thing keeping him from escaping to his own room. Not that he wanted to leave. Fully clothed, the night’s chill was still enough to make him want to lie down again and, back to back, seep some warmth from his friend and the blanket he was cocooned in. He didn’t, it was better to go, if he stayed he was sure to blurt out the wrong words.

He sighed again, if not for one lost shoe, he could be safe.

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