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The first time I saw the girl was when I was twelve years old. I was walking home from school when she suddenly appeared. She had bright yellow hair cut in spikes, like a dandelion. Her lips were painted purple. She looked at me and frowned.
“Daniel Webster?” she said.
I said, “Yes?”
She seemed puzzled. “Daniel Webster that lives in Lakeside Avenue?” she said.
I said, “Yes!”
“Oh. Silly me!” The girl clapped a hand to her mouth. “I seem to have made a mistake. I’ll come back later.”
And then she was gone. Vanished into thin air. Very odd.
I told my best friend Barney about it. He agreed that it was odd. But he said that girls were odd. He said, “They do very odd things.” And then he sniggered and said, “Maybe she fancied you!”
He thought this was funny. The idea that a girl might fancy me. Ha ha! What a joke.
I pushed at him. Barney pushed back.
“I reckon she thought I was someone else,” I said.
“But she called you Daniel Webster,” said Barney.
I said, “So what? There’s probably hundreds of Daniel Websters.”
“Not living in Lakeside Avenue,” said Barney.
It was a bit of a mystery, but after a while I forgot about it. Until one day, about a year later, it happened again. I was on my way home from school, just like before, when she sprang out at me. The same girl! Hair like a dandelion, and lips painted purple.
This time, she didn’t bother to talk. She took one look and clapped a hand to her mouth.
“Oops!” she said. “Done it again!”
And with that she was gone. Pouf! Vanished.
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