Playing basketball in his bulky blue raincoat wasn’t the easiest thing, but he knew that his mother would get mad at him again if she found out he took it off, and he didn’t want her to forbid him from coming out here to play. After all, his school had an indoor court and so did the youth club near the estate. But he didn’t have any friends in those places.
The past few times, he’d felt stupid for being the only one wearing a raincoat, so this time, he’d brought enough for everyone. Now the court bustled with a group of flailing, child-shaped blueberries.
For some reason, they tried to return the coats to him after the game was over, and Marcos had to refuse them. He thought it was obvious that they were gifts, so he didn’t understand why his friends seemed so reluctant. He ended up just running away before they could put up any more of a fuss. Besides, he didn’t want to carry them all the way back home. Carrying them all the way here had been a big enough pain, already.
The journey back required a good bit of legwork, and Marcos had always been taught not to run when the ground was so wet, so he resorted to a brisk walk as soon as he was out of sight.
It was sometimes easy to forget that Aguarey stood on a platform. It had asphalt roads and concrete walkways and grassy parks. The only real reminders were the perforated drains that riddled the ground and the madega trees, which all had their own holes to stand in. They were already massive things to look at with their sprawling canopies of wispy teal leaves, but to then realize that below the platform, the madegas all had another five meters of trunk, made them seem all the more impressive. But of course, they were older than Aguarey itself, so perhaps that was only to be expected.
When Marcos arrived at the gatehouse, the pair of guards made him pull back his hood before smiling and welcoming him home. Nico and Jorem were their names, and they didn’t look very friendly, but that was probably the whole idea. They were always nice to him, at least.