“Miss Caro? The Headmistress is ready to see you.” said the secretary.
I got up, didn’t even say goodbye, and walked into the Headmistresses office.
“Miss Caro, it is good to see you again. I hope you had an interesting time in… Australia, is it?”
“Yes, thank you Miss.”
“I have your timetable here.”
“Thank you Miss.” First lesson: Geography was written on it.
“I want to know that if anything is wrong, you come right here okay? I know you have been through some traumatizing times.”
“Thank you Miss.”
“You may go.”
As I walked out, head down, somebody talked behind me, “I never got your name.”
“And you never will.” I said before rushing off to my first lesson.
I was ten minutes early so I took a seat right at the back of the classroom. I was taking my books and pens out when somebody sat down next to me. This stupid, annoying person just had to sit next to me when the whole classroom was empty. Completely empty.
“Nice stuff.” he said. Now, I must admit, I love the beginning of the school year. You get new books, new pens and I LOVE decorating them. So now, laying in front of me were my brand new pens with colorful cellotape wrapped around them and books with drawings and doodles all over the front cover. I slowly lifted my head and glared at the person next to me. Of course, it was Jamie.
“Are you following me?”
“No, I actually have this lesson.”, Jamie laughed when he saw me glaring at him. “If looks could kill, I would be dead right now. Literally, I would have fallen off my chair and died.”
I tried not to, but a small smile crept up on my face, it quickly disappeared.
“I saw that smile. Well look at me, making pretty miserable girls laugh.”
“I’m not miserable.”, I said. That was a lie.
“Yes you are. I can tell.”
“Your eyes.” he whispered just as the teacher walked in.
I didn’t really listen to much of the lesson as Jamie kept trying to talk to me. Trying as in, he talked, I would shush him and he would talk again. And suddenly: “You, at the back. Can you answer the question?”
Oh no. The professor was looking at me. Oh no oh no oh no. Not again. Please please please not again. My heartbeat sped up. I couldn’t get air to my lungs. NO! I tried to breathe, tried to get air to my lungs, I couldn’t.
“Alright, come on.” someone put my arm over their shoulder and lifted me off the floor.
“All of you, stay here. I don’t want anybody out of the classroom. Mr…?”
“It’s Jamie. Just Jamie.”
“Jamie, take her to the infirmary.”
“That’s not what’s going to help her.”
“Take her to the infirmary!”
“I know what to do okay!”
After that, I didn’t hear much. All that mattered was getting oxygen in my body. A warm hand was on my back. How did I get on the floor, outside? It was actually quite nice out, the sun was shining, the grass and trees were green. I felt my heart slowly calm down. Air was finally getting into my lungs. Several minutes later, when I finally felt better, I slumped against the persons arm and cried. I had been doing really well. I hadn’t had a panic attack for over a month. The person hugged me and even though I had no idea who this person was, I let them.
“How about we skip the day, huh?” I knew that voice. It was Jamie. I shook my head. “I’ll take you my happy place?”
“What’s that, cigarettes and alcohol?” I said shakily.
He laughed. “No. Let me show you.”
I looked back at the school and back at Jamie. “You’ve got an hour.”
I was wrapped up in a blanket in the back of an ambulance, watching Dad being brought out on a stretcher. I didn’t feel anything. I just kind of felt numb. A policeman was talking to Mum.
“We have some people looking after your daughter. She’s fine, a little shaken up like any nine year old would be.”
Mum was nodding but it didn’t look like she was listening. Her eyes were wide and empty, just like mine.
“Unfortunately, we are going to have to send you away. I will let Mr Lorens from the Secret Service explain what is going to happen.”
At the words Secret Service, Mum looked up.
“Two of Lorenzo’s men got away. Until then…” I stopped listening. Katie was here.
“Katie!” I ran over to her and hugged her. “What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here!”
“I made them bring me, Lila! Where’s Mummy and Daddy?”
They hadn’t told her.
“Daddy’s gone.” I said, the tears building up in my eyes again.
“Climb in.” said Jamie.
“Why should I trust you enough to get in your truck? For all I know you’re going to bring me to the guys who murdered my dad.” I gasped and clapped a hand over my mouth.
I looked at the boy in shock, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and climbed in the black truck. Jamie climbed into the drivers seat. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“Alright then. Lets go.”
We drove for about fifteen minutes before Jamie parked the truck.
“Where are we?” I asked.
“My happy place.” was all Jamie said as he got out of the truck.
We went into a forest and walked for a couple of minutes before we got to a little pond. It’s surface was glittering in the sun and the trees surrounding it looked greener. There was no other way to explain it. Just greener.
“It’s beautiful.” I said as I looked around.
“That is why this is my happy place.” Jamie sat down on a blanket that was already spread across the floor next to the pond. “Come on then.” He said as he patted the piece of blanket next to him.