I hesitated before sitting down. I should have really been in school and it was my first day back. But something compelled me to sit next to him, so I did.
“We should be in school.”
“We should, but we’re not.”
“So, do you want to talk about it? You should you know. It could make you feel better.”
“You can. You just choose not to.”
“No I actually can’t. Secret Services and all.”
“Oh, I get it.”
I sighed. I really did need to talk about it, keeping all my pain inside me was destroying.
“I used to live here, before I went to Australia. I got into the wrong crowd, owed some money to a friend who had some dangerous siblings. The police only recently found two of the siblings who had escaped.”
“Yeah. Ever since then, I’ve been having panic attacks.”
“That’s why you ran away.” muttered Jamie.
“One night during the holidays, I saw you running. I don’t know why anyone would be running at three o’clock in the morning though.”
“Oh… Yeah.” I ducked my head and blushed. He must have thought I was a crazy person, running away like that. “Jetlag.”
“Ah, I get it.”
We sat in silence for a while, just enjoying the view and fresh air. And before I knew it, I was asleep. I woke up, blanket wrapped around me, head bumping slightly against the trucks window. The stars were out.
“What the hell? What time is it?”
“Don’t worry, it’s half eight. It gets darker in the evening near winter.”
“I should have been home hours ago! Mum’ll be worried sick.” I slapped Jamie’s arm in anger. “Drive faster!”
“Alright, calm down. which house is it?”
“Ohhh the unlucky number.”
“Come on, it’s eight thirty, not that late.”
“What do you think my mum will be thinking? ‘Oh my god my daughter has been kidnapped again’ probably!”
“It’ll be fine.”
Now, he was really getting on my nerves. “NO! It won’t be fine. Don’t you understand? Mum’ll think the people who took us have gotten out of prison and kidnapped me!” I looked at him and punched his arm. “You’re an idiot!”
“You know, I still don’t know your name.”
“Forget that! Get me home!”
“I’ll stop this truck if you don’t tell me.”
“Lila! Okay? Lila. Now get me home you idiot!”
“Alright, Lila.” He sped up a bit and in a matter of minutes, we skidded up to my front door. I got out, slammed the door shut behind me and shouted a quick “Bye!” before running into the house.
“I’m home! Sorry I’m late, I fell asleep!”
“Lila! I was worried sick! Why- Who could be here at this hour.” She huffed. “We’re not done Missy.” She said before opening the door, and there stood Jamie.
“Oh god.” I muttered. I stared at him, trying to communicate with my eyes. Get out get out get out!
“Mrs Caro, my name is Jamie and I would personally like to apologise for keeping Lila out late.”
“I was worried sick young man.” said Mum sternly.
“Mum,” I said “I had a panic attack, he helped me it’s fine. You can leave now Jamie. Goodnight.” I started to close the door but Mum, of all people, pushed it back open. “You helped Lila?”
“Yes, I used to have them myself, I knew how to help.”
Mum’s face lit up. “Well you must come for dinner one night then! How about tomorrow? It’s pizza night!”
“I would be hono-”
“No! Jamie’s fine Mum, he doesn’t want to stay here longer than he has to. Bye now!”
“I would be honored to come for pizza night, Mrs Caro.”
“That’s settled than. How about you come in for a nice cup of tea and tell me all about yourself.” She started to open the door wider.
“Oh my god Mum stop!”
“Oh shush you.” She said as Jamie stepped into the house.
“I’ll just text my sister, tell her I’ll be late.” He whipped out his phone, wrote a quick message and slipped it back in his pocket. “All done.” He gave a dazzling smile.
“I’ll be back in a minute.” I said and I slipped out of the living room, into my own yellow room. I took my makeup off, slipped some pyjamas on and tied my hair up. I looked into the mirror and banged my head on it. “Why me!” I groaned before walking back out.
“Lila! You’re so rude, getting your pyjamas on when there are guests here.” Mum scolded me.
“Oh, I’m terribly sorry.” I turned to face Jamie. “Would you like a pair of mini-shorts and a tank top?”
Jamie laughed “I’m fine thanks.”
“Jamie, do you take any sugars?” Mum called from the kitchen.
Seconds later, Mum came back in, steaming mugs of tea on a plateau.
“Can I have tea?” Katie was standing in the doorframe, teddy in hand.
“Katie, you’re supposed to be in bed.” said Mum.
“Come on.” I sat down and lifted her onto my lap. She snuggled up to me and closed her eyes. She was asleep in seconds. I looked up and saw Jamie smiling at me. “What’re you looking at?” I whispered.
“Just like me.”
I picked my old Winnie the Poo mug and sipped the hot tea.
“Winnie the Poo huh?”
“Yes.” I glared at him “Problem?”
“None at all. Just enjoying learning about you.”
At that moment, Mum came out again, a small mug of tea in her hands. “She’s gone back to sleep that little bugger.”
I was on the plane, on my way to Australia.
“Right, remember: Katie, you’re Isabella and Lila, you’re Molly.”
“We know Mum you’ve told us a hundred times.” I said, clearly annoyed.
“Don’t take that tone with me! It’s not my fault we ended up in this position!”
“I know it’s mine! You don’t have to remind me.”
“Well if you hadn’t taken that money…”
“I said you don’t have to remind me, okay? I’m sorry!”
“Sorry won’t bring your dad back.”
I stared at Mum with shocked eyes for a long moment after that before storming off, into the planes toilet.