I wanted to cut the tension with a knife, but then realised that it wasn't exactly possible, unfortunately. I had started to bite my fingernails - something that I hadn't done since I was a little boy, years ago. As I looked around the van, I could see that I wasn't the only nervous person.
Harry was sat in the front, on his own, driving us. From time to time, he would turn to me and ask for help and apart from the occasional conversation between us, there were no words exchanged.
"Si?" Harry didn't look up, clearly trying to focus on the road.
"That way." Half the time, I didn't really check, just letting him follow his instincts. That was what Summer was for after all wasn't it? Just doing what you wanted? Going with the flow?
And that was it for another half hour.
Livvy was shaking a little, sat in the corner, away from everyone else. Every time someone went over, she just withdrew into herself even more and it frightened us. I thought I'd give it one last go, getting up and sitting beside her, catching hold of her hand before she whipped it away. She turned to look at me and I could see the fear in her eyes; as much as I wanted to pull my eyes away from her, I stood my ground, pulling her into a hug as she began to cry on my shoulder.
"It's going to be ok, yeah?" My voice seemed calmer than I thought it would have been and I think it made a difference.
"Take me home Silas." She looked at me pleadingly. So pleadingly that I knew I would do anything to help her.
"I am so sorry." I kissed her on the head and looked up at the others. Aimee offered me a 'thank you' smile to which I gave a 'no problem' nod, although I wasn't fully sure whether that had come across. "I'm going to get you home. I am not going to leave your side until I know that you are alright ok Liv?"
"No." She broke away from me, moving closer to the window. "No."
I moved back to my original seat, running my hand through my hair in frustration. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and handed it to Flossie. She quickly typed in a number with a sombre expression.
"Want me to?" she suggested weakly.
I could tell that she would have done had it not been for my stern voice and tearing eyes.
"Hi. It's Silas. Livvy's friend. Yeah. I am so sorry but we need your help."
It became too much for me and for the shame of it, I broke down, sobbing a little. I handed the phone straight to Flossie, unable to say another word.
"Yeah hi. It's Flossie. There was an... an incident."
"Don't tell him what happened." As Livvy called out, the same thought flashed through my head; he didn't need to get caught up in all this, whatever it was.
"Livvy was a bit shaken up and she says that she wants to come home. Could you pick her up or something?"
"Tell him that I'll be there too." I couldn't stop myself. As much as this trip had made me feel so alive for the first time in my entire life, I knew that I had to look after her above all else. But she shook her head and gestured to take the phone.
"Dad - I'm sorry for this. I just miss home. This isn't for me. Where are we Silas?"
"No clue." That was when I became the recluse, hiding in my own shadow, leaving Harry to deal with everything. "It should never have been her."
"I'll see you soon then Dad."
"It should have been me." I knew that it wasn't strictly my fault but I felt responsible. So responsible. We should have kept her safe.
"We're at the train station. You alright Si?"
"Yeah." I answered quickly. "I'll be out in a miunte."
Before she left, Livvy came up to me, giving me a quick hug.
"Thank you," she whispered. "Just enjoy yourself. Do it for me, Silas."
I managed a nod and watched her helped out of the van by Harry and Flossie, admiring how brave she was being.
"You aren't as useless as you feel right now Silas." It was Aimee. She had hung back, sitting down beside me. "You helped her."
"More than I think any of us expected you to. You aren't the emotional type Silas. I don't really know what type you are."
"Neither do I."
"But you aren't who we thought you were. You were so much better." She hugged me briefly and it made me feel so much better.
"I'm not the person you know, Aimee." I looked her in the eye, holding her gaze for a second.
"Don't be cryptic Silas. Just be plain with me."
"I think ths trip has changed all of us." I looked down, realising how tasteless that must have came across. "And it will change us even more."
"Is there something you want to tell me?"
I opened my mouth, ready to speak. Ready to open myself up to her. But that one last little secret gave me some strength and I shook my head, getting up and offering her my hand to help her.
"Thank you, Aimee."
We both got out of the van and headed for the train station, jogging with our hands covering our heads from the rain. I stopped and let the rain wash over me for a second, absolving me.
There were dark clouds in the sky as I looked up and faced the heavens. Something was stirring, but that could wait. Livvy was more important than that.