“M-me?” I mumbled, wondering who had caught my escape.
But, when I turned, it was the young woman from the bus. That’s right; the one who’d left and (supposedly) never come back. But here she was, talking to me.
“Do I know you?” I fidgeted. I had places to be; I couldn’t let Erica down…
“Nom but I know you. I’ve seen things…” she replied.
Oh great, not another fortune teller.
“Look, just go ahead and say it. Say I’m doomed or destined for blackness or whatever. I’ve heard it all… In fact,” I laughed bitterly, “I’ve seen it all! Really.”
“No…” she looked taken aback, but then shrugged, “Okay, whatever you say…”
I put my hand back on the door, but that young woman suddenly had her hand on my shoulder.
“Where were you going anyway, Meggan?”
“Out,” I answered, not rudely, but slightly annoyed because Erica would start to wonder where I’d got to.
“To where?” The girl raised an eyebrow, “There’s not many places round here to go.”
I felt myself hug the tacky t-shirt, thinking of Aidan and his sister’s family back in merry old England. Putting my hands close to my heart was about the nearest I would be to him right now.
The woman looked me up and down, her silver eyes knowingly taking in my bedraggled appearance. She then, without asking, without questioning how I’d react, took one of my hands in her own and led me over to an empty table. I didn’t pull away; I needed all the company I could get right then.
“So, can I get you anything to drink?”
“Sorry, but what was your name, again?”
“Okay. Thanks for the offer, Mai, but I’m not thirsty, I just had one.”
It seemed, though, that my stomach was disagreeing.
“On second thoughts, I might get something to eat though…”
Mai laughed, “Sure,” and passed a menu over to me.
I prayed that Erica wouldn’t be waiting long.
I looked worriedly over at Meggie. Once again she had found herself in the company of somebody I didn’t know, but who I vaguely remembered passing from somewhere. This twisted déjà vu was starting to scare me.
And what had she meant ‘doomed; destined for blackness…’? That wasn’t still about the despair at losing her mother? She had been so…shocked, I suppose, at first, but then… Well, I didn’t stick around long enough to see her reactions…
I continued to stand in my corner, watching the fight with boredom, and then watching the girl, named Erica, run out of the pub.
Perhaps she’ll know something about Meggie… Or perhaps not. That would a silly idea, seeing as they just met.
Many doubts clouded my mind, as Meggie tucked into a plate of nachos. I was starting to lose my grip on right and wrong, real and fake, love or just adoration…
And I didn’t like not knowing the truth.