Meggie and Aidan find me where I'm waiting around the corner from the pub. It has started raining really heavily, and is washing away the dirt on my face and in my hair.
"You look different when you're clean," Meggie comments. Washing in the pub toilets hadn't been that effective. Half the taps hadn't worked and the ones that did hadn't been much more than a pitiful trickle of luke-warm water. Plus, the debris from the pub wall had settled on us in all the places it could.
"So do you," I respond. "And you," I add to Aidan, who does look slightly cleaner. I looke from one to the other quickly. I think they love each other, but there is something else that's like an awkwardness, but a familiar awkwardness. It doesn't make sense to me.
I nod across the street, where there are a lot of news reporters gathered near the virtually non-existent pub. God, those accents are starting to annoy me. Meggie rolls her eyes and we set off wondering the streets. We reach a shop which has televisions in the window. Meggie taps me and we stop to watch.
The newsreader, who is from Texas, is talking about tonight's events.
"A damaging explosion, following a, so far, misleading gunshot? Surely not a coincidence. These events have baffled most everybody. New reports tell that Erica Celestine, last living member of her family, in another attempt to take her own life, was witnessed to have copied her relatives with a gunshot to the head. She, however, has gone missing with no evidence as to where she is, along with Meggan Greene, (who was earlier kidnapped by teacher Aidan Bible). It is believed that Erica and Meggan then joined forces, creating an explosion to disguise their escape.
"These two young girls are now facing a criminal record and sentence in jail. Any leads or information about them will be greatly appreciated."
It then moves on to the scene of the incident, where a cheesy and annoying young woman is interviewing people who have nothing to do with it. Words across the bottom of the screen on a reel show a number to call if you have any information, and basically what has just been said.
Meggie, Aidan and I stand there in silence as the rain pours down around us.
I'm used to lies in news reports, etcetera, but I almost want to cry about this one. I have never even had one encounter with the police on my behalf, and now I'm facing prison? I'm wanted, just because the Americans believe everything they're told if it's exciting and makes good gossip.
"I'm wanted," Meggie echoes my thoughts in a strangled whisper.
I want to go back to England. Nobody judged me there. All I got was sympathy, though I didn't want it. But it's better than this.
"I'm going home," I mutter, blinking back tears as I walk away from Meggie and Aidan. I'm not sure how I'll do it. At thirteen, no disguise will pass you off as old enough to get on a plane, and there is no other way of getting from America to England.
They take a few seconds to register what I've just said, mixed up in their own shock and other emotions. But then Aidan catches up with me while Meggie watches the rest of the news.
"Erica," he puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me.
"What?" I snap, more harshly than I intended.
"Are you all right?"
"Do I look all right?" I have no idea where this bitterness has come from, but it flows from me like I've been using it all my life. "I'm thirteen, Aidan, and I'm facing a prison sentence. An American prison sentence, which means ten times longer than I would have got anywhere in England. All because of stupid bloody lies! I can't take it any more!"
He stares at me, amazed at my outburst. Meggie appears beside him.
"Erica..." she tries.
"No!" I yell. "It's all right for you, you've got each other. I have no-one. And that stupid woman was right about something. When she said 'another attempt to take her own life'. You don't know how many times I've tried. But no, I have to be f*cking immortal don't I?"
I storm away from them into the cold and rain, instantly regretting my words. They have problems too, and I know Meggie is in exactly the same boat I am, and I remember that the police are after Aidan as well, but I'm just so angry.
I don't know what they do after that, because I've switched off. I don't even feel the rain pelting me any more.
It's just like one big rain cloud over my life.