I watched Erica run off. She was immortal like me, and I knew the hurdles we had to canter through in life. As I watched her figure storm off, I wondered why it was her who was immortal. What made it so that she was different from the rest of her family?
And now those Americans thought we were criminals! I wanted to laugh, but at the same time it made me light-headed and sick.
However, what Erica had said was true. In we were back home in sunny old England, we would be treated, by the police, as the victims, not their enemies. If this were England, we could explain everything (including the situation that, in my opinion, put Aidan in more danger than Erica and myself) and we wouldn’t be on the run.
The rain fell softer, but it continued to spit down. Aidan’s hair was starting to spike up as large drops clung to his chestnut strands. He angled his face to the sky and let the precipitation splash upon it, as though he was letting God wash away his sins. What sins? All the ‘sins’ that he had were television lies. Aidan was more relaxed at the news than we were, but still, he ran his hands over his face to cleanse it, and ran his hands thickly through his locks. Gorgeous.
Under the weight of my stare, his eyes flickered open.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I replied, “I’ll get over this. I think we’d better look after Erica, though. She’s not taking this…um, as well as she could be.”
I slipped my hand through his, and we wandered over to where the girl was scowling, now hidden from the world in a bus shelter.
“Erica…it’s okay. We’ve got to stick together now, you know.”
“We’re wanted! All of us. I don’t want to go to prison, not here… I don’t want this anymore! I just want it to be over.”
Aidan sighed, running his hands swiftly through his wet hair again. I told myself, sharply, to stop daydreaming about his pianist’s hands whenever I looked at them, and to concentrate on the matter at hand.
“So what is it that you two want to do?”
I didn’t take me long to gather my response to him.
“I want to go back to England! What I’ll do when I get there, I don’t know. I choose not to stay with my dad and his girlfriend, thank you very much.”
“Yes, and what about me?” Erica demanded, “I have nowhere else to go either.”
Aidan licked his dry lips as he thought, now looking rather boyish.
“Well…I have a flat back in Oxford. It’s empty. For the time-being…”
My eyes scanned his, a mix of grey, blue and green, similar to the slate-grey that made up mine. Aidan looked thoughtful, but it seemed that I could spot a hint of cheekiness in the sparkling of his eyes.
“And what would your sister do then?” I teased back.
“She wouldn’t be impressed,” he grinned.
Finally, I had a proper, loving place to stay! I could conceal my joy no further. I gave Aidan my cheekiest grin.
Erica cleared her throat. He scowl showed that she was more than embarrassed at mine and Aidan’s flirting.
“And you expect me to stay there too, as a fugitive?”
“No-one ‘expects’ you to do anything, Erica,” said Aidan, “I’m offering my place if you wish to have a home to stay in for a while.”
“Besides,” I pointed out, “You wouldn’t be a fugitive. You’d be our friend.”
“You don’t know me,” she replied, “You don’t know the problems that I can bring.”
“So? You don’t know us either, Erica.” As I said it, I thought of the ghastly lie that I was concealing from the both of them.
Erica thought for a moment. She stared moodily at the dinner-plate-grey sky, at the storm clouds that surrounded the American pub, and at the crowds of swarming reports. Here, it was neither summer nor winter, just the mist of time and space between. We were just dots on the universe, important merely to ourselves.
Eventually, Erica turned back to me.
“I suppose it would be better than staying here…” she remarked.
“Yay!” I jumped up and down clapping my hands, before realising that I was supposed to be serious about the matter, and an adult too. I just couldn’t help my happy emotions getting the better of me.
Suddenly, out the corner of my eye, I saw Mai. She was hurrying away from some reporters at the pub. I quickly waved, and signalled her over as soon as we made eye-contact.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” was her first response as she ducked into the shelter.
I grinned at her.
“We’re going back to England.”