"Erica, please slow down! You're not helping the situation!" Mai shouts behind me.
"No just a few more meters! " I shout back. I had seen a clearing after wondering off, and on impulse had suddenly broke into a run to get to it, without warning Mai. She had desperately been trying to catch up with me, and had only just managed.
"No, seriously, Erica!"
"Come on!" I only stop running once I reach the clearing. The sky is clear and blue, and the grass seems an unnatural shade of green. Even the sun is out. I just stop and look. How long has it been since I saw a sight like this? So very, very long.
Mai stops next to me, panting. "OK, OK, I'll admit that it was kind of worth it," she says between gasps for air. "But did we really have to run?"
I laugh. We're stood on the edge of a cliff. Not a particularly high one, but still a cliff all the same. There is something comfortingly familiar about this place, something that makes me happy. Where have I been for the past year that has not been like this? America... yes, America. This is a sight I haven't seen once in America. It's like... like...
"England," I smile as, like I should have expected, the rain starts to pour down on my face. It's cold, but it's refreshing. God, I've missed British rain. Why did I ever hate it?
"You seem happy," Mai smiles, tilting her face to the sky and letting the rain wash over her.
"I am happy," I tell her. The dirt is being washed from my skin and I feel much cleaner than I have in weeks. "I don't think I've ever been happier in my life."
Suddenly I'm in hysterics, hyper. I launch into a whole-hearted rendition of Singin' in the Rain, and dance about, spinning circles before I fall dizzily to the ground.
"Oh, Erica," Mai shakes her head. "Maybe we should go and tell Meggie and Aidan."
"Yeah," I agree, looking reluctantly into the woods. "But I really don't want to go back in there."
"Come on, you'll get to come back."
"But... oh, fine," I grumble, following Mai back into the trees. Meggie and Aidan are nowhere to be found, and we walk out to the road to see where they are. Everything is silent. Well, except for the rain hitting the ground. The road is deserted, but I recognize it all the same. "Mai, this is Sherwood forest."
"I know," she grins. "I had to take us to the first place that came to my mind in England."
"So you thought of Nottingham?"
"Well, yeah, 'cause that Robin Hood cartoon is British so..." she trails off, seeming to have seen something. "Look, there's a bus stop there," she points.
"Oh yeah," I say. "Oh yeah."
"Maybe a bus will come."
"Maybe," I agree. "Let's go and wait, then."
We walk near the trees until we reach the stop, and then we just stand there. I can't understand why it's all so empty, and I begin to doubt that it's worth waiting here.
All the same, just when I look around the corner I see a double decker coming towards us. And it's the reddest, shiniest bus I have ever seen.