Basilic was groggy. He was annoyed. He wanted to get off this God-forsaken bus. He heard Phoebe ask if he was OK. What is it with people and asking questions I’ve already answered? he thought sourly.
“Yes, Phoebe, I’m fine. I’m fine…” he repeated as if trying to reassure himself. He trailed off into an awkward silence, trying to think of something to say. He fell into memories again.
He was standing in his room, looking out of his window, overlooking the garden, which was hidden under a sea of red, golden, orange and brown leaves, the detritus of the summer. A figure appeared at the garden gate, clad in a thick pink coat. Her brunette hair came half-way down her back, glistening slightly in the cold autumnal sun. He gasped slightly. What was She doing here? Slightly panicked, he got closer to the window, looking up and down the street, trying to see whether the gang was with her. No. She was alone, for once. Reaching the front door, she rang the doorbell, waking Basilic up. He dashed down the old oak staircase and swung around at the bottom, to face the front door. Did he want to do this? Yes, he did. Should he? Probably not. It would only lead to trouble. Still… He inched closer to the door, and placed a slick hand on the handle. He breathed deeply, and opened the door. There she stood, in front of him, an angel in the dark. He felt his knees weaken, and worried they’d give out. She smiled slightly and held out her right hand, which contained a crumpled yet much-thumbed scrap of paper. He took it and opened it out, to find be confronted by his writing. It was the note he’d left when he’d been attacked. He asked her if she wanted to go in.
The memory faded, and he saw a confused look on Phoebe’s face. He realised that he was suddenly… Happier? That memory didn’t hurt, like the others. It helped him face what happened next. It was a safe-guard of what could have happened. A gem amongst pieces of coal.