When I woke up, it was still dark.
I glanced through bleary eyes to my alarm clock which told me it was a little after 5.00am and I groaned; there was no way I'd be able to get to sleep now. The birds had begun their morning song outside and I lifted the corner of my curtain up to glimpse a magnificent shade of blue in the sky as the sun slowly dissipated the last of the darkness and brought a whole new day forwards.
Frustrated at being woken up so early, I threw back the duvet and stomped to the bathroom. Everyone else was still asleep so I could spend as long as I liked in the shower. As I allowed the warm water to rush across my skin, I remembered the reason I had woken up in the first place. It all flooded back to me, the nightmare I had had during the night.
It was about Chrissy. She was still missing to us and we were all trying to find her. I had wandered into an abandoned warehouse building to find her body sprawled out across the floor. I had tried to scream, to warn the others that there was a killer loose, but my mouth had been stitched up. Black thread stuck out of my skin, my lips mumbled against the cotton pathetically. Chrissy's head, stuck at an impossible angle, cracked towards me, her eyes were wide and frozen in fear. She mouthed the words help me, before disappearing completely. And I was stuck in the warehouse, with sewn lips and the sound of footsteps nearing closer and closer.
That had been the point that I had woken up, but now that I remembered it, I had to peek round the shower curtain to check the bathroom door was still locked and there wasn't a madman stood with an axe. I ignored the frantic beating of my heart, and the ice cold fear and told myself that Chrissy was fine. Tom had made sure of that.
After the shower, I took my time getting dressed. I decided to opt for a pair of light blue slim-leg jeans topped off with a darker blue vest top. By the time I had done my makeup, a touch of foundation and some eyeliner, and brushed my hair, it was still only half past six in the morning. I didn't need to be at school for another two and a half hours.
'Isobel? What are you doing up so early?' my mother appeared in the doorway, wrapped in her dressing gown, complete with bed hair.
'I dunno,' I shrugged. 'I woke early.'
'Oh dear, why don't you ring Chrissy? See if she's okay?'
'That's a good idea actually,' I made my way over to the main phone and punched in Chrissy's number. She should be up by now.
'Hello?' her voice came out small and distant on the phone.
'Hey Chrissy, it's Isobel. I was just ringing to see if you're okay?'
'I'm okay. Tom's here with me now, he's been really supportive. Thanks for ringing Iz.'
'It's okay. I was so worried about you. I'm so glad everything was sorted. Tell Tom I'm grateful and that he's a hero.'
'I will. Hey Isobel, me and Tom aren't gonna be in school today. We're going down the beach cos it's sunny and we just wanted a break away. Why don't you and Elijah come along? Invite Rhea too - we can make a day of it.'
'I can't skip, I have too many lessons today.'
'Oh come on, we've practically broken up anyway. Ring Elijah and Rhea and let me know.'
Whilst I had skipped Photography with Elijah once before, I had never skipped an entire day. It did sound incredibly tempting though...
'Okay. I'll ring you after I've asked them. See you later!'
Ten minutes later and both Elijah and Rhea had agreed to skip. It turns out they had more free periods than actual lessons today and they didn't need much persuading. We had all arranged to meet Tom and Chrissy at the train station at nine o clock. I grabbed my bag, repacked with a towel, money, sunglasses and an extra change of clothes, and waved goodbye to mum as normal, ignoring any guilt I felt. We all deserved the day off anyway.
I headed as normal down the road, as if I were going to school, but instead of turning left, I turned right and set off for meeting the others.
Elijah met me a little way down, and greeted me with a kiss and a hug. We spotted Rhea coming out of her house and arrived at the train station half an hour later.
'Hey guys!' Chrissy grinned, giving us all a big hug. 'This is gonna be awesome.'
Honestly, I was just so happy to see Chrissy smiling after everything she had been through that I didn't care that I was skipping school, I was just going to focus on having an amazing day.