“Come on everyone, on the bus!” Jen ushered the last few students on. “So, looking forward to it?” She asked me as we climbed on to the bus.
“Definitely.” I took the microphone from the bus driver and took a register in order to check that everyone was on board. When everyone had responded I sat down and nodded at the bus driver. We began our trip.
Through the long journey, we heard people singing behind us and I grinned. It reminded me of school trips I had taken, where you feel a sense of freedom at being outside of school. There was a tap on my shoulder and I looked around to see Charlie smiling at me.
“Miss Gregory? Gemma says she feels travel sick.”
“Show me.” I got up and followed Charlie down the bus. Gemma was looking decidedly green, and as I reached her she clapped her hand over her mouth as though she was going to throw up. Charlie stepped back hurriedly and bumped in to me.
“Oops, sorry miss.” I felt her hand brush my leg as she moved away from me and shivered slightly. She smelled as lovely as I thought she would the first time I had met her jogging. I pushed the thought away and concentrated on Gemma.
“Did you not think to bring travel sickness pills Gemma?”
“No miss. I didn’t realise I had travel sickness. I’ve never had it... before.” She clutched at her mouth again.
“Alright, here. These are really helpful.” I gave her two of the travel sickness bracelets that I had discovered were helpful in these situations. A small metal ball presses on your wrist and prevents you from feeling sick. Gemma slipped the bracelets on. “Now sit calmly. I’m going to get you a bucket just in case, but you should be alright now.” I smiled at Charlie. “Look after her will you?”
I fetched the bucket and made my way to Gemma again. She was already starting to look a little better, but I gave her the bucket in case. Then I returned to the front and sat with Jen again.
“Is she ok?”
“Hopefully she will be. I can’t deal with sick.”
“Yeah I know. You were useless when I had food poisoning.” I pulled a face at her then turned my attention to the notebook I had brought to write down ideas for my novel.
The rest of the trip seemed to pass uneventfully, and when we all disembarked near the globe Gemma thanked me for the bracelets, saying they had made her feel much better.
“As long as I don’t have to clean up sick Gemma, you can keep them.” She smiled and Charlie let the corners of her lips curve in to a smile beside her friend. Jen then began issuing instructions to the group such as travel in groups of two or more, where to meet us and what time. Other than that she said they were free to shop till they dropped. As the students filed off in groups, Jen and I spoke to the bus driver about pick up times and then headed off for a bit of retail therapy.
Jen dragged me in to shops that I would never normally enter, and even persuaded me in to buying a rather nice dress for the staff party that we were going to have at Christmas. Only a month till Christmas, the stores were lined with decorations and gifts. I bought a few presents for my friends, and even a small gift for my parents which I sent every year, and never received a reply for. Some people would have given in by now, but I hoped that at some point they would soften their views and welcome me back as their daughter, even if they weren’t accepting of my sexuality.
In a bid to escape Jen for a little while, I detoured while she was checking out yet another clothes shop and popped across the street to look at a small little shop that seemed to be filled with candles, incense and books. Inside I was hit by a strong and yet relaxing range of scents which immediately made me feel at home. I smiled at the drapes hanging around the shop, and the batty woman stood behind the counter. Everything seemed rather ethereal. I decided to explore the dusty shelves that lined the shop in hope of finding something to read on the way back to school.