Nine

I woke up early that morning. It was Saturday, Ginny was due to leave today. I decided to visit my hill.

It was a misty, cold morning. Walking along the streets at three AM, before the dew had set, I really, really wished I'd brought a coat, and the hill was still muddy and slippery from the rain previously.

When I got to the top I found Rowan sitting there, gazing out at the forest on the hills that stretched far away, right up to the Mountains of Jumelle.

"What are you doing here?" I asked angrily.

"What are you doing here?" he retorted.

"It's my hill!"

"Is it thought?" he was right, of course. I sighed and slumped down beside him

"What's up?"

"My best friend's moving to Italy today."

" Well if it helps you'll always have me?"

"Thanks. So what are you doing here?"

"Waiting." was his vague reply.

I shivered, Rowan took his coat off and put it round my shoulders. He began humming. I didn't recognise the tune.

We sat there together for a few minutes without anyone saying a word. I had no way of telling what he was thinking about. I wondered who or what he was waiting for. Could be a friend? How dare he invite a friend to my hill? But he wouldn't og to school. Where would that friend be from? Could it be me? My heart gave a flutter at that thought.

"So how was your week?" he asked, breaking the silence much to me relief.

"Normal. As good as a week at school without a best friend can get. Yours?"

"Pssch. More learning. I went into Harrington."

"What for?"

"Darlita was on tour. She's not a Halia Crill but she sings. Dad thoguht it would be a good chance to see normal singers."

"Sounds fun."

"It was!" he grinned.

***

Shuffling down the road in the typical Lillyan drizzle, I saw Mr and Mrs Motor carrying things out to the car. Ginny was sitting inside the car with a concrete expression on her face. When she saw me she smiled and got out.

"I'm glad you came to say goodbye. I'll miss you!"

"Promise me you'll write!"

"Of course!"

Mrs Motor came back out of the house at that moment. She was a kindly woman, older than my mum. She alwasy sees the good in people and tries to do her best and make the best.

"Hello Carly dear. Nice of you to come and see us off."

"I hope the warmer climate make syou better."

"Yes, I do too." She suddenly adopted a frustrated expression.

"What's wrong?"

"Well I wrote to my sister, Evie, asking if Ginata's sisters, Emerald and Kathleen, could come and see us off. They haven't seen Ginata since they were toddlers, and probably won't reme,ber her now. I want them to properly meet her before the chance goes. We don't see them often. They're so busy and I'm so often ill. They live so far away, right down at the coast, near Plomii. and their school is close to Harrington city. I requested they be here for eleven o'clock, or else yesterday evening. It's twelve-thirty now!"

"Oh I'm sorry. I should have like to meet them too! I've seen their pictures, they look very nice girls. Maybe they didn't get the letter?" I suggested.

"Probably" she smiled sadly at me, before hurrying off to get more things to pack.

I helped pack the car with things they'd need before the removal vans got there. (They'd packed everything except the essentails a few days before hand).

After hugs and goodbyes, as the car pulled out of the drive and away, down the drive, turning onto the main road, I didn't let those wet needles of sorrow prick my eyes. I trudged back to the hill. Rowan was nowhere to be seen.

The End

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