She left the office quickly, squinting at the invading sunlight as she left the cover of the building. College was a twenty walk from here, normally thirty but she was gifted with long legs. She glanced upwards, seeing grey clouds gather. She remembered the news vaguely this morning. It had mentioned a potential storm, but she wasn't concerned. England was a boring country in terms of weather. The worst Cambridge ever saw was some wind and lots of rain. It was a weekday and mid-morning, making the streets mostly empty. She walked along Hills road, looking at the recently built apartments. They towered above, claiming to be the tallest in Cambridge. She imagined it would only be a year or two before they would be second-tallest.
She had lived in Cambridge her whole life. She liked it. It was quiet and the people were generally nice. She re-entered the shade quickly as she followed the hill of the road – hence it's name – down. Trees created a canopy as she walked over black concrete streets. She took occasional moments to appreciate the architecture of the older building, mostly the university ones. Part of why she wanted to explore was a desire to see old ruins. When she was eleven, long before the incident seemed possible, they had taken a trip to France. While there they went to the Normandy border and visited an old town and cathedral called St Michels. She remembered exploring the corridors and admiring the old doors wit wide eyes. She went as high as she could and glanced over the sandy salt plains with her mouth agape. It had been a warm summers day as well. Probably one of the few times she had worn a skirt.
A car horn beeped, bringing her crashing back to the here and now fast. She glanced up and recognised the guy from her economics class. While she wasn't exactly well versed in social norms, she had watched him enough – and listened to him and his friend talk enough behind her – to know he was a complete player. She was not happy to see him take an interest in her.
“Hey, Lucy right?” he asked, having pulled up to the curb. Her knowledge of cars was limited, but she was certain it was cheap and probably going to fall apart any second now. She hadn't realised he was eighteen, did that mean he was re-doing a year? She gave him a once over, seeing he hadn't changed much since last week. Kyle had shoulder length brown hair that he kept tied behind his neck. He always wore fitted jeans, shirts and a casual blazer. She was very certain his parents were loaded and that he was an only child. There was day old stubble clinging to his face.
“You got drunk and are running late,” she stated.
“You see through everything,” he quipped back. “What about you? I don't recall seeing you during my pub crawl,” he said.
“I had a doctors' appointment,” she said, shrugging. She suddenly regretted engaging this conversation, then again the car horn hadn't given her a lot of choice. The street was completely empty, so it had to be aimed at her.
“Ah, okies,” he said. “Need a lift back?” he asked. Lucy hesitated. While she had observed him enough to know he wouldn't do anything, she had a lot of hesitations about anything new and untried. She'd rather bug her father if she needed a lift, regardless of his whining later.
“Come on. I promise to keep my hands to myself,” he said, winking. Lucy lifted an eyebrow at him.
“I'm gay,” she lied.
“Hot.” She rolled her eyes. “I can still give you a lift. I'm guessing you know more about what we learned last week. I was actually fighting a hangover and could use the reminder,” he admitted, shrugging sheepishly. Lucy frowned, still wondering if running for it was an option. Eventually she sighed and nodded. She was used to help others with studies. She had done it her entire secondary school life. The car smelled of stale beer and pine cone. The swaying green tree answered that one. He shut the door loudly and started the car. It didn't sound very healthy.
“I'm surprised your parents didn't buy you a better car,” Lucy commented, frowning at the dirty windscreen.