Simon, however, felt terrible about keeping another classmate’s notes, and so he decided to compromise. “How ‘bout I return it to you after school? That way you can still study for the test.”
Dante offered a shrug in response. “If you want. Here, I’ll even give you my address so you know exactly where to return it to.” He slipped the notebook out of Simon’s hands and with the pen sitting on his desk, scribbled on the inside of the back cover. “Here,” he handed it back to his desk neighbor. “It’s the last house on Alister Drive; can’t miss it.”
The class flew by, and after collecting more work from his Mathemagics teacher, he hurried home to get a start on the mountains of work he had to do to get caught up. He started by copying all of Dante’s notes and completing all the homework pertaining to them. He finished around early evening, and as soon as he was done, he was out the door to return Dante’s notebook.
Dried leaves skittered across the pavement in the darkness as the brisk wind of early October began to blow, whisking lighter leaves straight into the air, and sending the heavier ones on a race to the other side of the road. Simon walked along the sidewalk, among the leaves. There were more notes to copy than he had realized at first, and he spent a longer time trying to make sense of the scribbles than he would have liked. But now he no longer needed Dante’s notebook and carried the metal-bound collection of papers close to him.
The wind was frigid against his face, and he was glad that he decided to wear a jacket before leaving the house. His mother would’ve told him that he couldn’t leave without one… If she knew he had left. Simon knew his mother would never let him leave home this late, and he almost didn’t, considering how close it was to curfew, but he wouldn’t have been able to sleep soundly knowing that Dante otherwise would not have had anything to prepare for the test with, whether his classmate thought he was ready or not.
He pulled the sleeve of his jacket back to reveal a watch that read 8:14. He silently cursed Dante’s handwriting and the difficult material for keeping him outside so dangerously late, but he had only been walking for about twenty minutes. With luck, he would return home with time to spare. Alister Street wasn’t too far of a walk from his own, Simon noticed, as he reached the street corner and looked up. It was dark, but he could still make out the words ‘Alister Dr.’ on the sign towering above him. He turned onto the road and kept walking.
Simon followed Alister Drive until he physically could no more. After almost five more minutes, the road wound past a large metal gate and then looped around itself, coming, literally, full circle. Upon passing between the two large hedges that one might not hesitate to call small trees, Simon found himself standing where the circle looped around back to the main road.