She didn't feel like going home.
Not straight away anyway. She wanted to enjoy the outdoors, she rarely got to anymore. She couldn't face going home and spending the rest of the night locked up in the house, a prisoner forbidden from leaving.
She was aimlessly wandering the quiet deserted streets, glancing this way and that. Once upon a time this street was full of life; children playing on the pavement, adults sitting in the sun chattering away on the phone, teenagers gossiping with their friends. Now it was a ghost of it's former self, a complete contrast. It was sad thinking about.
Her phone vibrated in her pocket. Pulling it out, she saw it was her mother.
'Emilia! Where on Earth are you? Do you know what the time is?!' her mothers voice shouted through the speakers, angry and frightened.
'Mum! Relax it's okay. I just stopped by Zach's, I'm on my way home now.'
'Hurry up! Do you realise how worried I've been?!'
'Yeah, sorry. See you later mum.' She hung up, sighing. So now she was going to be in massive trouble with her mother, fantastic.
Emilia turned around to head back home when she heard a voice, a weak, broken voice carried along in the wind.
She turned her head sharply, trying to pick out where it was coming from.
'Hello?' she called out, feeling stupid.
'Over...here...' It was coming from the little alleyway wedged in between two looming houses, cast completely in shadow.
No way I'm going in there... she thought. But I can't just leave them, they might be seriously hurt....
Her naturally helpful nature got the better off her and she found herself taking tentative footsteps towards the sound of distress. At first she couldn't see anything and was beginning to think that she had just imagined it, when the sound of coughing drew her attention to two large dustbins.
'Are you hurt?'
She made her way to the bins and peered behind them, holding her breath. When she saw what it was, her breath came out in a loud whoosh and she immediately bent down to help them.
A lad, no older than seventeen was bent over, clutching his stomach. His face was contorted in agony and with one hand he was reaching out for her.
'Please...' he gasped. 'You have to help me.'
GET OUT OF THERE NOW.
That familiar voice that had protected her from Ria earlier now pierced her mind with such power and intensity that she fell backwards and was rendered speechless for several seconds. Her head throbbed and she was gasping for breath.
Run! Get away from him! He's dangerous.
Realisation dawned on her and she scrambled to her feet, running out of the alleyway and back into the street.
Keep running! The voice urged her on. He's close behind you!
Emilia sprinted as fast as she could, her feet pounded the concrete, lungs burning ferociously. She continued this until she had safely reached her front door. Throwing it open, she collapsed inside, locking the door shut tightly behind her.
And there she sagged against the wall, blood pulsating through her head, heart beating frantically against her chest. She didn't allow herself to think about what had happened, she just sat there, catching her breath and silently thanking that voice once again for saving her life.
'Emilia? What's happened?' her mother appeared in the doorway.
Looking up into her worried blue eyes, she realised she didn't need to upset her anymore than she already clearly was. She didn't want to add another fear to her mother's list.
'Nothing,' Emilia smiled, shakily climbing to her feet. 'I just felt like going for a run.' It had to have been the lamest excuse she had ever given, but her mum bought it.
'Right well, stay inside from now on. Do you understand?'
Emilia nodded fervently, completely agreeing with her mother. She wasn't going back out there in a hurry...