They were fast and they echoed through the small building like thunder. I looked at Ben, he looked at me.
"Sugar! Who... could it be? Ben?"
"Did you check the whole building?"
"Are you sure?"
"And you didn't see anyone else?"
"No as in ‘No, I didn't see anyone' or No as in ‘No I didn't not see anyone'?"
"The first one."
"But then how could we be hearing footsteps? Footsteps that are getting louder."
"Dunno, shall I say something?"
"Yes. If you want"
"Hello?!" Ben shouted. The footsteps stopped, and then started again. Louder. We waited. Then someone appeared at the door of the waiting room. It was a boy, older than us, he had black short, hair. He was wearing some baggy jeans and a green shirt.
"Who are you?" me and the boy both said at the same time.
"I'm Max" said the boy "and you are?"
"Sara" I said
"And I'm Ben" said Ben. Max scanned us once over with his eyes.
"You're injured" he said to Ben.
"Thanks for telling me" said Ben sarcastically
"Are you hurt?" Max asked me
"Yes you are!" said Ben
"Not as bad as you"
"Are you hurt?" Max asked me again
"Yes" I said "but not very much. Ben pursed his lips.
"How old are you?" Max asked us
"Thirteen" I told him
"Fourteen" said Ben
"I'm sixteen" said Max "where did you come from?"
"School" I said "but there wasn't anyone there so we went looking for them"
"Our parents actually" corrected Ben "Because they're missing too."
"And my little sister"
"Same here" said Max "but I was looking for my brother - he works here"
"Oh" I said "Ben, did you have a plan?"
"Umm... No. I was just doing what I thought to do, when I thought of it"
"Have you got anywhere else you need to look for your family?" asked Max
"No. We looked everywhere"
"What are your last names by the way?"
"Mine's Mileson and Ben's is Matthews"
"You?" said Ben
"My dad was Italian"
"Oh" I could see that Ben was in pain so I said: "Are you OK, Ben?"
"Not really" he said. "My leg is killing me"
"Let me help" said Max. He lifted Ben into a standing position and then helped him to a chair. "How did you actually hurt your leg, by the way?"
"I was being clumsy on the stairs and he smacked into me on his way down. We fell." I scratched my head, a searing pain spread across it "Ahh! I think I hit my head too" I looked at my hand. "Sugar" I said and closed my eyes.
"What" Ben and Max both said at the same time. Looking at me at the same time.
"Blood" I said. Max must have got up because he was suddenly at my side.
"Let me have a look"
"OK" he looked at the back of my head and grimaced. He went into the boys toilets and came back with some wet tissue and some dry tissue. He dabbed the injury with the wet tissue. I flinched away at the pain.
"You've got to keep still or I can't help you"
"Sorry, it hurts" he carried on dabbing and I resisted the pain as much as I could. He finished dabbing it with the wet tissue and put the dry tissue on it.
"Hold this on it," he said and then shook his head "I can't believe you didn't notice this before"
"Neither can I" said Ben.
"Hey! You didn't notice it either!" I laughed. Bad idea. I winced at the pain that spread across my head again. I don't know how long we were there, just chatting. But all of a sudden, I noticed that it was actually quite dark now. "We should go, it's late" I pointed out.