We both arrived at school, panting and breathless. Gabriel motioned to his brand new satchel, which I opened. I took out the wonderfully cold bottle, took a long gulp of water, and handed it to him. Having caught our breath, we went inside, both tidying our appearance as we did so. As we found our tutor room, Mr Greenwell looked up and asked,
"You're both late. What's your excuse?" I opened my mouth to answer, but Gabriel replied,
"We both missed the bus, we are very sorry. I assure you it won't happen again."
"It won't, not if you still want the ability to father children!" Mr Greenwell returned. Suddenly, a smile flashed across his face, and he began to chuckle.
"Why are you laughing, sir?" I asked, confused.
"Well," he began, "I've been telling you off for arriving late, when you both managed to reach school in five minutes even though you missed the bus. I should reward you for such dedication to your education."
And with that, he placed a chocolate digestive on each of our desks. I looked at Gabriel and smiled, before passing him my digestive.
"You need it more than I do." I smiled.
As Gabriel and I walked through the maze of corridors, hand in hand, I received many looks. Some were confused, others laughed. Some kinder people smiled in recognition of our bond. Then, Tamara appeared, with two equally pretty blondes at her flanks. I presumed they were twins, and although they smiled, I noticed a hint of pain in their eyes.
"Hello, Ayla." she said, faking a sugary smile. She looked at Gabriel, and asked me, without averting her gaze, "Who's this?"
"This is Gabriel," I said, and held his hand tighter. He stroked the back of my hand with his thumb. "He used to live on the streets, but I'm determined he gets a good education so he can leave that life behind for good." Gabriel smiled at me, a gesture I returned. Tamara's eyes seemed slightly greener as she looked at me and said,
"I suppose you have a lesson then, I won't stop him from going to lessons if he wants to improve himself." As the sound of her heels clacking against the floor subsided, I turned to Gabriel and said, "Be careful, I saw the way she looked at you. Tamara always makes sure she gets what she wants, Gabriel." Gabriel chuckled and replied,
"I'm afraid she's out of luck, I don't want her." I smiled, closed my eyes, and wrapped my arms around his neck, as he lowered his head, wrapped his hands around my waist, and we kissed. When we emerged from the ecstasy, we laughed and walked to our next lesson, enveloped in happiness and peace.