Roger Steelfang arrived at Sandra’s house at the usual time of ten past eight. He wore the customary jeans and today his T-shirt was green.
He greeted Sandra with the usual warm smile (Roger always had a smile for her, unless he was in a really terrible mood) as she got into his mum’s car.
“Sleep well?” he asked
“I did, thanks.”
Sandra was about to mention her dream about the wolf in the forest when something stopped her. For some strange reason, the dream felt private and ... almost a bit sacred. And though Roger had been her best friend since Year 7 when they had met, the idea of telling him was not something a mysterious new part of her liked. Something seemed to whisper from within her ‘Not him first’. It left Sandra feeling lost, confused, and guilty for wilfully keeping something from Roger, even if he hadn’t asked about it first.
“That’s good.” Roger smiled, unaware of the dream being withheld from him or the conflict it had raised within Sandra. “Did you see the full moon last night? So beautiful...”
“I saw it before I went to bed,” Sandra said. “It was lovely, yes.”
Roger’s smile grew a little.
“I’d love to read more mythology about the moon - I just love stories with a bit of magic in them.”
Sandra smiled as well.
“Me too. Tell me if you find any.”
“I will. Maybe I’ll search for some during our P.S.’s.”
“Oh, you’ve done all your homework, have you?” Sandra teased
“Well, while I’m not doing homework, then.”
Sandra nodded, as if that were only right and proper.
Ten minutes later the car drew up outside the school gates.
“Have a nice day,” said Roger’s mother.
“Thanks, Mrs Steelfang,” said Sandra.
“Thanks, Mum,” echoed Roger.
They climbed out of the car, got their bags out of the boot and walked through the gate on the arch over which read the school’s name: Whipstone Cross. Unfortunately Sandra and Roger weren’t in the same tutor group and so had to go in separate directions.
However, they did both do A2 French, and indeed Roger said, “I’ll see you in French.”
Sandra grinned. The lesson he was referring to happened to be the one straight after registration.
“In a few minutes’ time,” she pointed out.
Roger nodded, smiling as well, and walked away.
Sandra made her way to the science labs, registration being the only thing she had in one of them. As she was walking between the two sets of doors at the front of the building where there was a small foyer-type area, a boy was walking in the opposite direction, evidently leaving the building. He had dark, reddish brown hair and lovely deep blue eyes. For some reason, Sandra felt like she should say something to him and even go up to him. It was the strangest thing.
The boy glanced at her - randomly, it seemed - and stopped dead.
“Hey, do I know you?” he asked.
Sandra stopped too, startled, especially since she had felt an urge to talk to him before he had spoken his question.
“Um... no, I don’t think so,” she answered.
The boy frowned.
“That’s... very strange. Um, sorry.” Looking embarrassed, he darted out, not even giving Sandra time to say that it was okay.
Well, how odd. For some reason, Sandra thought about her dream. Rhyley. Could it be...? Had that been Rhyley? Not for the first time that morning, she wondered why the name had come into her head, wondered about the significance it was supposed to have for her.
Sandra’s tutor wasn’t there when she arrived outside the classroom, but when he did get there and unlocked the door there was a sheet of homework lying on the floor. Mr Rapler bent down and picked it up. Sandra wasn’t intentionally looking at the homework but she thought that she caught the name written in the corner of the page. Was it a subconscious mind that was trying to make too many links or was the name scrawled at the top of the sheet Rhyley...?