"What are you doing?" I whispered to myself as I threw the curtains aside and stared at the now shiny grass covered in dew. The sun had only just risen and the sky was pink, decorating the view of the hills in the distance. I looked at the clock 5.47am I sighed, throwing off the sheets and staring out the window at a nearby Robin. The Robin greeted me as warmly as the sun, rustling around in the apple tree darting in and out between the growing fruit, gesturing to me as I slid the window up and stepped onto a stronger branch, my bare feet gripping the bark, balancing with ease before settling between two branches to daydream.
* * * * *
"Dawn, darling, would you care to make me a cup of tea?" Dad put on his loveable face and looked past me, perched up in the barstool, to meet my Mum's enchanting green eyes. She chuckled, her Strawberry blonde curls bounced around her face like little springs, outlining her warm smile "Ok, but only if you do the washing," she said cheekily to Dad's amused face
"Sylvia, darling, would you do the washing?” he asked me, I looked up at him, my pigtails flicking me in the face as I turned, “No Rob, don’t get her to do it, get off your butt and do something, you can’t sit around watching telly all day.” Mum’s smile widened as she patted him on the back then came over to pick me up and take me to the car, we were going to the zoo.
I was still too small to see the actual road so I spent the majority of the trip leaning up against the black leather covered car door in the front seat, trying not to take notice of what Leo and Toru were doing. The gate displayed a giant gold statue of a lion of which I had only dreamed of seeing when I was little, It was packed full of people, we managed to squeeze our way to the front of the crowd to watch the seals perform before getting shoved aside by another family wishing to see the show. I was allowed one meal of my choice and as you might guess, I chose candy floss, that was the first time I had tasted it and I shall never forget how it melted in my mouth, the bright pink and blue sugar stained my tongue purple for the rest of the day. Leo and Toru were rushing around from one side of the path to the other as we strolled down the path, having trouble navigating with the map (That’s what happens when you give a 6 year old the map) I was clinging to Mum’s leg as we passed the lions. “Mum, Mum, Mum, will they eat me?” I looked up at her as a massive Male lion growled at us when we walked past, she met my innocent eyes as I started to worry “No darling, they can’t hurt you there, they are behind bars.”
“But, but, isn’t that mean?” I squeaked, starting to tear up.
“No No, they are being kept safe from other predators,” She replied softly, picking me up and hugging me. I didn’t understand, but she was comforting, her smile was beautiful in my eyes, relaxing me enough to pass that section.
* * * * *
I tipped my head slightly, opening my eyes to see the sun had traveled further through the sky to settle just above the neighbours oak tree, the rose bushes by the drive were covered in dew drops, slowly drying in the new sunlight. I watched the postman cycle past, throwing the newspaper onto the consecutive drives down our colder sack, then speeding off with an empty bag in tow. A light downstairs in the house started flickering before shining fully as the postman went out of view, it was my time to get ready for another day of school. Snatching a bright red apple off the tree, I tiptoed down the branch of the tree leading to my open window. The light shone through the rippled glass painting rainbows on my white carpet as I ducked under it and wandered downstairs for breakfast.
"Where is it?" I whispered, searching through the kitchen cupboard for my favourite cereal.
"It's here idiot," Leo pushed past me and grabbed the bright green box from the top shelf and shoved it at me before snatching the milk out of my hands and trudging over to the bench. My brain was elsewhere as I mindlessly poured too much milk into the bowl and definitely overdosed on the sugar, 1 teaspoon..... 2 teaspoon...... 3 teaspoon...., but overall, it was a typical morning when I wake up too early. “Sylvia,” I spun round, flicking some milk from my spoon all the way onto the couch, Toru stepped back, he rose his eyebrows in shock
“yeah?” I replied, surprised myself that he looked reasonably calm and gentle this morning.
“Can I talk to you?” He tipped his head towards his room waiting for me to nod before grabbing my wrist and tugging me over. “Who was that, um, brown haired girl you were with yesterday morning?” He whispered nervously “you know, your friend in the blue top,”
“Why do you want to know?” I answered reasonably loud, trying to catch Leo’s attention without breaking out into the giggles,
“I … I just want to know, if you are gonna have friends around, I’d want to know their names....”
"Oh really, you would wouldn’t you,” I looked up at him and raised an eyebrow, grinning to try and hold back a laugh, “her name’s Kitty, Kitty Thornwell,” I watched him recite her name to himself before starting to walk back to the kitchen
“Thanks,” He smiled for once, then went off by himself to organise his bag. I burst out in laughter, catching Leo’s attention who just glared at me, Toru has a crush on Kitty, it brought a grin to my face, cheerily I kept getting ready for school with that thought.
* * * * *
Slowly I traipsed through the corridor, my wrist turned in and tucked into a fold of my black, tiger hoodie. It had become natural for me to hide my glowing mark. I was looking for the sports sign up board within the maze of hallways and lockers. I passed my homeroom, which was now being emptied of year 9 (form *) students, and eventually navigated my way to the board. There was a crowd waiting to sign up, all the sheets were almost filled despite the fact there were 10 different sports. Immediately my eyes were drawn to the baseball sheet, the first page was full and there were names being listed on the second page so I slipped through the clump of people around it and wrote my name on the sheet, reviewing the other names on the list, Angie … Maurice … Max Salamernan . . . A sudden picture of Max, my cousin, led me to walk slowly back out of the crowd. Max used to be the only one who I would confide in when I was younger. Dad was depressed after my Mum died and couldn't talk about her without breaking into tears. It just reminded me of the fact I left him behind.......
* * * * *
English was my next class. I've never been amazing at English but since I've come to Meckaria I decided I was going to start fresh. Ms Brookshire looked reasonably old and her long brown hair had started going grey, she sat at her desk while teaching, leaning back into her luxury red leather seat. I tuned out after she started droning on about Hanstrassa the famous playwright on Meckaria. I tried to follow in Kevin's footsteps and fall asleep inconspicuously but the noise was too great so I stared out the window, watching the sun pass above the building. After waiting for what seemed like hours the bell rang, calling us to lunch. I was about I leave when Ms Brookshire called me back. "Sylvia, wait, I need to talk to you," I turned to see her still sitting at her desk leaning back into her comfy chair "sit down," she said gesturing towards a small chair in front of her desk. "Your Father works for the Government correct?" She asked, I nodded cautiously the met her grey eyes "I just want to let you know, there was a fire in the west wing …" she sighed as she said it. Dad! He works in the West wing, he could be hurt. My pupils grew, and Ms Brookshire seemed to have noticed the tears forming, he can't be dead, he just can't be. She seemed to sympathise with me, saying nothing, she nodded as I solemnly walked out and headed for the gate, I had to get home, just to know.
I basically jogged home, my heart was pumping like nothing else as I turned the corner onto my street. The heat was overwhelming as I walked in the door he should be home by now "DAD?! DAD?!?" I called, I started to panic, briskly walking down the hall and into his room. To my relief Dad was lying on his bed reading a magazine, he opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted as I sprinted up and hugged him.