We were both feeling the effects of walking for such a long time. My legs ached and felt like they were going to give at any second. I could tell Chantelle was struggling too; she winced slightly with every step.
“Not long now Chantelle, we’ll find somewhere to rest soon.” I promised her.
She smiled through her discomfort. “What’s going to happen?”
“Now or when we get back?”
“Well…both actually. We’re close now aren’t we?”
I nodded, recognising landmarks and a few footpaths. “Yes, we should arrive back at the house in the early hours of the morning.”
“Are we going straight to get the girls?”
“Not tonight. We’ll check on the house and sleep in an old small wood shed in the forest, it’s close to the house but hidden so we should be safe there.”
“Okay. Do you have a plan then? When we’re getting them? What you’re going to say and do?” she questioned, sipping on the almost empty bottle of water. We only had three more bottles left but that should be enough for tonight and tomorrow. Frowning, I realised that I didn’t have any real plan. I was just going to Lily’s house and somehow getting her out before her so called family saw us. “We should have a plan or something.”
“Yes, we should. I only know Lily’s address; I have no idea if Rose and Poppy are with her so we’ll have to go to hers first.” Although I wanted to go to Rose first.
“How will you do that?”
“I’m not sure. Somehow I need to get to speak with her without anyone being around.”
“Why don’t I speak to her?” She offered. I frowned. “They don’t know me so I’d have a better chance of talking to her.”
That was correct. No one knew Chantelle was with me so they would have no idea. As long as she can get to speak with Lily alone it would be fine. Chantelle could help Lily get out.
“You would go to her house then?” I said, almost to myself while thinking the whole thing through. That would be easier, and safer.
“Yeah, it would work. I can get her to come with me or meet me somewhere if her family are around. And when she knows you’re back for her she’ll take me to Rose and Poppy.”
“If they’re not already with her,” I added.
Chantelle nodded. “So, what do you think?”
“I think it’s an incredible idea.” She beamed; her smile lighting up her whole face. I loved how she looked at me, how happy she was that I was pleased with her idea. I imagine that she felt the same way I did when Mother was proud of something I’d done.
“I’m excited to meet them. Do you think they’ll like me?”
“They’ll love you, I’m sure of it.” Once we were all back together I can have Rose and the other girls teach Chantelle our routine and how we live. Then as soon as we’re properly settled I can find Chantelle a good school to study at. Perhaps when she’s finished we could put both of our skills and knowledge into starting a business together? I smiled as I imagined a family business, with the girls helping with the administration.
Chantelle squeezed my hand, breaking me from my thoughts. “What are you thinking about, Clover?”
“Really? Does it look good?”
“It does.” She grinned, looking at me with the same admiration as before, causing my heart rate to increase.
After that conversation had ended we'd arrived at the edge of the forest, where it met a muddy dirt track. The light drizzling rain had turned the mud soft but down the middle was a strip of grass that we could happily walk along without getting dirty.
“Stick to the middle,” I told Chantelle, as I stepped over the mud. She followed, doing as I said and missed the dirt. It was getting dark now so walking along this track out in the open wasn’t quite as risky as it would have been an hour ago.
Very quickly, the forest was left behind us and we had absolutely no cover at all. The bushes that lined the main road up ahead were short and would barely come up to our knees. At least though, we could lie down if needed. Until then we were too exposed and that made me feel very uneasy. Our only cover was still a five minute walk.
“Are we safe out here?” Chantelle whispered, even though we were alone.
“We should be. Just listen out for any traffic noise; we’ll need to hide if we hear a car.” Hide where; I didn’t know. The floor was uneven but the shallow dips and small hills were still not enough, especially with our bulky rucksacks.
|Anthony Perkins||as Clover|
|Keira Knightley||as Summer/Lily|
|Emma Stone||as Becca/Poppy|
|Jesse Metcalfe||as Lewis|