"Not all those who wander are lost."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
"Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived."
"Peter. What on earth are you doing?"
"I'm trying to remember Henry VIII's wives."
"We're in sixth form, not year six! You should know it by now." Lottie giggled quietly.
"Yes, well, we're not all as good at history as some people are." Peter grumbled into his history text book.
It was true, Lottie Adams loved history. It was one of her favourite subjects, and one which she happily excelled in. However, with three essays due in a week she wasn't too happy to be dragged along with the rest of her Sixth Form history class on a field trip on one of the dreariest days she'd ever seen. She only had a few more months of high school before she'd be packed off to a university to begin her future.
But Lottie felt lost in her last year of schooling. This was it, the final hurdle and she hadn't a clue what she was doing. However, her fear of leaving school didn't seem worry her teachers who felt that it was necessary to add a workload that was impossible to complete while dragging their students on trips that didn't seem of any significance to their final exams.
Now Lottie found herself forced onto an ancient bus with a class of stressed and unhappy students, headed to the heart of London to explore Westminster Palace.
"Now, please stay together. Class, please settle. We're almost there." Mr Robins, the history teacher, announced as he stood at the front of the bus.
Lottie slumped in her seat and stared out the window. It was dark outside and the clouds overhead threatened to unleash a storm. She caught her reflection and found herself staring at a curly blonde girl, with bright green eyes and freckled cheeks. Her unruly curls too threatened to unleash a storm of frizz; rain was not her hair's friend. After a minute of attempting to flatten her hair, she gave up and returned to watching the sights of London pass by her. Beads of rain raced down the window, blurring the dreary scene of London. She playfully traced their tracks with an index finger and sighed.
"Bored are we?" Peter asked, flicking absentmindedly through his text book.
"I just want to get off this bus! I hate being cooped up." Lottie moaned as the rain outside began to fall harder on the roof of the bus and the students became louder.
"Well, at least we got a day off for this field trip."
"Yes. But we've got a quiz at the end of it and it's going towards our final mark."
"Oh for God's sake. Can't we have one trip where there isn't a bloody test at the end? I mean, really-"
"What's that Mr. Bay? Don't you like my quizzes?" Mr. Robins had slunk over to the pair without them noticing and stood towering over them, peering at them over the top his large glasses.
"I-er-No, Mr. Robins. I love them, honestly! They're fantastic." Peter lied. Lottie couldn't help but smile as she noticed the pink tinge that had begun to spread across Peter's pale cheeks.
"I see. Well then, you'll be happy to know that the class can have a quiz and an essay if you love it that much! And it can be due tomorrow." Mr. Robins smirked and adjusted his glasses before sauntering off to the back of the bus. The entire class moaned in unison and began to throw paper balls and every insult at Peter.
"Peter! You're an idiot!" Lottie hissed as she punched his arm.
"Oh Lord, the class is going to kill me!" Peter groaned. He held his head in his hands, ruffling his mousy hair.
"It's not them you'll have to worry about but me! I'm going to kill you...." But just as Lottie began to harass him, the bus suddenly came to a halt and everyone was jolted forward.
"We're here!" The bus driver declared chirpily.
The class shuffled off the bus slowly while attempting to open umbrellas and avoid being soaked from the poor weather. Lottie grabbed her satchel and shoved Peter off the bus despite his many apologies,
"Lottie, I'm sorry! Ow! I said I'm sorry!"
"I know and I'm sorry."
Peter stopped in his tracks and turned to face Lottie,
In one single swift movement, Lottie stole his blue umbrella and pushed Peter into the rain. He tumbled off the bus and into a puddle causing Lottie to burst out laughing. Peter quickly picked himself up, spun round and stared at Lottie.