Chapter Four

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One hour later and right on time, I was being waved off by everyone, as I sat in the 1st class carriage on the train to Dorset.

‘Lucky you, you’ve got a whole crowd seeing you off.’

‘What?’ I turned to face a girl about my age and her mother sitting on the other side of the table.  ‘Oh, thanks.’

‘Yeah, I would have one just like that, but my mum,’ here she jostled her mother gently, who gave her an indulgent smile and rolled her eyes, ‘didn’t think I was worth one. No, I got the shorter end of the stick, what with me having to be ‘escorted’ there, and all.’

I laughed, ‘Where are you going?’

‘Ivy Rowe Academy.’

‘Oh! Same!’

‘Yeah, I know,’ she confessed, nodding towards my case, ‘it says it on your suitcase.’

I looked down, only just noticing a sign saying,

‘If found, please return to Eve Tailor of Ivy Rowe Academy’

Attached to the handle of my suitcase. It was just like my aunt to do that. ‘Oh, right, well, I can’t take credit for that,’ I joked, ‘my aunt wrote that.’

‘You live with your aunt?’

‘Oh, er, long story…’ I hesitated. The girl gave me an encouraging look, ‘er-‘

‘Come on November, the refreshment cart’s here.’ The girl‘s – or November’s – mum interrupted, and I relaxed, giving her a grateful smile.

‘Do you want something?’ November’s mum asked me kindly.

‘Oh, yes please, but I can pay.’

‘Nonsense, here, have a Kit-Kat.’ I smiled my thanks, and collected the red chocolate bar from her outstretched hand and unwrapped it.

I spent the rest of the journey with November, she asked me to call her Ember, and her mother, though her mother mainly just sat back and listened to our conversation.

Ember invited me to join her friends, who were all in Wells – a dorm house - , and said that I could even switch places with her current roommate if I wanted, which I wholeheartedly agreed to, as I’d been staying up late worrying about getting a weird roommate, and at least I knew Ember.

Suddenly, there was an announcement, saying that the train was stopping at Pokesdown Station.

‘Ember, if you like, you can share my taxi with me?’ I suggested, once we’d all calmed down and found our entire luggage.

‘Oh, that would be great!’ she breathed, and sent a pleading  look to her mother, who sighed.

‘Fine. But that means I’ve come all this way for nothing.’

‘Oh, come on, we only live in London.’ Ember scoffed, and turned back to me. ‘Does it go straight to school?’

‘Yep, and it saves you from having to take the bus all the way to Poole.’

She grinned thankfully at me, ‘You’re a god, thanks so much!’

‘Hey! Taking a bus wouldn’t have been so bad!’ Ember’s mum said indignantly, and we all laughed. I may have laughed loudest, I was so glad to finally have someone to talk to; it was a welcome change to the monotony I had been living in London.

Just then, the train stopped, and Ember and I stepped out, onto the platform, and I turned around and wiggled my fingers at her mother, who had moved to be nearer us and was waving to us.

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