Friday 6th April 2012
BACK at the cottage, we found Arthur in sullen mood. Having heard our report of the meeting with Pry Minister’s henchmen, he stood up, announced…
“It would be advisable if you were rather more considerate when planning your publicity stunts. I’m going to the pub.”
…and headed for the door.
Tom shrugged, picked up his skateboard and also disappeared into the night, there being a group of girls in the village whose company he enjoyed.
Thus was I alone in the cottage when the mobile telephone on the table, which Arthur had neglected to take with him, began to play music. From advice given to me previously by Tom, I remembered which button to press in order to activate the device.
“That’s nice,” a male voice answered. “Kinda cute. Is Arthur Turner there? Or Tom? Tom Walker?”
“No. Both those people are not here.”
“Do you know when they’ll be back?”
“No, I am sorry. I do not know.”
“No problem. I’ll try again tomorrow. Cheers.”
And the conversation ended.
A few minutes later, Ursula walked into the cottage, enabling me to tell her about the phone call – which she told me to ignore – and confide in her regarding Arthur’s show of temper.
“That’s only because he fancies Jenny. He’s jealous of your relationship with her. His problem, not yours. Great party, wasn’t it?”
When Tom returned, he was in a good mood:
“I asked Steff if she wants to go out with me and she said yes. Yay!”
Whereupon I asked if we might go for a walk, which led to the three of us sitting on a cliff-top bench, listening to the rasp of the waves below and peering at the stars above. All the time I had been in the fortress, I had not been allowed outside to gaze at the night sky. It was comforting to know that somewhere up there was the world I called home, even if I would never see it again.
“Which one’s yours then, Ulla?” demanded Ursula.
“I do not know.”
“I do,” said Tom. “But you won’t see it looking up there.”
“Why not?” Ursula asked.
“Because it’s under her feet,” he replied.