Hidden Truths, Hidden Hearts

The first in the Hidden Truths trilogy.
Maria always knew she was different. From when she was a child she could do things she couldn't explain and had a power she couldn't understand. Then she meets Zac who changes her life forever. Together they embark on a journey that presents dangers, reveals long forgotten truths and brings them together in ways they could never imagine.

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11. Home Again

Maria blinked the sleep away as she woke up. She was back in her bedroom. It was like nothing had happened. She realised she was in her pyjamas. She checked her phone. Saturday 17th July. She had come home on the Monday. How had she lost 4 days? She noticed she had two new messages. The first was from her best friend, Jennifer,

Hey,
Heard ur dating a super cute guy now. Well jel!!! Wanna go shopping later?
P.S Ur brother told me evrythin. :L x

The second was from Zac,

      Maria,     
   Hope you're ok. We were in Igondia for five days. Time works differently there. 
  I think we need to discuss what the four dragons told us. Especially about finding
our own dragons. Meet me at my house? If you want I can pick you up. Text me your address.
Zac

She sat up and read over the two texts again. She decided to reply to Jennifer's first.

I'll meet you at the shopping centre at 1. Where the food court is. x

She read Zac's one more time before replying,

Meeting a friend first. Could you pick me up from the shopping centre at around 3 instead?
Main entrance.
Maria xxx

When the texts were sent she locked her phone and lay back down. A few seconds later her phone bleeped and the screen flashed, "2 new messages". Sighing she picked it up again and opened the two messages.

Cool! C u there. :) x

Ok, I'll pick you up at about 3 at the main entrance. Text me if there's any changes.

Her phone beeped as a new message flashed onto the screen. It was from her riding instructor,

Good to hear you're home now. Hope you're ok. You don't have to come to lessons until you're feeling 100% again. I've asked one of the helpers to check on Rosie.
Alison

She replied with a "Thank you." then switched her phone to silent.

It was supposed to be the weekend and already she was beginning to feel drained. She could hear Alex getting up. She remembered how she used to jump on him in the mornings when she was little to wake him up. Then he normally let her climb into bed with him. Over time he learned to get up earlier so that he could avoid her secret attacks.  

Dragging herself out of bed she sneaked down the stairs. Her aunt and uncle were still in bed. She checked the large clock in the hall. 10:00am. She could hear Alex fumbling about in the kitchen. There was a click of a switch as something was switched on. This was followed by a strange humming noise. She eased open the door. Alex wheeled round and grinned at her,
"Morning. I was just making breakfast. Do you want anything?"
"It's alright. I just want toast, I'll do it." she replied opening the fridge.
Just as she took the bread out Akex took it off her.
"You sit down. I'll do it for you,. Jam. No need to tell me what you want on it."
She grinned. There was no point arguing with Alex. When he had his mind set on something there was no changing it.
She sat down at the table and watched him as he dropped the toast into the toaster before pouring a bowl of cereal for himself.
"You not seeing that horse of yours today?"  he asked.
Maria slowly shook her head, "My instructor said I should wait til I feel better. One of the helpers will check on her for me."
"What about your new boyfriend? You seeing him today?" he teased.
"Later. I'm meeting Jennifer first. At the shopping centre."
Alex grinned again, "i'll give you a lift. I'm meeting Ryan later anyway. Quick game of footie then a study session in the library."
There was a pop as the toaster spat out the toast. Alex swiflty spread it with strawberry jam then gave it to her while he ate his cereal.
The jam was thick and sweet against the savoury toast. She ate it slowly. It had been the first proper meal she had eaten since she came home on Monday.The sun streamed in from the window behind her. She looked outside and saw dark clouds beginning to form. It looked like rain.
There were footsteps directly above them.
"I'm going to get dressed, Don't want to stay in my pyjamas all day." Akex said jokingly.
Maria laughed, "Would be pretty embarressing."
When Alex left her aunt entered.
"Morning, love," she smiled, "how are you feeling?"
"Bit better. Miss Rosie."
"You'll be able to see her soon. Don't worry. As soon as you feel better I'll drive you over and you can spend all day with her if you want to."
Maria grinned. Her aunt always knew how to cheer her up.
"I need to get dressed now. I'm meeting Jennifer soon."
Her aunt nodded and put the kettle on. Maria put her empty plate in the sink then headed upstairs.

She had a quick shower then pulled a light blue t-shirt, purple hoodie and skinny jeans. She rummaged around in her wardrobe and found a pair of trainers. She checked the clock 11:30 am. She had ages. She decided to fire up her laptop and start revising something to pass the time.

After surfing round different revision websites she briefly checked facebook before shutting down again. She checked the clock again.  12:40pm. She rushed down the stairs where Alex was pulling on a pair of trainers.
"Hold your horses!" he cried as she sprinted down past him, "You're not in P.E."
"Ha ha very funny." she retorted with mock seriousness forcing her own trainers on.

 

As Maria got out of the car at the shopping centre entrance. Alex asked,"Do you need picked up later?"
Maria shook her head, "No need. Zac's picking me up then I'm going to his house."
Alex grinned in a teasing way, "Have fun."
Maria grinned back and waved as he drove away. She joined the small crowd entering the shopping centre, It was busier than she anticipated. She decided to wait at the entrance for Jennifer.

1:15pm. Jennifer still hadn't shown. Maria decided to check her phone in case Jennifer had texted or tried to phone her. There was a new message on the screen. From Jennifer. She opened it and quickly scanned over it. Then again. Then a third time. She couldn't believe it. She created a new message and sent it to Zac,

There's been a change of plan. If you can could you pick me up now instead?
Maria x

Zac replied almost instantly,

Has something happened? I'm on my way.

About three minutes later a small light blue car pulled up outside the main entrance. A slim, pretty woman with dark hair and eyes was driving. She smiled at Maria in a friendly, charming way. Zac was sitting in the back. He waved to her and opened the door to let her in. He smiled until he saw her face.
"Everything all right?" he asked as she got in.
Maria shook her head. She felt hot tears burning behind her eyes.
"Do you want me to take yous back to the house?" the woman asked starting the car.
Zac nodded, "Thanks mum."
As the car moved away he put his arm round Maria's shoulder comforting her.
"Tell me what happened." he said gently.
Maria didn't look at him as she replied, "It's Jennifer. She doesn't want to be friends anymore."

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