3. Wandering Thoughts
"So how was your run?" asked aunt Lisa over breakfast.
Maria was miles away. She had been thinking about the stone she had found. Hoping she would soon get an opportunity to find it again.
"It was great." she replied smiling, "Glad I got nice weather. Think I'm able to go further now."
"Go anywhere interesting?"
She instantly thought about the burnt out house again. Better to keep her discovery a secret.
"No, just around and back." she lied.
Maria's older brother Alex came in. At 17 (two years older) he was waiting on his AS Level exam results before sitting his final school year. Since finishing his exams in the middle of June and waiting to take his driving test next week, he had been feeling very apprehensive.
"When's your driving lesson?" asked Lisa.
"One." replied Alex boiling the kettle.
Maria noticed he was trembling. As he was preparing his coffee, some of the water spilt out scalding the back of his hand. Trying not to react, he immediately ran it under cold water.
"Look, if you're that stressed maybe you should cancel your lesson for today." suggested Lisa.
Alex frantically shook his head, "No, I need the practice."
Maria was glad the attention was off her for now. She allowed her mind to wander a little. Back to her discovery. Somehow she would have to get the stone back home without anyone noticing. An excuse to get out there again. To ensure the house would be empty when she got back.
The silence was quickly interrupted by the phone ringing. Lisa sprang up and ran to answer it.
"What was that about?" asked Alex.
"She's waiting to hear back from that job she applied for at the travel agents." Maria explained, "They said they'd phone if she got an interview."
As Alex sat down with his coffee and a slice of toast, they both strained to hear the conversation in the hallway. After a few minutes, Lisa hung up and came back into the kitchen to wash her plates. A smile was widely spread across her face.
"Well?" asked Alex and Maria in unison.
Lisa could not contain her excitement, "They've offered me an interview! They asked if tomorrow suits so I'll be away most of tomorrow afternoon. Alex, why don't you just postpone your lesson to tomorrow?"
Alex didn't seem to need much persuasion.
"I think I will. I'll text Stephen now."
Putting his plate and mug in the dishwasher he went to find his phone. Maria mentally smiled like a villain when their plan comes together. This was perfect. She could get the stone back without anyone noticing.
"So what are you doing today?" asked Lisa making her jump.
"No idea." she shrugged.
"How about we all go to the beach?" Lisa suggested.
It was better than sitting in all day. The weather was nice enough.
Lisa grinned, "Go and get your brother. Get ready and I'll wait for you in the car."