It took him several moments to get over the shock. This was the girl from his dream. But that couldn’t be possible.
She resembled Riley in every way. Her hair was long falling to just above her elbows. Its tangled tresses were tied loosely below her neck and in softer curls then than the wilder one of his dreams. As though she had attempted to tame the mighty spirals. And she was short, just as Danny had remembered. She would have perhaps, only reached Danny’s shoulders.
She had just walked into the small office building to the side of the school and Danny could no longer see them, see her. The bell sounded and Danny found himself suddenly moving in the direction of the administrative building instead of his classroom. It was like he was back in his dream. Danny wasn’t entirely aware of his movements, part of him still believed he was standing back at the gate, even though, he was almost at the door of the office. He peered gingerly through the glass and spotted Riley and her father talking to Ms Betty, the school receptionist. She handed Riley a few different pieces of paper and continued to smile and nod it the direction of Riley’s father.
Danny felt a strange swirling sensation in the pit of his stomach. Who was this girl and how could he have dreamed of her? To be so exact in detail and then to just appear in his school the next day. He thought of how she had screamed out his name and of how she had saved him from that horrible creature. But then one question rolled dangerously into another, if Riley was real and here, what about the monster that had chased him? His heart began to race, seemingly desperate to outrun the fears of his thoughts. Then, suddenly and without cause, Riley looked around and their eyes met.
It felt as though his heart had just stopped. Danny didn’t dare breathe as he stared over into her auburn orbs. They seemed as shocked as his were. And then they changed. She scowled, deep and angry, the blonde girl was outright glaring at him. Startled he took several steps backward.
Blinking and confused Danny tore his gaze away from Riley and over to her father who was still speaking to Ms Betty. Ms Betty noticing she had lost Riley’s attention turned over to her and following her hateful gaze spotted Danny. She beamed waving him in enthusiastically. But Danny didn’t want to go in. Unfortunately, by now Riley’s father had also seen Danny and he was left with no choice. Danny moved forward and put a cautious hand on the door, slowly opening it. He stepped inside, the heat of the day instantly melted away as the cool office air surrounded him.
“Danny, darling!” Ms Betty began, she knew him quite well, and he did, after all spend a lot of time in the office. “What impeccable timing you have! If you haven’t been sent here to speak to the principal,” Danny blushed deeply, shaking his head and staring at the floor too overwhelmed to speak. “We have this lovely new student, Riley and it would be just wonderful if you could take care of her for the next few days! Wouldn’t it dear?” She stared over towards Riley as if willing her to beam in delight, but her face flushed in indignation.
“I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” She stated coolly. While this time she wasn’t screaming out his name, it was striking how similar her voice was to his dream and Danny was once again succumbed to shock. Her voice was still tinged with her slight Canadian accent. Ms Betty laughed,
“Oh, but darling how will you find your way around? Danny is happy to be your guide for as long as it takes.” She said obliviously.
“Uhh, yeah. I guess so,” muttered Danny nervously still studying the vinyl. He couldn’t bring himself to meet Riley’s eyes. Obviously, she hadn’t had the same dream, she didn’t know him. Though he could still feel her gaze burning through his skin like fire.
“Well, it’s settled then Danny will look after you.” Ms Betty said. Riley opened her mouth to speak but a firm hand on her shoulder silenced her.
“Riley would appreciate that, thank you for your offer Danny.” Riley’s father spoke for the first time, his voice deep and assuring. He looked back down at his daughter, squeezing her shoulder gently. “I will see you this afternoon Riley. Goodbye.” He stated matter of factly. As if he were acknowledging a colleague instead of his daughter. He moved quickly out of the room and down towards the gate. Riley looked rather desperately after him but her gaze turned hard when she noticed Danny watching her. She hurriedly gathered her things and brushed past him, much like her father had just done.
“I don’t need your help.” She scowled as she threw the door open and stalked off into the humid summer air. Danny quickly hurried after her, almost running into the glass door in the process.
“It’s alright! I really don’t mind, I can show you where to go. Where’s your first class?” Danny asked reaching over for her schedule. But she moved it away picking up her pace.
“I can find it on my own, I don’t need the help of some stupid boy, why did you even come into the office?” she accused. Her brown eyes alight with resentment. Danny stumbled. He had gone into the office because he had seen her. But he wasn’t going to tell her that. He couldn’t. She continued to glare over at him as he stumbled for a response that wouldn’t humiliate him. Eventually, she just rolled her eyes and began to walk off again. “Just another stupid person to deal with.” She growled pushing open the main doors and shuffling in. Danny followed her in warily, noticing her uncertainly at the irregular set out of his school building.
“Uh, Riley? Look I know you don’t want my help, but if I could just take you to your first class?” she considered this with furrowed eyebrows, but seeing as there was no one else around, she unwittingly nodded. Danny sighed and made his way over to her. Riley’s paper read;
CC090 Modern Arts
Each double letter stood for one of the corners of the building, AA was for Assembly’s and cafeteria (offices was a small building on the side of the school, from which he and Riley had just come) BB was for the Humanities, CC Creative Arts and DD Maths and Science. Coming in the front entrance they were in the hallway between AA block and DD. Which means they would have to go past AA down the second hallway to BB block. Danny cleared his throat,
“So, uh, this way.” Danny gestured in the right direction with the paper and began to lead the way. He could hear Riley’s quiet footsteps following along behind him. He didn’t share English or Maths with her but he shared History and Biology with her. Maybe he might get a chance to speak with, find out how it was that he was dreaming of her.