That night after another forgettable meal in the centre (overcooked pasta with tomato sauce), we all had to meet up for the evening to plan the next day’s activity. The fog was continuing to swirl around the centre and we’d been advised not to venture out tonight due to the chance we might not see the cliff edge and plummet to our deaths on the rocks below. We’d stood by the entrance for a while, like smokers at the hospital gates, taking in the view, although the view was about a metre in front of us. It was good to just get out of the noise. You could hear the foghorn sounding in the distance, the sound distorted by the fog so you couldn’t tell in which direction it was coming from.
‘You two been making out?’ Billy yelled across the room as we returned.
We both blushed, which just fanned the flames of his tongue. He was building a head of steam and the whole class was laughing at his cruel wit. I sank lower and lower into my chair, as much as I denied it, he kept coming back at us. Mai squirmed by my side. I wished at that moment the earth would open up and swallow either us or him, preferably him.
We were saved eventually by Miss Spectable who arrived to talk to us. I guessed that it wouldn’t completely go away but a quietening of the storm would not go amiss at this moment.
‘OK, class, listen to me,’ Miss said brightly as though imparting something that was wonderful.
‘Tomorrow, you’ll be going on a wonderful hike over the North Yorkshire Moors looking at some of these features. You’ll walk about 10 miles and then …’
The groans started, walking was something that most didn’t like. I didn’t mind really though, I loved walking over the moorland, the solitude is so uplifting.
‘Yes, walking, and then you’ll catch a steam train from the station into Whitby. You’ll be going in groups of four, all at different times.’ Miss carried on over the groans.
‘Oh I hope we don’t get Billy,’ I whispered to Mai.
‘Mai, Tom, Millie and Lydia, is it alright if you work together?’ Miss said.
We all nodded. Millie and Lydia were OK. I was also wondering about showing Millie the picture of the three of us, but wasn’t sure how to. Lydia was much larger than Millie, bigger all round she played football for the school team. She and Millie were good friends, Millie being protected from a lot of bullying by her friend. I know that Mai was friendly with Lydia but I hadn’t spent much time with either of them.
The rest of the evening was spent in our little groups planning the routes we were to walk. It would be very nice to get away from the rest of the group. Lydia and Millie seemed to be good fun and I was really looking forward to the walk and, anorak on, the steam train ride.