I crawl off the bed. I feel really stiff. I glance over and see that Rhia is asleep on her bed, the sheets pulled over her. I'm still wearing my clothes. I roll my shoulders and wonder why I'm so stiff. Surely I've just had a nap?
I walk over to the window and look out. It's pretty bright outside. We have a beautiful view of the car park, which I guess at least means Rhia can keep an eye on her car. But wait - it's too bright. I met Rhia in the late afternoon.
I look up at the clock. It says 6, but now I'm thinking that it's six in the morning, not six at night. I've been asleep for about thirteen hours. No wonder I'm stiff.
My stomach rumbles, confirming my thoughts. I think the last thing I had to eat was yesterday morning. I open the mini bar and find a bag of M&Ms and a Mars Bar. I tear open the M&Ms and pretty much pour them into my mouth. Nothing has tasted this good in months.
I take the Mars Bar and go into the bathroom. It's pretty large, with a huge bath. I close the door and take off my clothes, which are, frankly, kind of gross now, because I've been wearing them for two days straight.
I turn the bath taps on and watch the water flow into the tub. There's a bottle of bubble bath on the side. Magnolia Spring, it's called, and whilst it doesn't smell all that much like magnolias it is kind of sweet and pretty. I decide to pour half the bottle in. The hotel will restock it.
I climb into the water, which I've kept just on the comfortable side of hot. It feels wonderful to be in a bath. I love baths. Geoffrey would always tell me off for using up all the hot water because I'd soak in the bath so long. This last fortnight, if I've been able to wash at all, it's been in motel showers which drip rather than spray, with only a bar of soap to wash myself and my hair. This hotel has freebie shampoos and things on the side, thank God. I can wash my hair thoroughly, I realise with some excitement. And then it hits me - I'm excited because I have shampoo, and I'm sitting in a strange bathroom in a strange town and the fact that I can wash my hair is one of the best things that has happened to me in weeks. And I start crying.
After I finish, I feel a lot better. I feel cleaner inside, somehow. The pain is still there, of course. How could it not be? Geoffrey died only a couple of weeks ago, and that man was closer to being my father than my own handsome, useless male parent could actually have been. And I miss the fact that I've had to leave my school behind, and all my old friends - not that I had that many, but there were a couple I liked, and I suppose I could call them but what would I say? And I feel bad that I've left all my clothes and books behind, which is shallow, I suppose, considering what's happened, but they were mine and I loved them and I'll never have them again. But despite all this, the grief feels more manageable now. It's like I've lanced a boil, and the poison has leaked out and now I'm left with a wound that's still there, but it's healthier.
I wash my hair and lie back in the bath and eat a Mars Bar while I'm lying there, because I can. Then I get out, rinsing out the bath carefully, because I know I've made it a bit grimy. There's a bathrobe in plastic wrap on the towel rack. I break the packaging and slip it on. I look down at my clothes and wrinkle my nose. I won't put them on right now. I think of the other two outfits I managed to pack and wrinkle my nose again. They're not exactly fresh, either, but what do you expect when I had to move to a new town each day? The only thing I had time to do was rinse out my underwear each day, because I may be a fugitive but dirty knickers are just gross.
I finally leave the bathroom. It's now seven. I sit down on the bed and see that Rhia has opened her eyes.
"Hey," I say. "I ate your mini bar sweets. I hope you don't mind."