I do not own any characters or places mentioned in this story.
I looked out the window of my pine bay window, into the grey September sky. This year winter had come unpleasantly premature, and wiped away all hope of a few more weeks of the summer. I dressed in my uniform which to be honest, could be worse. It consisted of a white blouse with a red tie and skirt, a grey blazer and grey tights. I wrapped a warm wool scarf around my neck and after tying up my long brown hair in a neat ponytail, grabbed my suede gloves and bag and made my way downstairs.
"Good morning Miss Croft", our butler Nathan greeted me as I stepped into the foyer.
"A letter from your father has arrived." He handed me a white envelope
"Thank-you Nathan" I smiled as I made my way through the grand doors. The chilly autumn air nipped my cheeks as I walked down the manor steps to the drive.
"Morning Miss Croft," my driver, Geri, greeted me as she opened the door of the black Porsche. I slipped inside and she closed the door behind me. The silence of the frosty morning made the car sound especially loud as it slowly crunched over the gravel. As the car made its way along the long country road to school, I retrieved the white letter from inside my blazer pocket. My name was written neatly on the front in my father's unmistakable scrawl. He had been investigating the Tomb of Humayun in India for the past several weeks and was to return just before Christmas. I knew it would be a little lonely in the manor as it always is, but I get by just fine and focus on the positives. I found my silver letter opener in the side of my schoolbag and opened the white envelope. I read my father's brown scrawl
Today is your first day of sixth form, and I wish with all my heart I could be there to see you off! Delhi is a beautiful city and the tomb is just fascinating. I'll tell you more about it when I have more time to write, as I am currently on my way to the British ambassador to discuss my findings, so for now I just want to say good luck and enjoy your first day back at school!
With all my love,
PS: Enclosed is a cheque- for the love of Zeus you cannot spend another year using that file!
I smiled, and folded the letter back up. I extracted my chunky black file from my school bag. It was fraying at the edges and had photos of me and Xavier plastered all over the front. I smiled as I wiped the dust off it which had accumulated over the summer. Xavier had decorated the file himself and given it to me for my fifteenth birthday. It was very different to the suede covered bronze cornered files that most girls in my year used- but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I smiled as I looked at the photo on the top right. It was taken last summer at Xavier's villa in Tuscany. I was in my bikini showing off my tongue piercing and Xavier had one hand around my shoulder and had used the other to take the photo. Goodness, father had been furious when he found out about that piercing. He even threatened to break off my friendship with Xav, but I knew he never would. Dad had done a lot of business with Xavier's mother, Vancetta May who was a curator at the Museum of International Artefacts in Geneva. I had met Xavier at a Christmas party that the Mays had thrown two years ago, and when I found out he was at my school too, we basically became best friends. Dad of course approved and was under the impression we would fall in love and marry- which was why he wasn't as angry as he shouldn't have been when he found out that I had snuck off to a concert with Xavier one night when I was fifteen, or that I got a tongue piercing when I visited his villa over the summer. In Dad's opinion, as long as I was with Xavier and not out drinking with crowds of rowdy teenagers- it was all good. Apart from the fact that everyone expected Xavier and I to fall in love. I must admit, there had been times in our relationship where I had considered what it would be like if we were more than friends- but it had always felt wrong. Xavier was my best friend, and he would never be more or less than that.
The Porsche slowed to a stop in front of the school gates.
"Thanks Geri". I said as I climbed out the car and walked up the path to the school building, which was bustling with hundreds of kids who, like me, were already being revisited by that old school feeling of routine and regiment.
"Morning stranger," I heard that so familiar voice as a pair of arms wrapped around my waist and span me around.
"Get off!" I laughed, as Xav released me and then embraced me in a hug.
"Your coffee madam," he acted playfully as he handed me a latte.
"Thanks Xav, but you know you don't need to get me coffee every morning!" He shrugged and smiled, "So how was Finland?" He asked with a chuckle in his voice. I glared at him, he had spent his summer in Dubai with his father whereas I had spent it freezing my legs off in caves. In Finland. "Cold. And wet. I'm not even going to ask how Dubai was!" Xav laughed again. "Which teachers do you have?" he changed the subjects, reaching into his satchel for his timetable. I did the same.
"I have Mason for History, Nicholson for Classics, Herman for Lit and Sharpe for P.E" Xav raised his eyebrows, "Ah cool- we're together in Lit and Classics." I smiled. The best part about our friendship was that we were basically into the same subjects and we wanted to go into similar fields of work, so we were usually together in a lot of classes. Xav checked his watch, "I gotta go Lar, but I'll see you in the quad at lunch."
"Cool", I said through a sip of coffee and high fived him as he walked off to the science block, quickly met by a few friends. I watched him walk away. Xav was beautiful- there was no doubting it. He was tall and slight with black hair that flopped over his temples and his nape. As I made my way to my History class I had a chance to take in the view of good old school in all its glory. The kids were still chatting, the walls were still stone, the lanterns still burnt and the fountains still ran. Everything was the same, just how I liked it.