London was always deceptively cold in summer. It was the rain, Bex thought. Even the sunniest days would turn cloudy about 3:00 p.m. Drizzle would turn to showers, and the sky would stay gray for the rest of the day. It would have been enough to put Bex in a bad mood—if Bex had spent any part of her summer in a good mood.
So she stayed with her routine. Morning tea and scones. Afternoon run. Nightly call with Liz and Macey.
Wait for Cammie.
Always waiting for Cammie.
She felt the pavement beneath her feet, pounding it as she ran. When the rain began to fall, it blew cold in Bex’s face, but she didn’t fight it. It felt good, stinging against her skin and dripping into her eyes. She could cry, and no one would even know it.
But Bex didn’t cry.
Bex just ran harder. Faster. Into the heart of the city, past Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s guards. Down streets covered with double-decker buses and black cabs, Bex couldn’t help herself, she peered in every single one, thinking Cammie might be there, looking back.
She would have run all the way to MI6’s headquarters, broken in, stormed the place, pouted and screamed until someone told her where her best friend was. But MI6 didn’t know, or so her parents said.
Bex wished, hoped and prayed that her parents might be lying. She absolutely hated them for choosing to share the truth.
When the crowds became too heavy, Bex slowed to a walk. She studied the face of every tourist, all the people leaving work, ascending out of tube stations and getting off buses, making their way home.
Bex’s heart pounded, and she could feel her best friend in her bones. Cammie was there, Bex thought. Someone was there, watching her, and Bex could find them if only she could run faster, look harder.
And then she saw it, high in the air on the banks of the Thames, looking exactly like a bicycle wheel, spinning and spinning and going nowhere.
Bex knew the feeling.
She crossed the Thames, keeping Big Ben at her back. She didn’t want to think about time—how quickly it was passing, what every day—every minute—had to mean.
She just bought her ticket and stepped onto the Millennium Wheel, reminding herself there’s a reason people had started calling it the London Eye. She wanted to see as far as she could see. She had to scan the streets, look into the distance, and hope to catch a glimpse of Cammie.
It was too cold inside the car. Her wet shirt clung to her shoulders. Her hands shook. And as high as the wheel took her, she still couldn’t see where her best friend had run.
And Bex still didn’t know how to catch her.
The doors opened eventually. The tourists stepped off, moving on, but the wheel never stopped, and Bex stayed seated in the center of the tiny compartment, frozen. Unable to run anymore, to move.
Tears came, flowing down her face, but Bex didn’t even bother to wipe them away. There was no use in pretending anymore. Cammie was gone, and no amount of looking or running or climbing was going to help Bex find her.
So she stayed silent and still until the boy appeared in the open door and said, “Found you.”
“Zach—“ Bex started, but he didn’t let her finish.
“Come on,” he said with a smile. “We have work to do.”
Source: Gallagher Academy