The wind was blowing up the mountain at a fair speed. Josh pulled his hood over his head and tucked his cold hands into the pockets in the front of the jacket. Up ahead he could see a bench just beyond the ruins, and a small figure huddled up on it. He knew that it was Anna; even at this distance he recognized the turn of her head, the way she sat, small and delicate against the grey sky. Clouds scuttled above him, and he quickened his pace, although the ground was solid and unyielding. He stumbled on a sharp clump of thistles that were happily growing on the side of the path as a sudden ‘toot’ behind him meant that the van had left.
So, he was all alone to face what ever Anna had to tell him. After the text message from her at lunchtime, he felt that it was time to face her; to put right whatever relationship they had. It was hit or miss with them; he could feel it in his bones. He’d told the other lads to drop him here on Arthur’s Seat, which afforded the best views of Edinburgh. If he looked to his left, he could see the city before him; Holyrood House, the main streets of elegant Georgian houses, and the castle, perched on a volcanic outcrop that dominated the city.
The van disappeared out of sight, smoke billowing from it’s exhaust. Just behind him, he could hear a rustling, and a small terrier dog appeared from a huge gorse bush. It looked up at him and barked, as if Josh were invading its space.
‘Jack! Come here, and stop bothering the gentleman!’ a figure rushed towards him; a young girl wearing a pink hoodie and matching pink trainers.
‘I hope your okay? He means no harm; his bark is bigger than his bite!’
Josh nodded. They were now at the bench, and Anna looked at the two of them inquisitively.The young woman disappeared behind the curve in the mountain, and he and Anna were left alone.
Josh sat down next to her, and ruffled her hair, trying to lighten her mood, although his heart was racing in his chest.’What’s this about then? I had your text this morning. What’s so urgent that I have to leave the lads and come see you?’ His voice sounded a lot braver than he felt.
Anna did not reply, but pulled out a slim object from her pocket.
Copyright: Suzanne Bowditch, 2016
PS The image is of my black and white terrier Billy, who is as feisty as Jack. 🙂