In the dream Taya was cold. The sun was shining but the breeze that was ruffling her hair was chilly. She was sitting with her knees drawn up and her hands clasped underneath them. Beside her, the boy lay pale and still. She knew she should help him, but she couldn’t move. She felt like a statue, frozen in place, watching as the world moved on around her. She wanted to cry out but she was so dreadfully afraid that she couldn’t make a sound.
Twice now the dream had disturbed her rest in the early morning hours and she had woken shaking and confused. She had lain in the warm safety of her bed trying to recall the images that had frightened her. She didn’t know what was worse, the sight of the poor boy or the feeling of complete helplessness; the feeling that something terrible was about to happen.
The car in which she was travelling drew to a halt and the driver turned to face her.
‘Okay, Taya, here we are,’ Mr Comino said with a gentle smile. ‘I’ll go back to the hospital now. I’m sure Chris will call you when he comes home.’
Taya thanked Mr Comino for bringing her home as she climbed out of the car. She stood watching as it slowly moved off down Grange Road. It had been an eventful afternoon. She sighed and went into the building.
‘There you are at last. I was beginning to worry about you,’ said Julia Bayliss when she heard her daughter enter the apartment.
‘Oh no, not again,’ Taya sighed as her eyes swept around the room. There were open suitcases on the couch and several boxes lined up beside the coffee table. ‘Please tell me we’re not going away again. We’ve only just come home from one of Dad’s trips.’
‘You’re late,’ Mrs Bayliss continued. ‘I expected you an hour ago.’
‘Didn’t you get my text? I sent you a message when we were at the hospital,’ Taya replied. She took her jacket off, hung it in the small closet near the door and turned to face her mother.
‘Hospital? I thought you were going with the Cominos to watch Chris play football. What were you doing at the hospital?’
‘Yes. I did but, just before half-time, Chris had the ball and he was about to kick it when this huge guy from the other team raced over and tackled him, smashed him to the ground and sort of fell on top of him. Chris was knocked out and his arm was all bent and weird so the paramedics took him off to hospital. The doctors said that Chris has to have surgery to set the bones in his arm so Mr Comino brought me home and now he’s gone back to wait with Mrs C. until the operation is over.’ Taya paused, took a deep breath and inspected one of the suitcases. ‘I sent you a message so you would know where I was. Mum, what’s happening?’
Mrs Bayliss checked her phone. ‘Oh, it needs charging. I keep forgetting to plug it in. So, Chris is going to be okay then, is he? Was it just his arm that was hurt?’
Taya perched on the arm of the sofa and shrugged her shoulders.
‘They x-rayed him and the doctor just said that he had two broken bones in his arm and that he would have to have an operation to set them. He looked awful, Mum. He was really white and he said he was dizzy. You should have seen him lying there on the ground, unconscious. For a minute I thought he was…’ Taya shivered as she remembered the moment. It was just like the dream, she thought.