Miriam sat on the coach next to the boy Benedict shed met him at Dover Priory Station as they both got in the double decker bus to the ferry port can I sit next to you? shed asked him sure hed said and moved over in the seat to allow her to sit on the already crowded bus and the bus took off to the ferry port with its packed bus of passengers Miriam didnt want to spend the next two weeks of her holiday abroad alone and even though there would be about thirty in the holiday package she knew no one and some were in couples married or otherwise or lone girls like her or the single boys whom she felt were not her kind except this boy seemed a bit different although she couldnt quite put her finger on what it was and when they got off the bus and onto the ferry she stayed near him as much as possible talking when she could or stood next to him as they looked out at the sea once the ferry had left the port and once they had arrived at Calais and disembarked from the ferry she followed him onto the coach where she said can I sit next to you? if you like he said did you want to sit by the window? if I could she said and he allowed her to go in first and once she was settled in her seat he moved in beside her and lay his head on the back of the seat and closed his eyes she looked out the window waiting for the coach to take off are you sure you dont mind me sitting here? she asked no of course not he said not opening his eyes good to have company and pretty company she smiled and turned and gazed at her reflection in the glass of the window as best she could she never considered herself pretty what with her tight red curly hair and her freckled face and bright blue eyes and a mouth she thought too wide she pulled a face at herself and looked away she settled back in the seat and lay her head on the rest at the back of the seat and tried to sleep for a while but she was too restless and opened her eyes and sat gazing at the passengers still boarding the coach her hands were restless she wanted to do something with them so she tucked them between her thighs out of the way and stared out the window a few stragglers were still waiting to board the coach she ought to have got the book out of her case to read on the journey now she had nothing to do but look out the window or at her fellow passengers or close her eyes and sleep she gazed at the boy Benedict beside her his eyes still closed soon be off she said to him hope its soon he replied me too she said hoping he would open his eyes and look at her but he didnt he just lay there with his eyes closed then after a few minutes the coach started up and the coach began to move from the Calais port and onto a road were off she said he opened his eyes and looked past her head about time he said and looked at the passing view she studied him sitting there with his hazel eyes and quiff of hair brown and wavy isnt it exciting she said to be actually taking off he gazed at her and smiled taking off what? from the port she said catching his smile what did you think I meant? nothing its my imagination goes riot at times she looked at him what did you think Id take off something? she said well could take off that jumper its too hot for it at the moment she raised an eyebrow is it? she said aren't you hot? he asked she supposed she was rather when she thought about and so she took of her jumper and tucked it behind her and sat back on it is that better? she asked I like the tee shirt he said she looked down at the tee shirt it had two rabbits where her ******* were what are their names? he asked what? she said the rabbits what are their names? he said I dont know she said I havent given them names he smiled how can you not name rabbits with names? she shrugged theyre not real rabbits theyre only printed rabbits on cloth she said still rabbits though he said printed or otherwise she smiled ok what shall I call them then?she asked thats up to you he said what names do rabbits have? all sorts of names she said did you have rabbits as a child? he asked yes I did she said reflecting back two white ones Fluffy and Snowy she said smiling so which one will be Fluffy and which Snowy he asked pointing to the two printed rabbits on her tee shirt you choose she said which one looks most like Fluffy? he studied the two rabbits closely mmm think the one of the right looks more fluffy than the one of the left so that one is Snowy? she asked yes I guess so he said the driver switched on the radio and classic music filled the coach thats Chopin Benedict said what is? she said I thought we decided on Snowy no the music he said its a Chopin piece is it? she said yes a sonata I think she gazed at him and he looked at her so how often will you feed the rabbits? feed them? she said sure you got to feed rabbits or theyll die of hunger he said smiling theyre not real rabbits she said smiling at him they look real he said sitting there all kind of innocent and hungry but theyre not real except maybe I will feed them later just to please you she said o good he said and dont forget to give them plenty of strokes rabbits like to be stroked maybe later I will she said looking at him taking in his bright hazel eyes gazing at her eyes of bright blue maybe later she said you can stroke them too.
A BOY AND GIRL SET OUT FROM DOVER FOR A HOLIDAY WITH THIRTY OTHER PASSENGERS ABROAD IN 1970.