Ava stirred, gazing at Oscar with vacant, blurry eyes . “Why did you put the radio on? It woke me!”
“Sorry, I was just listening to the traffic news.”
“Hmmm. How long was I asleep for?”
“An hour and a half.”
“Wow that was a good nap! Just as well the radio disturbed me, other wise I might not sleep tonight!”
“Oh I think you’d manage Ava!”
“Yeah, probably!” Ava laughed. “How far off are we from the next service station? I’m starting to need the toilet.”
“Ah good timing. You’re in luck, only 5 miles to go!” Oscar smiled.
“No, not thank God thank Oscar!” He grinned.
Ava smiled. “You seem far more relaxed today.”
“I’m feeling better in myself.” Oscar admitted honestly.
“Good! It’s nice to see you smiling, you need to do it more often!”
“I think I’ll have a drink of coffee after our toilet stop, it should keep me awake!”
“You just brushed off my comment, honestly Oscar ! Ava tutted “What time is it?”
“Really? Is that it? It’s so dark!”
“I know. Right, I just need to pull off here, we’re nearly at the services.”
Oscar slowly pulled into the dingy service station, parking the car.
“Thanks.” Ava smiled. “Are you coming in too?”
“Might as well.” Oscar nodded. “It’s a long journey.”
With that they parted. Where is this service station? Ava questioned, gazing at the white washed brick wall before entering the tiny cubicles. Ava shuddered; public toilets are such horrible places she thought. Upon exiting the toilet, she noticed the small rack of newspapers tucked in the entrance of the small out of hours shop. Gingerly, Ava skipped thorough the pages purely by chance . ‘University of Chester student missing.’ What was this? Sebastian? Indeed, the small image was him, as clear as day. She glanced along the index to find the small article. ”A police search has begun for missing Sebastian Jackson who was reported missing on Thursday. The University of Chester Student was last seen exiting Cruise nightclub at 2am that morning.’ Ava gasped and wedged the paper back in the rack, walking swiftly to find Oscar.
His face fell immediately upon seeing her chalky complexion. “What happened?”
“Everything is fine.” She lied.
“Something’s wrong, I can tell Ava. Please talk to me. You’ve had to listen to my woes often enough!”
“I’d really rather not! Can we please just get to London!” She stated through choked tears.
“ Shhh don’t cry, come on let’s get back into the car. We’ll be there before you know it. Are you sure that nothing is the matter?”
“I-I I’m just feeling a bit emotional today. Oh shit, no I can’t lie to you Oscar, hang on one moment.” Ava ran into the toilets, grasping the creased newspaper and handing it to a concerned Oscar.
“I found this article in the newspaper. It was purely by chance, I don’t why I read that particular newspaper or headline, I just did. It’s Sebastian, he’s missing.”
Oscar placed a hand to his mouth. “Oh Jesus! I just supposed”
“He’d gone home, or was taking a year out? Me too. He’s only been missing since Thursday, but it’s a worry. ”
“What can we do?”
Ava shrugged. “Nothing, I feel powerless! Lets just get to yours, stay a few days and sort this when we return to Chester.”
“I don’t know why I reacted in that way, it’s not like he was a lovely person. He’s a cretin!”
Oscar smiled weakly. “In a nutshell, but we were supposed to be his housemates!”
“Oscar he was mixing with a different group of people when he went missing. It’s not our fault! He’s clearly been living somewhere with someone hasn’t he? I wouldn’t put it past him to be taking drugs! You saw the state of him when he broke into our house the first time! Stop worrying and lets just get to London okay, we’re over half way there now. Do you want me to drive for a bit? You look tired.”
“No I’m alright.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Why did it upset you so much?”
“I dont know. It must just be my hormones.”
To be continued…