The name carved into the handle of the field hockey stick wasn’t hers, though it was the first thing to strike the doors of the school as she shouldered her way out into the twilight falling over the parking lot. The sound echoed across the cars that remained after hours — jaunty, pretentious things bearing names that were too expensive for Eden to spit out. Under the crackling blare of The Ramones in her earphones, she didn’t hear anything beyond the wail of Johnny, complaining that he wanted to be sedated.
Her cellphone kicked her hip with a vibration: Tate again.
Her fingers left sweaty smears across the screen as she thumbed back, one-handed: Doing it.
She shoved the phone into her hoodie pocket and drew back her hood. If she felt a twinge of disappointment that it was Tate and not her father, there was no one around to see her twist her lip ring into her mouth. She took the stairs to the concrete two at a time, pulled forward into the descending night as the streetlights hummed to life over The Gatehouse Pub opposite. Shadows chased into the eaves over Highgate High Street, obscuring the mundane London suburb with the shroud of night.
It almost looked quaint, if you ignored how the darkness reached between the cars and sped into the places that shifted and settled uneasily, coiling there as if to spectate until things became more interesting.
Whatever. She’d accommodate everything that was watching her, and everyone that wasn’t, but ought to.
Lights lit the second floor of the school and its adjacent chapel. She’d have an audience in no time she thought, giving the field hockey stick an experimental swing.