Tell Me Tomorrow
From The Book ‘Tell Me Tomorrow and Other Stories’
written by: Karen Clark
“Maria, are you coming?” called Ann, as her workmate lingered by the door, her mind completely elsewhere.
“Oh – yes; won’t be a moment,” Maria replied, hurriedly placing her overalls into her locker, before joining Ann in the corridor leading to the exit of the school.
“Thank God it’s Friday,” breathed Ann with a sigh of relief, as they made their way to reception, glad that, at last, the weekend was waiting in the wings. “I bet you can’t wait for the concert tomorrow; will Mike be able to make it there, after all? It’ll be a waste of a ticket if he can’t.”
“Yes,” said Maria with a smile, as they came to the foyer and bid the receptionist goodbye. “He’s picking me up at two fifteen.”
“Can I ask a favour?” struck in Ann, as they exited reception, stepping out into the mild, summer air. “Can Mike give me a lift to the concert hall, too? I’ve a cheek, haven’t I?”
“No,” Maria sheepishly replied, too polite to agree with her bold, pushy friend who curried favours a lot.
Ann pressed the green button beside the double doors, which opened with a click; the two women stepping outside towards the grey, metallic gates separating the pavement from the school.
“Would 3 o’ clock be OK – by the clock tower and fountains in ‘Pepper Mill Road?’” Maria asked, as they walked through the gates and headed for the bus stop at the end of the road.
“The concert doesn’t start until seven,” said Ann with a frown, as they reached the stop and sat down on its plastic, red bench.
“Mike and I will be going to “Pepper Mill’s Café” for a bite to eat before the concert begins,” Maria mildly replied, wondering why Ann could not make her way to the concert by herself. “You could join us, if you like.”
“It’s a deal,” agreed Ann, as their saw their bus come. “Certainly beats sitting in the car.”
The bus pulled up at the stop, swinging open its doors as Maria and Ann climbed on board, plumping for the seat opposite the stairs that led to the empty upper deck.
“It’ll be the school summer holidays soon; me and Jake are taking a vacation as soon as they’re here,” said Ann, smiling with glee; the school submerging as the bus began to move, going round a corner at the lights as they turned emerald green.
“Where will you be going?” Maria asked, checking her pockets for the key to the door of their abode.
“Milan,” said her housemate with a grin. “Jake wanted to go to New York – but I wasn’t keen.”
Maria lowered her eyes, as the bus stopped again; its doors swinging open once more to admit more passengers on board. As the doors re-shut, they heard the sound of footsteps from below, growing louder with each second that passed, as a familiar male figure emerged, flashing the two women a welcoming grin.
“Mike!” exclaimed Ann in surprise. “I thought you were at work. What on earth are you doing on the bus at this time of day?”
“I took the afternoon off; I’m going into town to buy myself an outfit for tonight,” replied Mike, casually positioning himself in the opposite seat.
“Oh, the concert!” Ann opportunely cut in; her eyes lighting up. “That reminds me; Maria’s said you wouldn’t mind picking me up at “Pepper Mill Road” for a bite to eat with you both at 3 o’clock – and then we can all make our way to the concert together.”
“I suppose we could squeeze you in,” Mike replied, doubting if Ann would be paying her share of the bill.
“Oh, bless you, Mike; you’re a gem!” exclaimed Ann, as Mike threw his girlfriend an uncertain glance, wishing that they had discussed Ann’s request before he had ‘agreed’ to oblige.
“Anyway, what kind of outfit do you have in mind to buy?” asked Maria at last, seizing her opportunity to speak.
“Batman? Superman? The Incredible Hulk?” Ann jokingly enquired.
“Don’t be daft; I need to look smart – or I may not be let into the hall,” answered Mike, as the bus abandoned the stop, whizzing through streets that were growing more grey and built-up.
“Is it a surprise?” Maria curiously asked. “Are we not supposed to know until tomorrow?”
“Not really,” said Mike with a shrug, bracing himself for another facetious remark from her bold, pushy friend. “I’ve been meaning to buy some new clothes for myself for some time – but never got round to it. I’m after blue denim, a grey checked shirt and a jacket to match— and while I’m visiting the stores, I’ll hunt out a suit for the office, as well.”
“Oh, look; there’s our stop; we’d better get off,” cut in Ann, as the bus slowed its speed, ready to grind to a halt.
“I hope you find the clothes that you want,” said Maria to Mike, who gave her hand an affectionate squeeze before she and Ann rose from their seats and headed for the stairs.
“See you at your lodgings tomorrow at a quarter past two,” called Mike to Maria, as he lingered in his seat, watching his girlfriend and Ann swiftly submerge from the top of the stairs before getting off the bus.
As the bus drove away, Maria looked round, returning Mike’s wave from the street before he disappeared.
“Damn!” said Ann with a sigh, as she and Maria crossed the road, heading for the house that they shared. “My keys are trapped at the bottom of my bag, and I can’t get them out. Would you mind if we used yours?”
“OK,” said Maria as they reached the front door of their rented abode, wishing she could afford a flat of her own. “They’re in my pocket; I’ll get them out,” she added, as the door suddenly swung open before she could oblige.
“Maria! Ann! Come in!” cried the amiable voice that emerged from the hall.
“Lara – what are you doing back here so soon?” exclaimed Ann, as she and Maria stepped through the door and into the hall.
“I had the afternoon off work,” Lara replied, as the three housemates made their way into the large, communal lounge and sat down on the couch.
“We’ve just met Mike on the bus; he had the afternoon off work today, as well.”
Maria declared, as she and Ann took off their jackets, placing them over their laps in a slovenly way.
“Yes, I know. He was going into town to buy some new clothes,” Lara said with a grin.
“And what will you wear for the concert tomorrow?” Ann curiously probed.
“Nothing special,” Lara casually replied. “Maria’s the biggest Ray Silverton fan – so I’m sure it will be she who’ll dress up to the nines; am I right, Maria?” she asked, shifting her blue, saucer eyes to Ann’s taciturn friend.
“Yes – my green, satin leggings and glittery top,” Maria said; her tone composed, but her eyes excited and keen.
“Oh – snazzy! Is there any dazzling jewellery to match?” Lara cried; she and Ann swapping looks.
Before Maria could reply, the ring of the doorbell from the passage hit everyone’s ears, before Lara got up from the couch and made for the door.
“I’d better go and see who that is,” she said, disappearing from the room.
“That’s Jake; he’s come for me early,” said Ann to Maria, recognizing her boyfriend’s voice from the doorstep beyond.
“Will you two be staying out late?” Maria asked, as they heard the front door click shut.
“Not as late as we’ll all be staying out tomorrow night, I suppose,” Ann emphatically replied, as the door of the lounge re-opened, making way for the entrance of Lara and Jake.
“You’re early, Jake,” remarked Ann. “Don’t tell me you had the afternoon off work, as well.”
“I guess none of us can concentrate on work right now,” Jake dryly replied. “Tomorrow’s concert is far more exciting than boring, old work. And I’m sorry I can’t drop you at the concert hall tomorrow; I have to visit Joe – but I reckon I’ll be able to make it there just about in time.”
“Don’t worry,” Ann sullenly replied. “Mike said he’d give me and Maria a lift there tomorrow.”
Jake threw his girlfriend a cautionary glance, as Maria and Lara uneasily lowered their eyes.
“That’s why I’ve turned up here as early as I have,” he told Ann, as the others in the room looked on. “— to spend the time that I won’t be able to spend with you tomorrow – before the concert starts— and to treat you to a special afternoon in the centre of town.”
“We’re going into town?” Ann exclaimed with a smile. “I haven’t been there for such a long time.”
“I thought that would cheer you up,” remarked Jake with a debonair grim. “So let’s make our way there, and waste no more time.”
“Hear that, Ann?” asked Lara in jest. “You’re in for a nice surprise; it’s your lucky day!”
“I suppose I can just about forgive you, then, Jake,” Ann heedlessly said, slipping her jacket back on as she rose from the couch.
“You shall not be disappointed,” said Jake, as he and Ann swiftly made for the door, leaving Lara and Maria on the couch.
“Bye,” called Maria with a wave.
“Have fun,” Lara said. “If I don’t see you again tonight, I’ll see you tomorrow evening at the hall.”
“Bye!” Jake and Ann called, submerging from the lounge in a flash.
“Do you think Ann’s still angry that Mike won’t be going with her to the concert?” Maria asked, as Lara stretched out her arms, curling up her toes which she scanned with her circular eyes.
“I’m not sure,” Lara said with a shrug. “As far as I’m concerned, Ann’s problem’s already been solved in that you and Mike will be giving her a lift instead of Jake,” she coolly went on, realising Ann liked her own way a little too much.
Maria did not reply; she stared into Lara’s blue eyes, waiting for her to say more. Lara’s face broke into a smile; her expression warm and sincere.
“Don’t worry about Ann; she can more than take care of herself. You must learn to think of yourself a bit more; no one else will,” she finally resumed, exercising again as she sat on the couch.
Lara’s words had hit a raw nerve; Maria threw her a smile of subtle unease.
“You’re right,” Maria said, as she rose from the couch, “My self-esteem is a bit low.”
“Forget about that!” Lara advised, in a light-hearted tone. “Forget about everything just now; just think about tomorrow’s concert and the pleasure it will bring.”
“Oh, I am,” Maria stressfully replied, heading for the door of the lounge with her jacket in her grasp. “So much so that I’m going to my room to sort out what jewellery to wear with my leggings and top— and I must get hold of Mike while he’s in town; hope his phone’s switched on.”
“Will you be coming down later for a brew” Lara asked, as Maria pulled open the door.
“I suppose,” Maria replied, without having given her plans for the evening a thought.
“See you later, then, alligator,” Lara purred, as Maria threw her a smile and exited the lounge, ascending the stairs in the hall that led to her room.
The fierce morning sun flooded the bedsit with light, as having slept very soundly last night, Maria woke up, feeling refreshed and ready to meet the new day. But this was to be no ordinary day; this was the day of the concert – an event which she had been eagerly awaiting for months.
She got out of bed and walked to the sink, turning on the taps to engage in her brief, morning wash. The clothes she would wear for the concert dazzled her eyes as they lay in the chair at the opposite end of the room; the sleek, satin leggings turning blue as they merged with the sun’s golden rays.
Deciding against putting them on until just before Mike picked her up, Maria went over to the wardrobe to pull out her T-shirt and jeans. Moving her hand to open its teak, mirrored door, she sensed that something was wrong, as the mirror reflected a flat, rectangular object on the wall above the bed she had not seen before.
She turned round and walked back to the bed, scanning the area of wall where the object was pinned. It was a poster; a snapshot of Ray Silverton occupying its bulk. As she took a closer look at her favourite star, he looked as if he had aged and that time had moved on. With a tentative breath, she slid her eyes from her idol’s frame to the caption below, starting with shock as its words rudely sunk in:
“Ray Silverton,” it read in bold letters that loudly stood out, below which featured the year he was born to the year he had died.
Raising her hand to her mouth, Maria sat down on the bed, raising her hand to her mouth in dismay at what she had seen; and on scouring her surroundings again, discovered that the shape of her room had changed from oblong to square.
It was only 6.30 am – both by her watch and the clock by her bed, but already the wail of the kettle and clinking of cups encountered her ears from the kitchen downstairs.
“No way would I be able to sleep if I went back to bed,” Maria uttered to herself, as she slipped off her nightdress and out on her T-shirt and jeans, wondering if Lara or Ann had placed the poster in her room – and why. Running a comb through her hair, she exited the room, descending the stairs that led to the hallway in haste. But as she entered the kitchen, eager to speak to Lara and Ann, two faces stared back – faces that she had never clapped eyes on before.
She froze in shock by the door, continuing to gaze at the faces she had not seen before. The strangers abruptly fell quiet, until one – a young woman in a red, floral dress, with long, auburn hair and steely blue eyes – finally shattered the ice.
“Maria, are you OK? You look as if you’ve just seen a ghost!” she exclaimed, in an unfamiliar voice.
Still lost for words, Maria remained transfixed on the faces in the room: how did these two young women know who she was?
“Where are Lara and Ann? We were all due to go to a concert tonight,”
she heard herself cry.
The two women exchanged puzzled looks, before eyeing Maria as if she were not making sense.
“The Ray Silverton concert?” asked the girl sitting next to her auburn-haired friend. “That was cancelled ages ago. I can’t forget how devastated you were at the time – particularly after you heard the sad news,” she went on, swapping looks with the auburn-haired girl once again.
“She was distraught, wasn’t she, Kay?” said the auburn-haired girl to the other, whose hair was blonde and whose eyes were a light shade of brown.
“Absolutely, Fiona,” the other acquiesced. “It was absolutely tragic the way Ray Silverton died.”
Maria found herself stunned into silence once more; but her instincts cautioned her not to mention that – only the previous day – Ray Silverton was alive and the concert was due to go ahead.
“Come and sit down,” Fiona said, leading Maria by the arm to the chair at the table facing her own. “Perhaps you’re still half asleep, and so think Ray Silverton’s still here. It’s OK, Maria,” she went on, patting Maria on the arm as they both took a seat. “It’s hard to accept that the idol you’ve worshipped is gone.”
Maria stayed quiet, waiting for Fiona or Kay to make the next move.
“Sit and relax for a while,” Fiona advised, fetching Maria a mug of hot tea. “This should help you unwind.
“Thanks,” said Maria, taking a sip from the mug, as Fiona sat back in her seat.
“We’ll be going to ‘Pepper Mill’s Café’ for lunch; do you want to come along?” Fiona asked with a sympathetic smile as she finished her toast. “It’s always nice to have an outing at the weekend – even if it’s only down the road.”
So it was still a Saturday, then? At least that Maria had got right.
“Yes – that would be great,” Maria lukewarmly replied, continuing to feel that nothing was real as she forced a faint smile.
Fiona got up, grabbing the empty plates which she placed in the sink at the end of the room.
“We’ll see you in the lounge at 11 o’clock,” she said to Maria as Kay abandoned her seat. “In the meantime, I must ring Keith to see if he’s any plans for tonight. Try to relax, Maria – and we’ll both see you soon.”
“Yes, Maria – chill out,” Kay advised, as she and Fiona exited the room, leaving Maria alone to wonder how she had woken up in an alien world.
As Kay pulled up on the corner of “Pepper Mill Road,” Maria noticed that the clock tower looked different from before. It was now a silvery blue, and the face of its clock transformed from an insipid white to a stylish jet black, making its golden hands and numbers stand out.
“I’d better put some money in the metre,” said Kay, thinking out load, as she and her housemates unfastened their belts and got out of the car.
“Look, I know it must be hard – with you struggling to pay your share of the rent without work,” said Fiona to Maria, whilst Kay plied the metre with change. “I’m sorry your job situation turned out the way it did – but something else will turn up. In the meantime, lunch is on us, so put away your purse,” she added with a sympathetic smile, as Kay re-emerged with a grin, placing her money back in her bag as she, Fiona and Maria headed for “Pepper Mill’s Café,” which stood a few metres away.
As they reached the café entrance the clock tower struck twelve, Maria feeling confused at what Fiona had said about her being out of a job – a job she had not been aware she no longer had. As Fiona opened the door and they all stepped inside, Maria saw that the café’s interior had also been changed. Its walls were now pink, and framed pepper mill etchings hung neatly above each table in turn.
“There’s hardly anyone here,” Fiona observed, as they plumped for a table providing a view of the street.
“Good; that means we won’t have a long wait before being served,” Kay gleefully said, removing her coat which she placed at the back of the chair.
As the housemates ordered their meals, two customers came in, one a face that Maria knew very well. It was unmistakably Mike’s, though he looked a bit older somehow, and his hair was now cropped. Accompanying him was a pretty, blonde girl of not more than nineteen. Maria saw Fiona and Kay exchanging uncomfortable looks as the couple emerged, arm in arm; Mike throwing the housemates a glance of unease before he and the girl took a seat at the furthest table they could find from Maria and her friends.
“Oh dear; perhaps inviting you to lunch at ‘Pepper Mill’s Café’ wasn’t such a good idea, after all,” Fiona said to Maria with a sigh.
“We’re sorry that you had to bump into Mike and his new girlfriend, when we’d meant to try and take the subject off your mind. Are you OK?” said Kay to Maria, placing a hand on her arm.
Too shocked to shed a tear, Maria felt the despair ooze from her eyes, which slid from Fiona and Kay to the table where the pretty, blonde girl and her ex-boyfriend sat.
“I’m OK,” she hoarsely replied, remembering that only a few weeks ago, Mike had proposed and their happy engagement was planned.
The waitress appeared, serving the housemates their meals before dashing away.
“I wonder how we split,” Maria sorely thought, picking up her fork and aimlessly stabbing her lunch. “It must have been over something big – for him to give me the look that he did as he came in the door.”
Within minutes, Fiona and Kay had devoured their meals, Maria having struggled to eat only half of her own; and as no one craved a dessert, Kay asked for the bill; while Mike and his girlfriend rose from their seats before leaving the café in haste as Maria looked on.
“Do you want to go home after this?” Fiona said to Maria, noticing the hurt in her eyes, as the waitress returned and presented the bill.
“Yes – that’s if neither of you mind,” said Maria with a sigh, finding it hard to accept the harsh fact that Mike had turned cold.
“Not to worry, Maria,” Kay kindly replied, as she and Fiona promptly settled the bill. “We’ll drop you back home before we go on. It’s probably best that you’re given some space after seeing your ex with that girl.”
“Have either of you seen her before?” Maria enquired, as the three women rose from their seats and put on their coats.
“Kay hasn’t,” Fiona replied as they made for the door, “But I’ve come across her – only very briefly – when she came to the door with an I-pod Mike had left behind on the desk where he worked. She said her name was Polly, and that she’d recently transferred to the office next to his. She didn’t know his address at the time – but had seen him turn up at ours. She was no better than a stalker – that Polly; I could tell she had her eye on him as soon as she appeared on the scene,” she critically went on, as the housemates exited the café and headed for the car.
Maria bit her lip as they got in the car, staying silent all the way home, until wishing her housemates a pleasant afternoon before they set off. Rivers of tears flowed down her cheeks as she stumbled upstairs to her room, studying her dead idol’s poster whilst checking her purse to find it void of all cash except for one meagre pound coin.
Discarding her shoes, she lay down on the bed, a number of unanswered questions bombarding her mind as her pillow grew wet: “How and when did my pop idol die? How and why did I become unemployed? Why did Mike and I split? Did he dump me, or did I catch him with Polly – the girl he was with in the café – and decide to not see him again? Why are my housemates no longer the same – and how come they knew me when I didn’t know them?”
Then the questions died out, superseded by an enigmatic vacuum Maria could not see, but very strongly felt – sucking her forwards in a circular gust – like a Catherine wheel visible to ghosts but not to those of the harsh, material world.
“What’s happening?” Maria called out, as the strength of the vacuum increased. “Haven’t I been through enough for today?”
“But this isn’t today,” she heard a voice wail in a cold, mocking tone as she opened her eyes, seeing by the clock near her bed that morning had arrived.
She pulled herself up from the bed to glance at the wall: the poster had gone; and once having slipped on her shoes, she observed that the shape of her room was oblong once more. Realizing Mike would be up at this time, she switched on her phone, dialling his number to check if they were still friends.
“Oh, Mike!” she breathlessly cried as he answered the call, “I’ve just had this terrible dream. I dreamt that Ray Silverton was dead, that I’d lost my job, and that we had split up and you were seeing someone else. Is the concert this evening still on?”
“Of course the concert’s still on,” assured Mike, “—- and Ray Silverton’s very much alive. Oh – and by the way,” he added, amid radio blasts from the other end of the line, “I bought my new suit from the office yesterday; it was just what I hoped I would find.”
“And what about the outfit for tonight?” Maria enquired, finding it odd that he had placed more importance on new clothes for work.
“Oh, I never got round to doing that; not enough time,” he casually replied. One of my colleagues is leaving next week, and we’re going for drinks after work – so I’d better look smart.”
“I hope the new colleague turns out to be OK,” Maria remarked, aware of how two-faced the office environment could be.
“I’ve already met her; she’s very nice. We were both introduced the other day. She’s very young – still only in her teens. Anyway, Maria – go to go now. See you at a quarter past two,” Mike hastily replied, before Maria, (remembering Polly – girl who had replaced her in her dream), could ask him her name.
Assuring herself her suspicions had merely been based on the unpleasant dream, Maria abandoned the bed, freshening up in the sink before going downstairs. Edging open the kitchen door, she sighed with relief when she saw Ann and Lara chatting away, instantly turning their heads as she entered the room.
“Good morning, Maria; did you have a nice sleep?” Ann asked in her usual, positive tone; her hand covering an item of flat, glossy paper that lay by her plate.
“Not really,” Maria replied, recalling her dream, “— and good morning to you both, by the way.”
“Morning, Maria. You look tired; couldn’t you sleep?” Lara piped up, sipping her mug of hot tea.
“I could – but I had a bad dream in which I was sharing a house with two housemates I didn’t even know,” Maria replied.
Lara and Ann exchanged looks, as Maria sat down, clasping the mug of hot tea that Lara had poured.
“Actually, Maria, we’ve some news to announce,” confirmed Ann, as she held up the flat, glossy item that revealed the image of a large, detached house with an arched front door for Maria to see. “Lara and I are moving out in a few weeks’ time – when two new tenants are due to move in. I’ll be moving in with Jake; this is where he lives,” she added, pointing to the image in her grasp.
“That was rather sudden; I never knew you’d plan to move out,” said Maria, caught unawares.
Lara and Ann exchanged glances again, the latter lowering her eyes before speaking once more.
“Well, you’re going to know, anyway, what I’m about to tell you next – as soon as you receive your copy of the circular letter from the kitchen headquarters at work – so I may as well tell you in advance,” she reticently said, pausing before going on. “Our kitchen is closing this summer; we’re losing our jobs – and I won’t be able to carry on paying my share of the rent. I heard the bad news from Kim; she received her letter last week.”
“And Lara – what about you? Why are you moving out?” Maria asked, feeling as if her whole world were about to cave in.
“I’ve found a flat of my own,” Lara gladly announced, triumphantly stretching her arms in the air as she spoke. “It was the first flat I viewed – and I fell in love with it straight away. I didn’t want to tell you before now, in case it fell through.”
“Oh, I see; congratulations,” Maria half-heartedly replied, hoping that Mike would take a leaf from Jake’s book and support her once she was jobless and poor.
“Who’s that at the door at such an untimely hour?” Ann curiously asked, as the doorbell loudly rang out.
“I’ll go and see,” said Maria, hurrying out of the kitchen and into the hall, before freeing the chain from the latch.
“Hello. I’m a new colleague of Mike’s. I was just passing this way, and wondered if he was around,” said a pretty, blonde girl of maybe nineteen, as Maria pulled open the door.
“He’s not here right now; can I pass a message on?” Maria tersely replied, thinking it odd that this girl had come a long way to speak to a person that she hardly knew.
Maria watched in dismay as the girl took out a sleek, silver pen from her bag. It was a pen that Mike often used – a birthday gift that had cost Maria the earth.
“Mike left this behind on his desk. I could have waited until Monday to give it to him – but thought I’d drop it in on my way,” said the vivacious blonde, handing Maria the pen with an artificial smile.
“This is not where Mike lives,” Maria heard herself snap, “but thanks, anyway, for your time. I’ll give him the pen when I see him later on. Who shall I say dropped it in?”
“Tell him Polly called,” the girl perkily said; her pretty, green eyes lighting up.
“Have a nice day,” Maria said, cutting the conversation short, whereupon Polly bid her goodbye before turning away.
Maria slammed the front door and marched down the hall, appalled that last night’s ill dream was coming to pass.
“Who was that?” Lara asked, as she entered the room looking glum.
“No one we know – just a girl asking directions who’d lost her way,” Maria vaguely replied, reluctant to talk about the girl she had met – the girl who was about to take her boyfriend away.
“Don’t be sad,” Lara said to Maria, seeing the low look on her face, gently sitting her down in the chair on her own. “You’ll find another job soon – and me, you and Ann can still all see each other on a night out,” she consolingly added, sensing Maria may have felt she and Ann had let her down by planning to move out.
Without uttering a word, Maria slowly nodded and lowered her eyes, already feeling that Lara and Ann were locked in the past and that she was now wholly alone.
Ann glanced at her watch.
“Lara – look at the time!” she exclaimed, hastily clearing the table of cutlery and plates. “The new tenants should be round to meet Maria and discuss a few things. They told us they’d be here between now and one o’clock – and could arrive at any minute now.”
“Why wasn’t I told?” Maria thought, throwing her housemates a glance of tacit reproof.
“Talk of the devil; looks like they’re here!” Lara said as the doorbell rang out.
“I’ll get it,” said Ann, shooting out of the kitchen and into the hall to answer the door.
In an instant, Ann reappeared; the two future tenants left out in the hall, waiting for her to invite them into the lounge.
“Now, Maria, let me introduce you to your new housemates,” said Ann.
Ann opened the door and revealed the two faces behind; Maria’s blood running cold as she saw who they were.
“Hello, Maria,” the new housemates greeted in turn, as Maria found herself staring in shock at the blonde and the girl with red hair she had met in the dream which had pushed her life forward by months, presenting a disquieting foretaste of what was to come.
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