Lewis sighed again and looked at her, dolefully.
"We can't let mum know. Not just yet." She pleaded
He nodded a reluctant affirmation.
"If you're still like this after school...God! will you be able to go to school?" She asked, anxious.
Seeing the fearful look on his face, she added quicky,
"It'll probably help you to remember. A familiar environment; seeing your friends. It'll all come back." She offered a weak smile.
They left the house in time to catch their bus, and sat together on the way to school. Neither spoke much, and tried to avoid the glances of other students. Jessie's friends were gossipping about a bulimic girl in the year below them; Lewis's friends (at least he thought they were his friends) were giving him curious glances. Jessie explained that they were halfwits, who couldn't conceive of him sitting next to his younger sister, instead of with them. Apparantly that was without precedent, and violated their social mores.
He wasn't in any hurry to immerse himself among his peers; the chatter on the bus was several decibels above comfort level for him at present, and only added to his anxiety. He did feel like he was on more familiar ground, though. As the bus turned a corner, Lewis's heart leapt. He noted familiar landmarks; the street; the houses; even some vehicles parked along the road looked familiar. Jessie, noting his interest, pointed towards a terraced house that appeared particularly salient to him.
"That's where we used to live. You remember it, don't you?" she inquired, excitedly.
A potpourri of emotions threatened to overwhelm him, as memories flooded his mind; memories of a childhood spent on these streets. Every corner and crevice of the neighbourhood was, he realised, indelibly imprinted on his being, so that the sight of it speeding past filled him with a greater notalgia than even Odyseus could have conceived of. He wanted to call out, to implore the bus driver to stop, or at least slow down so that this halcyon vision could be held onto for just a moment longer. He remained silent, though, and stared longingly at the retreating eaves of the last house visible, of that enchanted roadway.
He was silent for the remainder of the journey, staring at the seat-rest in front of him as if looking through it. Jessie pressed him to know if he was ok, but he merely grunted in response. He seemed to be cogitating deeply, as if ruminating over a complex problem.
The bus pulled up to the kerb outside the school. Though Jessie and Lewis were seated towards the front of the bus, they were among the last off.