I knock on Jesse’s front door and a few seconds later her mum answers. She tells me that Jesse is busy in her bedroom and that I should go up.
I remember the journey I took a few hours before and skip up the stairs, again two at a time. Turning on the landing I take another flight up before seeing the chalkboard on the door. Jesse’s door.
I knock on it and a small voice answers.
“Who is it?”
I smile. “It’s me, Jesse, Amy. I’ve brought your notes back.”
A few seconds later the door opens and Jesse is standing in her room, her long blonde hair tied in a plait. She’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt and dock-style loafers on her feet.
“Hey, Amy. Thanks for popping round. Come in!”
I walk into the now familiar room and Jesse returns to her desk, pulling her chair round to face me. She pats her bed gesturing for me to sit down.
“I love your room, Jesse. It’s so cosy and really interesting!! How long have you been into stuff to do with the sea?”
She looked surprised.
“I thought everyone knew I was into ships and stuff? Gosh. Well, ever since I was tiny. My grandfather used to own a really big yacht and I used to go out with him around the bay. He even let me be skipper once. It was amazing. I was standing at the helm turning the big wheel, which steered the boat.”
I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t really like sailing or boats so I couldn’t make any sense of what she said. It was like another world.
Jesse noticed my confusion.
“But don’t worry, I do like other things too. I really like looking at the stars. That’s when the clouds aren’t getting in the way! Have you ever looked through a telescope, Amy?”
“Great isn’t it?! We must go out one evening with my telescope and see if we can find some of the constellations. ”
I nod. I’m not sure what to say. I feel out of my depth but I love the way that Jesse is so passionate about it.
“Would you like a drink? I’ve got two cans of lemonade?”
“Yes please” and I take one from her, tapping the top of the can to stop it from spraying drink everywhere when I pull the ring on the top. The last thing I wanted was to spoil her immaculate, tidy room.
“Did you use those notes for your essay?” Jesse asks.
“Yes I did, they were really useful. Thanks for letting me look at them.”
“That’s okay, Amy. I was really glad that you asked me for some help. Nobody does that at school….just pick on me,” and for the first time Jesse looked sad.
I felt really awkward and didn’t know what to say. I thought it was probably best I didn’t say anything and just carried on sipping the lemonade.
“My mum says dinner will be ready soon. Do you want me to see if there’s enough for you?” Jesse got up from the desk and walked to the door.
“That would be really nice. But only if it’s okay. I don’t want to put your mum to any trouble.”
Jesse smiled again. It was nice when she smiled.
“It would be no trouble, Amy. I like your company a lot. Let me go and ask her.”
And I was now on my own again in this tiny room. And despite its small dimensions, it felt the most cosy, inviting room I had ever been in. I felt safe.
I stayed with Jesse for tea and we sat and talked about the stars and about the harbour all evening until I made my way home. It was a lovely afternoon and I hope that we can do this again soon.