That night, Mr. Green had his usual dream. In the dream, it was 8.41am two years ago. He was at Crosslanes primary school and again the playground there was full of noisy kids. He watched them run, laugh and play. ‘They have nothing to worry about, nothing at all,’ he thought. Then he saw Mr. Allen, the Year 5 teacher, on his bike. As usual, he wore a white helmet and a bright red jacket. He cycled past the football matches and crazy games and stopped at the bike shed. Mr. Green nodded hello.
‘Not long to the holidays now,’ said Mr. Allen and got off his bike. He pulled off his helmet and put a chain around the bike’s front wheel.
Mr. Green smiled and closed the door to his janitor’s office. The office was next to the bike shed and he and Mr. Allen often talked there in the mornings.
‘Are you going anywhere nice?’ asked Mr. Green.
‘Joan and I are off to France for a bit of cycling,’ said Mr. Allen and finished locking his bike. Joan was Mr. Allen’s wife. On rainy days, she brought Mr. Allen to school in their big, red car. Mr. Green didn’t know much about her but he knew that she worked at Birnam Council and that she liked jewellery. He often saw her wearing long, silver earrings and big, expensive rings.
‘Does Joan enjoy all that cycling?
‘She loves it,’ said Mr. Allen and laughed.
‘Not too many hills, I hope!’ said Mr. Green.
Mr. Allen smiled. ‘Just a few small ones! And how about you? Are you going anywhere for the summer?’
Mr. Green shook his head. ‘I have my birds, and anyway I must watch this place.’