It had been Amber’s idea to break the window at the back of the building and let ourselves in.
‘No-one will mind,’ she said. ‘With everything that’s going on, the owners would want us to be safe.’ She was right, of course but I still felt a bit funny about doing it.
The caravan park was apparently deserted and rows of white caravans stood side by side like monuments to the worst kind of summer holidays. Abe wanted to look in each caravan for supplies but as Amber reminded him, there must have been at least a hundred or more of them and that would take us too long. Ellis, who had woken up by now, agreed with Amber. So, with Ellis, Amber and me standing guard, Abe broke the window as quietly as he could, which wasn’t very quietly as he used a brick he had found. Then, after carefully putting his arm though and lifting the catch, pulled the window open, stood up on the wheelbarrow and climbed through into the darkness. A few seconds later, the backdoor opened and there stood Abe.
The backdoor led into a small kitchen area and while me and Ellis looked through the cupboards for anything useful, Abe and Amber opened the door in front of us and carefully crept inside. The cupboards were practically bare. Ellis found a jar of very cheap coffee and two damp paper tubes of sugar. I found a rusty spoon in one of the drawers and put it in my pocket without further thought. I looked up to see Abe standing at the door.
‘In here,’ he whispered. ‘Come in here. We’ve found something.’ I looked at Ellis and we followed Abe into the other room.
We entered to see Amber standing in the darkness beside a desk. She had a telephone in her hand and looked like she was listening to something. She looked up and smiled.
‘The line is still working,’ she said. ‘Perhaps we should call someone?’
‘But who could we call?’ asked Ellis. ‘My parents aren’t my parents any more. You two don’t have any. ‘Ellis looked at me. ‘That just leaves you, Jake, and you don’t even know where your mum is.’
‘I could try my house,’ I said unconvincingly. ‘Perhaps she’s back by now and wondering where I am.’
Amber smiled and handed me the receiver.
‘Here’s your chance to find out.’
I held the receiver in my hand and thought hard. With everything going on my mind was scrambled and I couldn’t remember my home phone number. I wracked my brains and tried to think. I started to panic. What if she was at home? What would I say to her? I couldn’t ask her to come and get us. That would be far too dangerous. I put the phone to my ear. I started to dial.
I listened as the phone rang and rang and with every beat I imagined her picking up the phone and answering, answering as if nothing was wrong and everything was as it had always been. But she wasn’t at home and didn’t pick up and so the answer phone started.
‘Hi, We’re not here right now but if you leave your name and number we promise we’ll get back to you when we can.’
I started to cry as the sound of my mum’s voice made me realize how much I loved her and missed her and needed her. She was my everything and I didn’t know where she was now. I started to speak.
‘Hi Mum,’ I sniffed. ‘It’s Jake. I’m alive but I’m scared and I miss you. I hope you’re alive too. If you ever hear this message you should know that I love you and I will try and find you. It’s too dangerous for you to look for me but I’m with some friends and we are going to be ok, I think. So don’t worry. We are going to find Ellis’s brother and then we are going to look for you.’
I stopped speaking and carried on crying. Amber took the receiver from my hand and put it down. I felt Ellis put her arms around me. Amber smiled in front of me. Abe stood still and watched. No one spoke.