Emma changed her mind many times while she was getting dressed. The problem was that she could not imagine it happening; could not envisage what it would be like. Finally she was ready. She had found a suitable dress earlier, in one of the suitcases that they had retrieved from the plane and even a small bottle of perfume. She had decided to take the route up the rocks from the side she was on. This would lead her up to the lookout rock from where she could then climb down to the coach’s cave without being spotted by the others. With a giant breath to steel her nerves, she picked up the bag and began her trek up the rocks.
There was still a vague light on the horizon when Emma arrived at the lookout rock. It was a particularly beautiful sight with the orange colour leaching over the edge of the world, to be replaced by the grey skeleton of the clouds before they too finally succumbed to the darkness. When Emma was very young she remembered feeling sad that the sun had to leave at the end of the day. She smiled at the memory. It came from a different time; a time when everything else was so safe and happy that she could not think of any reason why the sun should ever have to leave. Somebody told her that it had to sleep but that it sent its sister (the moon) to watch over us at night. Somebody else told her that if the sun did not go out at night-time, we would not have the opportunity of seeing how beautiful the moon was. Emma preferred this explanation. She always thought that if she were a celestial body, she would look more beautiful at night.
Daylight had now disappeared and the harsh glow from the moon left Emma feeling empty and alone. She had not felt like this about the night for many years and something told her that this would be the last time she would ever feel this way. By the time the morning came she would have become a woman and would have no more need for such childish thoughts.
She shivered, even though the night air was warm. She would go in a minute. It was so peaceful sitting there on the rock with nobody to interrupt her thoughts. She was caught in a time bubble. Nobody knew where she was, or even cared for that matter. How had she ended up on a rock on an island in the Philippines, staring out to sea, watching the moonlight shimmering over the softly breathing water? How had she arrived at the stage in her life when she would lose all of her youth in a dark cave, so far from home?
Another shiver shook her body and she stood and looked over the edge where Danni had fallen to her death. She might have hated the girl but at that moment Emma had a lot of respect for her erstwhile adversary.
She stooped to pick up her bag, took a deep breath and started the climb down to the cave, and to her fate.