Midnight was approaching as the elevator hurtled towards the ground. I stared down at my tummy, it had grown since I had arrived at Hoevestein three hours earlier. Now it drooped over the top of my trousers, complaining about the amount of Chinese food it had consumed.
As we left the building, she refused to let me open the doors for her. Her independence and pride declined my aid. That, or her parents had told her not to talk to strangers. Either way, I bid her farewell as I unlocked my bike, her silence was deafening.
As she struggled to fix the cotton waffle to her bike I offered my assistance again. Her stubbornness admitted defeat and she accepted.
The next half hour was spent varying positions of bicycle, mattress, straps and owner alike. From the corner of my eye I noticed a boy hiccup and almost fall off his bicycle as he passed two girls being attacked by a mattress monster.
Finally we forced down the beast and strapped it securely to the bike. Admittedly, I had almost lost an eye and the bicycle lacked stability, but we had succeeded. As she waddled away with a two-wheeled mattress, Curly gave me an enthusiastic wave of thanks. Irrespective of the situation or timing, students help each other.
As I rode home, I began contemplating a career in the circus............. as a mattress tamer.