LOST AND FOUND

"Suzanne takes you down

To her place near the river

You can hear the boats go by

You can spend the night beside her

And you know she's half crazy

It's why you want to be there

She feeds you tea and oranges

That come all the way from China

And just when you mean to tell her

You have no love to give her

She gets you on her wavelength

And she lets the river answer

You've always been her lover..."

Suzanne by Leonard Cohen

I never meant to lose the notebook.

Honestly I think that goes without saying; I mean, who intentionally loses something? Idiots, that's who. So yeah, I didn't intend to leave the notebook on a table in my school's library.

I didn't even intend to have the book with me that day. But I'd been writing something – just something that popped into my head – and then I'd looked at the clock and realised I had to run to school otherwise I'd be late. So rather than taking a trip upstairs to put the notebook back in my room, I just dropped it in my school bag and went off to school.

I'd completely forgotten about it until fourth period, when I had PE. I know that PE has nothing to do with libraries, so let me explain: my PE teachers seem to really hate teaching their lesson to Year 11s so they seem to cancel them at the slightest thing. ("You're saying it's a bit windy today, girls? All right then, sure, you can watch High School Musical 2 if you want. Let me just go get the projector.")

That day, the issue was that our teacher wasn't there. Well, the teacher that was doing rounders. On top of that it was raining. So we had a supply teacher, and we weren't allowed to go outside. In addition it was a double lesson so we had to spend the first lesson in one of the history classrooms before we moved to the library. We were told to get on with any coursework or homework we might have.

I'm a good girl, so that's what I did. For the first lesson, at least. I spent my time refining an English essay and blocked out the sounds of my friends chatter. But in the second lesson, in the library, when I reached into my bag to get out my Maths homework, I found my notebook instead.

I loved that notebook. It had a red cloth cover and the paper inside was lined with red ink. It was also a thick notebook so I had plenty of space to write in. I write a lot of things in my notebook – poems, bits of stories, lyrics, other people's lyrics, and I doodle as well.

But my favourite thing about the notebook was the front cover. I'd drawn on it, sketched out some of my favourite ever lyrics combined with pictures. It was a picture dedicated to the song "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen. It had taken me ages and I still wasn't quite finished. My friends all love the cover as well, although some scolded me for doing it in black biro in case I made a mistake and ruined it forever.

So far I hadn't made any mistakes I'd not been able to work into the picture.

Anyway. When I found the notebook, I was taken over by a sudden urge to write something. So that's what I did: I discarded my homework and wrote. My friends teased me, told me I was being geeky again, but I ignored them. I even managed to ignore the other Year 11 class that was on the library computers writing up English coursework, who noticed what I was doing thanks to my friends teasing and decided to join in.

I lost the notebook because their teacher asked me to run an errand for her. "I'm sorry," she said, leaning down over my notebook, "But I really don't want to disturb my class. Could you run down to my room and fetch me my pencil case, please? I'm afraid I left it down there. I wouldn't ask only..." She gazed down at my notebook. "You're not exactly doing school work, are you?"

I smiled at her. "Of course, Miss White," I said smoothly, standing up and putting my pen down. I closed my notebook over the pen so I wouldn't lose my page. "I'll just run down to your room."

"Why, thank you," she said.

I left the room quite quickly, and then had a run in with the Deputy Head who noticed my shirt wasn't tucked in and my tie was too short and decided to lecture me, before realising I wasn't in lesson and I didn't have a permission slip to be excused from my lesson. Being yelled at like that really distracted me. Then I got hauled off to the PE department, because he wouldn't listen when I said I'd been sent to do an errand by an English teacher.

The bell rang for the end of lesson and the Deputy finally let me go after he fruitlessly searched for a PE teacher who gave a shit; I ran back up to the library but I was intercepted on my way by my friend Molly, who had my schoolbag.

"What happened to you?" she demanded. "God, Miss White went mental, accused you of skipping."

On our way to form, I explained about the Deputy's lectures and thanked her for giving me my bag back.

It wasn't till I got home that evening that I realised Molly (or any of my friends) hadn't packed my notebook away. Which meant it was still at school and, most likely, in the bin because the cleaning lady is really harsh when she finds lost property.

After a night of upset I resigned myself to the fact I'd lost my notebook forever. Imagine my surprise the next day, then, when one of the idiots from the English class came running up to me as I was on my way to the canteen during first break.

His name was Kieran. He was a few inches taller than me with light brown hair that was kind of too long, and he had a pleasant smile.

He was waving my notebook at me.

I snatched it off him with a shriek of, "Where did you get that?"

He rubbed the back of his neck. "I, uh, you left it in the library," he explained, going red. "Kind of," he added in a whisper.

"Kind of?" I frowned at him. Clearly there was more to this story.

"Well, I, um, I picked it up to have a look," he said sheepishly. "Sorry. I wondered what you were writing. But then I saw the front cover."

I hugged my beloved notebook to my chest and rocked back on my heels. "What about it?" I said suspiciously.

He fiddled with his tie. "It's really good," he told me. "Really. Honestly. It must have taken you ages."

"Thanks," I said shyly.

"But it wasn't the pictures that I saw first," he continued. "It was the lyrics. "Suzanne", right? By Leonard Cohen?"

I stared at him.

"You noticed that?" I said, stepping forwards.

He grinned. "Sure. I listen to his music all the time. He's great."

I couldn't help but smile back. "My friends say he's depressing," I confided in him. "And that I shouldn't listen to him because he's old."

"He's not depressing." Kieran looked mildly offended. "He's just..."

"He's had an interesting life?" I suggested.

"Exactly." He flicked some hair out of his eyes. "You're Sara, right?"

I nodded. "Yeah, Sara."

"I thought so."

"Well, thank you for giving me my book back." I waved the book at him slightly.

"It was no problem," he assured me with a chuckle. "It was the least I could do for a fellow Leonard Cohen fan."

I laughed. "Yeah, I suppose," I said, before, "You know, you didn't strike me as being the type to like stuff like Leonard Cohen."

He shrugged and we began to walk down the corridor together. "My dad listens to him," he replied. "I just got it from him, I guess."

"Me too." I slipped the book into my bag. "When I was little I could hear him playing "So Long, Marianne" from my bedroom. He'd play it so loud, but I loved it."

"Is that your favourite song, then?" he asked. We entered the canteen.

"I don't think I could pick a favourite!" I exclaimed. His grin grew wider, and together, we sat down at a table and debated his songs and his albums. Right then I had no idea that would be the first of many discussions on the same song, because I was too wrapped up in arguing that one of his albums was better than the other, and so on.

But looking back I'm really glad that Kieran found my notebook, and not just because he liked Leonard Cohen. If he hadn't found the notebook we never would have spoken and we never would have gotten together (which we did) and if we'd never done that – well, where would I be today?

A/N: As usual it was written to a time limit as an exercise. It's inspired by my own love for Leonard Cohen. On that note, I do not own anything to do with Leonard Cohen; I don't own the lyrics at the start of the story, which are from the song "Suzanne" by the aforementioned artist. I do love his music, though. His lyrics are amazing. If you've not listened to him I suggest you go out and listen to something of his.