February 17th, 1989
Almost missed the train this morning, due to the taxi showing up late. Stood all the way to Euston, then got soaked (again) walking to Cranebank. No sooner had I stepped into class and Jeremy (trainer) appeared.
“Sandra would like a word with you, Karen,” he said, sounding and looking very solemn.
My stomach was churning as I followed Jeremy down the hall to the small office, where Sandra sat with a folder on her lap and didn’t look up until I sat down. She started off by sternly asking why I missed class yesterday and I told her I woke up feeling sick. She spoke at great length on the importance of not missing training of any description. Then she went on to ask the same question about my absence, but in various ways. I quickly figured out what she was trying to do and stuck to the same answer. Sandra finished the meeting by telling me a decision will be made over the weekend on whether I’ll stay on my present course, or be asked to join a new one, starting in the next couple of weeks. Up to that point, I really hadn’t understood the seriousness of missing a day and when I thought about mum and dad’s reaction yesterday, I suddenly understood why they were so upset. I pleaded my case to Sandra on why I felt I should remain on the present course and I really hope I don’t have to start all over again with a new group. At this point, I’m desperate for all training to be over.
As if that wasn’t a bad enough start to the morning, today was Swimming Drills. I had been absolutely dreading this part of training since long before the course even started. Surprisingly, most of the other girls donned a t-shirt over their swimsuits, even although none of them has any need to cover up, as they’re all very slim. I was extremely aware that from this point on, I can’t afford to put a foot wrong. I swear, even if Jaws showed up in the pool today, I’d have taken him on!
Rang Ben from Euston before boarding the train and filled him in briefly on my shitty Friday. I told him I’d go home first to change and ring him after that to see what we wanted to do.
I was ecstatic to see him waiting on the platform and I actually cried a little when we hugged. I felt like such a baby, but between what happened today and Ben leaving on Sunday, I couldn’t hold the tears back.
“I can’t bear to have to start all over again on another course,” I cried into his jacket.
“I doubt they’ll have you do that,” he said.
“You don’t think they will?” I sniffed.
“Nah. I think they’re just making a point,” he said, squeezing me tighter. “Let’s go and have a drink then we’ll get something to eat. How does that sound?”
“Sounds perfect,” I said, drying my eyes, “ but I need to ring my mum and dad first to let them know what happened today. I know they’ll be anxious to find out.”
“Tell them you’re staying at mine tonight.”
“Tonight is so much better than today,” I said, finally smiling.
“And after dinner,” he whispered in my ear, “ I’ll give you what I know you really want.”
“What’s that?” I asked.