February 20th, 1989
Week four of training and one person will not be graduating with our class. I can’t say I’ll miss Maisy but I do feel a bit sorry for her.
The usual sluggish Monday sentiment switched gears after Sandra called me into the office to inform me I would be staying with the group. I was so relieved I could’ve hugged her. She was actually very pleasant and expressed a side of her I hadn’t seen before. Had she said otherwise, I honestly don’t know what I would have done. I told Ben I’d go to Italy but that would just mean running away and at some point I’d have to come home and face the music.
Carl, being the sweet guy he is, suggested we take Maisy out at the end of the day to say our farewells. Lorna flat out refused but said she’d be up for going out, minus Maisy. Remind me not to get on Lorna’s bad side!
I thought about going straight home, but Lolly, Meryl and Kimberly said if I did, they wouldn’t go to the pub either. Obviously I couldn’t bear that kind of responsibility on my shoulders, so I went! Somehow, after a few drinks, the conversation got around to Ben’s departure and they each had a few words to offer.
While the cat’s away…
Chin up mate, you’ll be alright.
You do know you could be going anywhere in the world next week on your supernumerary flight. Right?
Sorry you’re feeling sad that your boyfriend had to go back to Italy.
Does he seriously think you’re going to wait around for him?
This will be Karen when we get our Wings. Ben? Ben who?
Wallowing in self-pity does not become you.
Because of the detour (aka the pub) I got to Euston much later than usual and spotted Lee standing on the platform. When I reached him, he appeared engrossed in the glossy paged brochure he was leafing his way through. I didn’t think he’d seen me, so I was surprised when he said, “Evening Karen.”
“Oh, hello Lee. Is this your usual home time?”
“On a Monday, yes.” He continued flipping through the pages. “Typically the worst day of the week.”
“I agree,” I said, as Lee tucked the brochure under his arm.
“You appear much more jovial than the last time I saw you,” he said.
I failed to mention I’d just come from spending three hours in the pub!
“That’s becau…” I was interrupted by a tinny sounding announcement I could barely understand.
“Did you catch any of that?” I asked him.
“Yes. We’ve just been informed that our train will be delayed for approximately fifty-three minutes due to..”
“Oh shit,” I said, taking a seat on the bench.
“Would you like to go for a drink?” he asked.
“No thank you. I’m just going to wait here.”
“I’m not insinuating anything by asking you to come for a drink. I know you have a relationship with Ben, so I’m offering a drink, to pass the time.”
“Thank you for rectifying that Lee,” I said, with more than a hint of sarcasm.
“I find it’s usually best to say everything up front. I’m going for a drink. Would you care to join me?”
The reality of waiting on the cold bench was starting to hit me. “I don’t know,” I sighed.
“I’ll make a deal with you,” he said, sounding very confident.
“Go on,” I urged.
“If you join me for a friendly, nostalgic, talk about our school days, type of drink, I’ll save you a seat on the train every morning for the remainder of your commute.”
That got my attention. “How do you propose to do that?” I asked.
In an utterly deadpan manner, he held up his briefcase and said, “With this, of course. So, do we have a deal?”
“We have a deal,” I said, shaking his outstretched hand.