February 22nd, 1989
I was so tired last night that I went to bed just after eight. Shortly afterwards I heard the phone ringing and I jumped out of bed and sprinted downstairs in the hopes it might be Ben. When mum saw me, she smiled and said, “Okie dokie, here she is.”
I took the receiver from mum. “Hello?”
“McGarr! What the hell are you doing in bed at this hour?”
“I had a bit of a late night last night.”
“With that wild bunch from your training course?”
“Something like that, yeah. How are you?”
“Excellent. I’m going to be at a meeting in your neck of the woods tomorrow and was wondering if you’d like to meet for lunch? I imagine you do get a lunch break?”
“We do, usually around twelve thirty, for an hour or so, depending on what we’re doing.”
“I’ll be there at twelve thirty then to pick you up.”
“Hang on a minute, I didn’t say yes to meeting you.”
“McGarr, it’s lunch. Lunch is food. You love food. I already know you’ll say yes.”
“That’s rather presumptuous,” I laughed. “And accurate.”
“Twelve thirty it is then. See you tomorrow. Sweet dreams.”
I had to laugh.
It was closer to one pm by the time we finished up this morning’s session, so I wasn’t sure if I’d still be meeting Jon. Lolly, Lorna and Meryl were going to uniform stores and Lolly asked if I wanted to go with them.
“I do need a cabin bag and a few other bits, but I’m meeting a friend for lunch. I think.”
When we stepped outside the building, I heard a horn beep and I looked over and saw Jon waving. I waved back.
“Is that your friend?” Lorna asked, bowing her head slightly.
“Uh-huh, see you all after lunch,” I said, ready to scurry off.
“Eh, excuse me,” Lorna said, “That looks like a guy in that car.”
“Yes, I’m aware of that. I joked. “That’s my friend, Jon.”
“Friend?” Lolly asked.
“Friend. And ex-boyfriend.” I said.
“Ooohhh,” Lorna and Lolly said, in unison.
If the weather was nicer, we would’ve sat outside, but it’s not quite that time of year yet so we sat at a table inside the pub.
“McGarr, you can’t possibly be refusing a beverage of an adult nature,” Jon said, after I told him I’d like a lemonade.
“I can’t go back to class sozzled.”
“Fair enough. I won’t have a drink either then. I’m sorry I haven’t located a suitable car for you yet. I just got home yesterday.”
“Where were you?”
“Italy. Boys skiing trip, it was brilliant. Plenty of après ski.”
“Aka snow bunnies,” I smirked.
“Perhaps,” he grinned. Peering down at the menu, he mumbled, “French ones.”
“I heard that,” I laughed. “Et bon pour tu.”
“You’d love the resort,” he said, enthusiastically.
I asked where it was and when I heard him name the resort where Ben works, my heart fluttered and I suddenly felt very warm. Then I wondered if perhaps their paths had crossed but I didn’t think it would be appropriate to ask.
“You alright McGarr? You got a bit distant on me there.”
“Fine thanks. I just got a bit lost somewhere on the Italian ski slopes.”
Back in class, I was looking through my notes from this morning, when Carl came walking towards me with what I call his signature cheesy grin.
“Who was that bloke with the nice wheels you just snogged?”
“I didn’t snog anyone.”
“Yeah you did, I was driving behind you.”
“That was not a snog, it was a friendly kiss goodbye.”
Just then, Lorna, Lolly and Meryl came into the room.
“Why’s your face so red?” Lorna asked me.
“Because she was snogging some bloke a minute ago,” Carl said.
“Uff, I’d have snogged him as well. I was going to suggest my new guy’s brother for you missy, but I think you’re doing alright for yourself.”
“Yeah,” Carl continued, “Between getting drunk with an old friend from school and…”
“And mister hot wheels,” Lorna chipped in.
“You have it all wrong,” I pleaded.
“Aye maybe,” Lorna said, winking at me, “But you honey, you have it all right.”