March 9th, 1989
Lolly’s parents’ house – Middlesex
It’s almost three am and I just set the alarm for half past seven, but if I don’t write I won’t be able to sleep. Slightly squiffy writing, can’t imagine why! I’m in Lolly’s room and Carl and Sam are clearly not ready for sleep yet either because I can hear them talking and laughing out in the living room.
I’m getting ahead of myself and should start from this morning, when mum and dad got up to see me off and wished me good luck for tomorrow (which is actually today!)
I always find Lee in the same spot on the platform, so I was shocked to find him in an entirely different place this morning.
“Morning,” he said, handing me a train ticket.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“It’s a congratulations gift.”
My eyes quickly scanned the ticket with the words First Class printed on the bottom of it. I looked at Lee but the train was pulling in and I didn’t want to have to shout above the sound.
“Lead the way,” Lee said when we got on the train and, for once, he followed me. The First Class carriage was only about a quarter full. “Take your pick,” he said.
I settled myself into a spacious window seat and Lee sat across from me. I wasted no time staking claim to the empty seat beside me and tossed my coat and jacket across it, with my bag on top.
“I don’t think you need to worry about anyone sitting there,” he laughed.
“Habit,” I said. “This is a lovely treat, thank you so much.”
“This way we can actually talk,” he said.
“Would you mind doing me a favour?”
“Not at all.”
I passed him a stack of paper, with notes I’d taken, all pertaining to the location of the safety equipment onboard the TriStar.
“Would you mind asking me some of those questions? We have final exams this morning and I’m a bit nervous. I hate tests.”
“Be happy to. Would you like a cup of tea first?”
“Oh, yes please. And maybe some type of pastry if they have any?”
“Of course,” he said, getting up.
When the train was pulling into Euston, Lee slid a small, folded piece of paper to me, across the table.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“My phone number. As you know, I work in the financial field and now that you’re about to start your new career, there might come a time when you need some financial advice. So, keep my number and ring me if you do.”
“I will, thanks,” I said, stuffing the note into my jacket pocket.
We started out the day in class with the General Papers test, followed by Passenger Papers, which were both ok but we don’t get our grades until tomorrow (today!) When class was over, I came to Lolly’s with Sam and Carl to change. Lolly’s parents (both absolutely lovely) spoiled us with tea and biscuits and we had a great chat about all sorts, from which we discovered her dad is a huge jazz fan.
The four of us took a taxi to Pizza hut, where we met the others in our group, including our three trainers. From there we went to Options nightclub but got turned away because Vince was wearing cords! Someone suggested Cinderella’s, where Vince’s choice of corduroy was not an issue.
Cinderella’s was the definition of tacky and filled to the brim with slags, young and old. I thought about Ben and wondered if he’d been with any of those types of girls last year when he was working in Spain, but I quickly put those thoughts out of my head and got on the dance floor.
Carl and I jammed out, singing along with Michael Hutchence, “your moves are so raw, I’ve got to let you know, I’ve got to let you know, you’re one of my kind.” The last time I sang “Need You Tonight,” was with Gabriel when we were driving to his grandparents’ house in Miami. It’s hard to believe that was only two month’s ago.
The Famous Four (as we’re known in class) froze outside at the end of the night, while we waited in the lengthy taxi queue and I longed for those balmy, Florida nights.
I have to get up in four hours….but oh, what a night!