Always Look Both Ways

It was Monday evening, and Boris, a rather forlorn ginger cat, was trudging home in the rain.  It had been another gruelling day, business had been running worse than usual recently: there had been a time where everyone had thrown a friendly titbit in Boris’ direction, and now it seemed only Mrs Grenning down the road who offered a bit of her rabbit stew, and Boris didn’t like to take it because he knew she was on a fixed pension, and had millions of grandchildren.  Besides, she smelled of old dust mites and mouldy cheese. 

            As Boris pondered these things, he crossed the road, and failed to notice the large, red truck that was hurtling towards him. 

            A while later, an elderly woman called on Mrs Grenning, and declared:

            “I think your cat’s sick.”  At which Mrs Grenning replied:

            “I don’t have a hat” and the rather flat Boris remained unfortunately in the middle of the road.

 

            The train at Bombo Beach gently chugged in, the triple-decked carriages clinking against each other as the engine came to a standstill.  Geneva (-that’s, “Jennifer”, to you and I-) leapt out her seat, and quickly ran down the two narrow staircases, jumping the last step out onto the platform just as the doors closed, and the train moved off.  Panting slightly, she stood up straight, her full five foot two, flicked her peroxide hair over her shoulder, and replaced her glasses with her sunglasses after rifling through her handbag a moment longer than necessary.  Then she began to move briskly towards the exit, tripping over her own feet. 

            That’s when a pair of very striking legs emerged.

            “Oh- poo.”  She muttered, in a very southern-English accent.  Her eyes drifted upwards, passing a well-toned torso, to encounter the owner’s face, dazzled and morphed by the setting sun.  She smiled sheepishly.  Quinn raised an eyebrow.  It arched in a most becoming fashion over his deep blue eyes.  Shame he was an old family friend. 

            He offered a hand, which she took gratefully, and struggled to her feet.

            “Hello, Geneva.”  He said in a deep voice, smiling quietly.

            “Afternoon, Quinn.”  She replied haughtily, strolling past him.  She marched towards the bus stop.

            “Geneva?”  She kept walking.  “Geneva – my car’s around the corner.”  He said, running to catch up with her. 

            “No, no, I’m just fine.  Besides, you’ve only just got your licence,” she said, passing the aged bus driver a handful of coins.  “And I don’t trust you.”  She glared at him.  He raised his eyebrows. 

            “Three-eighty, miss.”  The bus driver said.  “You’ve given me two quid.”

            “What!  Oh!  Oh, ok.  Um…”

            “Here.”  Quinn fumbled in his pocket.  “Two tickets please.”

            “But your car’s round the corner!”  Geneva complained.

            “Yes, and you’re ridiculous, but what’s new?”

            “£7.60.”  Said the bus driver.

            “She’s already given you two quid.”

            “You asked for two tickets, sir.”

            “Yes, but,… oh forget it!  Give her her money back.”

            “I’m taking the bus, Quinn!”

            “No you’re bloody well not, Gen!”

            “Wiv all due respect, miss, I gotta get going.”

            “Yes.  Quinn, you’re holding the bus up.

            “She’s coming with me.”  Quinn nodded.  “C’mon.”  And grabbing her wrist, he pulled her away towards the car park.

            “Jesus, you’re difficult.”

            “I’m not difficult!”

            “You bloody well are.”  They turned a corner towards Quinn’s Ford Escort.  Geneva sniffed.  “It’s my mother’s.”  She yanked open the door of the passenger seat, and siddled in, perching her too-small handbag on the floor beside her and tugged her tee-shirt down.  Quinn looked at her in wonderment, shook his head and turned the ignition.

            “So.  How are you?”

            “Just concentrate on driving, please.”  He paused to throw her a hurt look.  She re-adjusted her glasses.  They began to drive, and Geneva began to fidget.

            “How well did you pass?”  She asked in a small voice.

            “She said I scored five minors.”  He replied a little coolly.  Geneva nodded.  “You coming tomorrow?”

            “I don’t have a choice, do I.”

            “It’s not that bad.”

            “No?  When did you last have a name no one can spell?”  He smiled.

            “You know Courtney and Michael are together again?”

            “You’re joking.”

            “Uh uh, it’s official!”

            “But Michael doesn’t even like Courtney!”  Geneva shuddered, remembering Quinn’s sister’s piercincg laugh:

            “Gen-eee-va!  You mean you spell Jennifer Gen-eee-va!  But that’s, like, a place, init?  Ahaha!  Geneva!”  In memory, Geneva pulled a sarcastic smile.

“Looking forward to your new school, Geneva?”  Stephanie, Quinn’s  mother, asked.

            “Hmm?”  Geneva asked, swallowing a larger than elegant piece of sausage.

            “I said are you looking forward to school.  Quinn’s so looked forward to seeing you!”

            “Oh have you, Quinn!”  Geneva smiled wickedly.

            “It’ll be so nice: you two together at school again!  It’s a terrible shame Godolphin burnt down.  Did they find the culprit?”

            “No.”  Geneva replied, distinctly remembering the chemistry practical that went terribly wrong.  Across the table, Quinn raised an eyebrow.  Geneva kicked him.

 

            Geneva had always been short.  Short in temper, short of breath and, at fifteen, short in height, reaching five foot two exactly.  Her hair was short, her skirt was short but most importantly, her toes were short, and this accounted for her inability to balance.  This… talent of hers came into brilliant effect when exiting the bathroom.

            She found herself sprawled, spread-eagled on the sandy carpet, in front of a striking pair of hairy legs, boxers covered with pouts and a well-toned torso.  Her eyes rode up his what can only be described as agile body until they reached his face.  Quinn raised an eyebrow.  Sexily.  Again.  A smile began to spread across his lips as she untangled herself. “Alright, Gen?”

            “Shut up.”

            “Charming!”

           

            “Looking forward to your new school, Geneva?”  Quinn’s mother, Stephanie, asked.

            “Hmm.  Hum hoom mm mn.”  Quinn peered above his newspaper to give her a queer look.  She swallowed, and repeated.

            “Yes.  Except Geography.”

            “And why’s that, Geneva?”  Quinn smirked.  She glared at him.

            “Leave her alone, Quinn.  You’re going to be the only one she knows.”

            “Hmm.”  Quin said thoughtfully.

            “This is going to be great.”  Geneva thought to herself.

            As she siddled into the car next to Stephanie, that is, after a brief scuffle between the two adult students, involving quite a lot of hair pulling until Stephanie shouted and they were separated, she asked why Quinn didn’t drive to school.  After he didn’t reply, she turned in her seat, just in time to see his mouth gape wide and snort the beginnings of a snore.  It was going to be a long journey.

            She dutifully kissed Stephanie goodbye and stepped out the car, flicking her hair before teetering after Quinn.

            “All set?”  She nodded.  “Mum arranged for all your classes to be with me.”  He said, not looking at her.  “First lesson’s geography.”

 

            “Geneva Lee?  Now that’s an interesting name!”  Mr Collins smiled.  “That is how you pronounce it, yehesss?”

            “No.”  Geneva replied curtly.  “It’s pronounced Jennifer.  ‘Sir’.”  She added, smiling as politely as possible without it turning into a huge, menacing stare.

            “Oh, ok, Jennifer Lee.  Is there a particular reason why it’s spelt Geneva?  Yehesss?”  She felt the blood rushing to her cheeks as another round of laughter circulated the classroom.

            “The urm, the registrar couldn’t spell.”  She murmured.

            “What was that?” 

            A fat boy in front shouted “She said the registrar couldn’t spell, sir!”  The class erupted.

            “Nevermind.”  Mr Collins said in a patronizing voice.  “It just s happens we’re studying Switzerland, Jennifer – yehesss?”  As the laughs subsided, Quinn shoved a note in her direction.

            “He’s a git.”  It read.  “He does it to everyone.”

                       

The End

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