Lucas Gorge walked around his flat. He tidied his collection of classical CDs and sorted through the Philosophy bookshelf. He nudged some marking with his bare toes and he even skimmed through his Bible. He tried to ignore the impatience running through his mind.
The phone rang, buzzing irritably all around Lucas’ apartment. Leaping in from his small kitchen, and his cotton blazer sweeping out behind him, Lucas jumped over the objects scattered in the room and pounced upon the phone.
“Hullo!” He announced into the receiver.
“Lucas.” The voice that came through the line was not the one Lucas expected. This one was calm and flat; it had no musical bounce like Andrea’s.
“Oh, it’s you, Léa.”
“Please don’t sound so disappointed, Luc. I gather you were waiting for a phone-call from one of your admirers, from that silly ad in the paper? Just because you flaunted your musicality-”
“But I can play the organ, and very well too.”
“Sis, I want to get married before I turn forty. Is that such a crime?”
“Sin of desire,” Léa said, cheekily.
Lucas grinned into the phone.
“Anyway, what do you want?”
“I’m just checking up with you. How’s the new flat? The new town? The new school?”
“Splendid,” he replied simply.
“That’s what you always say…”
“Well, it is nice here. The girls are lovely. It’s all very disciplined and organized!”
“A definite change from Lansdell College then?”
“St. Anne’s is nothing like St. Benet’s. Don’t get me started.”
“Well, as long as you’re happy.”
“I am. It’s a fresh start and I love the thrill of it all. The students are sweet and the night-life is, as always, exquisite.”
“Okay, little brother. Don’t get into too much trouble. See you. Oh, and don’t forget to come back home at half term.”
Lucas hung up and laughed to himself. He really enjoyed spending time with his sister, even when she could be a bit of a nagging pain. Both Gorge siblings were single and had a cheeky, light disposition, a reminder of their relaxed youth and faithful, loving parents. The only let down (if it could be called a flaw) of their personality was their rather arrogant way of portraying themselves to others…and the complete lack of fashion sense between the two.
Lucas sunk back down into the living room sofa of his flat.
Well, I’d better get on. No use moping about here. Besides, that chemistry teacher, Ryan Garner, has invited me for a pint. He’s really nice; I believe that we could have a great friendship.
He picked up some buttercup-yellow socks, ready to put them on and then go out, when the phone rang again. Lucas’ vague smile faded; he had forgotten about what- and who- he was waiting for.
Could it be-?
The number on the phone was one that Lucas did not recognize. He picked up the receiver, wary.
“Lucas Gorge speaking.”
“Hi…” There was no doubt that it was Andrea. The little tip of her words that glowed with a tiny higher-pitched note, the way her sentences arched, they were clear to Lucas and, even after one word, he could tell it was her.
“Andrea… Hello…” He said warmly, “You’re ringing me.”
“Well done,” she replied, with sarcasm, “I’m sure you’d get top marks in class.”
“Oh, haha. No, but seriously. You are ringing me? Why?”
Andrea’s sigh split through the phone.
“I just wanted to know. You had any chance to contact me, but you chose to just as my only relationship was about to serious. I don’t get it. I don’t get you, Mr. Gorge.”
“Look, Andrea, I didn’t have a clue about you and Keith. Honest. I’d consider you every time, I always had done… But distance was a terrible problem…and then I moved to Lansdell. Nobody else worked, and so I thought I’d try you.”
“Hmm…” Andrea didn’t seem impressed, “And just how many women did you ‘try’ before me?”
“Andrea! Please, it’s not like that- I moved because I managed to find the perfect job in this town.”
“So… what do you do?” Andrea decided that she might as well initiate pleasantries.
“I teach Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics, et cetera) at the local Girl’s school, St. Anne’s, you know.”
“Oh yes?” Lucas could hear a touch of humour in Andrea’s voice, “In fact, I do know; I went there.”
Lucas blushed into the phone. He was glad that, for the moment, she couldn’t see him.
“Andrea… I honestly didn’t know…” He stammered.
She was laughing.
And suddenly, Lucas was smiling too.
“We should have a proper chat soon- get to know each other, and all that,” he said, “Do you want to meet up in town?”
Andrea’s reply was straightforward and quick off the mark. Lucas admired all the quirkiness of her voice.
“I know just the place. I’m not doing anything this afternoon, so I’ll see you then, okay.