Fifteen: Tickets

“And we call that ‘Transubstantiation’. Yeah, check the board for the spelling. Any questions?”

A bell rang high above Lucas’ head, its shrill tone penetrating the whole of the undersized room and causing some students to jump in surprise or cover their ears. It was a pretty tough bell. And Lucas was right underneath it.

“Okay, pack up,” he said, rubbing his forehead. “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”

As the class filed out, Lucas waving to the ones who merrily waved him goodbye, he turned back his desk, nudging rectangular papers and folders so that their sides were parallel to the table edge. He had only managed to open his planner before voices rang out.

“Sir, sir!”

Lucas turned to the two Year Eight girls who had delayed their exit. Both blonde and bubbly, Miriam and Rosie were best friends.

“Hmm?”

“Mr. Gorge,” Miriam giggled, “Are you coming to the school play?”

“We’re in it,” piped up Rosie.

“It starts on Monday. Twelfth Night. It’ll be great fun!”

“You’ve seen the posters around school? They give more details. But Monday, that’s the one.”

“Everybody loves a Shakespearian play!”

Lucas grinned at them. Watching as they bounced the words off each other, he nodded.

“Of course, ladies. I look forward to the treat of seeing my first St. Anne’s winter play. Now, be off with you. I don’t want to be the reason why you’re late for your next lesson.”

Lucas, laughing to himself, watched as they hurried off. He himself had no lesson next, so he flicked through his planner, stopping only when he was conscious of the note written on today’s page: ‘Ring Andrea’.

Cursing, he realised that it wasn’t the first time he had ignored this note; his hand had been thrown across the previous two pages as well.

Underneath was written ‘Ring Léa’. Lucas snapped the file shut. That wasn’t important.

Lucas rolled his eyes at the notes, written in his own illegible handwriting, but still picked up his mobile and began to head down to the ‘tutor’s room’. As teachers, they were meant to be setting a good example by not using their phones except in an emergency, but there was a place in which business phone-calls could be made. It was to there that Lucas headed.

Andrea picked up on the first ring. She was tirelessly efficient, even though she was at work. As with every time he talked with her, Lucas could hear the light musicality in her voice, the tingle of chimes or guitar strings, and the heartbeat of rhythm in the structure of her sentences.

“Slow day?” he asked, after they had greeted each other. She had sounded bored.

“A little. Definitely an annoying contrast to yesterday. It’s lovely to hear your voice.”

“I know,” he teased, “It’s great, isn’t it?”

“Oh, be quiet,” she giggled back.

“Well, can you guess what I’m calling about?” Lucas paused, but only for a second, allowing no time for Andrea’s expected questions, “I bet you (being the Andrea you are) are sick of people talking about your birthday - but it must be done! I’m about to book seats in the auditorium for (and are you listening?) Monday, 7pm. That’s when Twelfth Night is, of course.”

The sound of Andrea’s giggles echoed through the handset.

“My, you are in a funny mood today,” she said when she had got her breath back. 

Lucas furrowed his brow. “Yeah, we’re not talking about that.”

That silenced Andrea. A second later her voice came again, quick and dry. “Okay. That’s fine. I’ll see you on Monday.”

“Andrea, I’m sorry- I -”

But Andrea had already hung up.

Grumbling to himself about the inconsistency of women, Lucas pocketed his mobile, and hurried off to book his tickets with the office.

***

Andrea slammed down the receiver by her desk, frustrated. Sometimes she couldn’t understand Lucas. There would be a time, however, in which she would have to address the issue of blatant childishness and OCD. It was up to her, as the psychologist, to ‘analyse’ him. Maybe he would calm down after her birthday.

At least now there was something for her to do for her birthday (aside from Keith’s ‘surprise’, but that didn’t really count).

Alexis poked her neat, bespectacled face into the office. “Hi.”

“Don’t say a word about it. On Monday, I’m going to see a play. Don’t argue, it’s a date set.”

The End

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