We found the group of students on our trip waiting by the entrance. Gemma rushed forward to join Charlie, and as Jen and I called for order I looked on at Charlie and Gemma in jealousy. If only I could be that natural with Charlie. For the first time ever I found myself wishing I wasn’t a teacher, just so that I could ‘hang out’ with Charlie, and get to know her. But I couldn’t.
“Everyone collect their tickets from Miss Gregory then make their way in to the theatre.” I looked at Jen in shock.
“I thought you had the tickets!” She stared at me, her mouth open in shock. I held my worried expression for a few more seconds before I let a laugh escape my lips. Jen’s face relaxed, then she frowned and shoved me gently.
“Don’t do that to me!” All the students were laughing at Jen’s indignant face. I tried to stop laughing, then caught the look on Charlie’s face and began all over again. Jen rolled her eyes, grabbed my bag, and began handing out the tickets. The students made their way in to the theatre, followed by a frowning Jen and a still giggling me. We settled in to our seats and began chatting before the performance began.
“So, how’s the book going?” Jen asked. “You seemed a lot happier with it when I was talking to you on the phone.”
“I had a break through. It’s coming along quite nicely I think.”
“Oh yes? What was the break through?”
“Ah you’ll have to wait and see. And the publisher called. He says that the children’s book will be on the shelves by Monday, and that the publisher’s are looking forward to my new book for adults.”
“Thank you. I’m so happy about it. Just got to finish the damn thing now.”
“You will, and it will be amazing.”
“Thank you.” The music died down. “Oh the show is starting.”
There was silence, and then the show began.
In the interval Jen and I went to queue for drinks, and watched carefully to make sure that none of our students wandered off, or got an alcoholic drink while on the trip. Kieran almost got away with getting a coke with vodka, but Jen stopped him as he was about to pay.
“Uh no, I think not Kieran. Not on a school trip thank you. This young man will have a normal coke.” She spoke to the bar tender who grinned and took the drink back. Kieran groaned and complained to Jen. I got us drinks and waited for her.
“Good performance so far.” I turned and smiled as I saw Charlie.
“Very good. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.”
“I am. And I think it’s helped me understand the play more because I’ve seen it.”
“Well that’s the point isn’t it?” I laughed and she stuck her tongue out at me.
“Yes, I suppose it is.” Jen tapped me on the shoulder and I turned to face her, drinks in hand.
“Ah, here you go Jen, one coke. Charlie was just telling me how much she is enjoying the performance so far.”
“Well at least someone is paying attention to the performance instead of how much drink they can get.” Charlie smiled and shook her head.
“Kieran may be an idiot, but his hearts in the right place.” She said, then smiled at me and went to join Gemma.
“I think you were right about her you know. Maybe she does like you.”
“Charlie? No. At least I don’t think so. I think she just wants to be friends. She likes to jog with me.”
“Maybe. Just watch yourself ok?”
“Don’t I always?” She smiled, although I could tell she was still worried, then sipped her drink and led the way back in to the theatre.