'Minding' Friday Feedback Exercise 17th Nov
Andy, 18 is awaiting his ‘A-Level’ results. He is interviewed by ‘Zac’ for a job as a playleader (role: to keep children occupied during the long summer holidays). At Zac’s office, he meets receptionist Zoe. She’s unusual but not Andy’s type (piercings; a tattoo; blonde) but intriguing. She drives him and his two, ‘helpers’ to the playscheme venue. In the car, she laughs at his probing about her ‘husband’ Zac. After dropping him off, she leaves. He’s disappointed.
The book is, ‘Minding’ – a comic, dramatic, romantic novel.
Zoe left. She had other non-drivers to ferry to their destinations. I felt abandoned, but Maurice distracted me from wallowing in the exquisite ache. He dangled something from his finger.
‘The door keys.’
I looked at them then him.
‘You’re in charge.’
I was eighteen, he was seventeen, Helen was sixteen. I was in charge. Blimey.
I sensed something and turned to see Zoe silhouetted in the doorway.
Outside, on the footpath she stretched, lacing her fingers, then cracking them above her head.
‘You gonna to be OK?’
I shrugged. ‘I either will, or I won’t.’
She closed one eye.
‘I’ll be fine.’
‘How old are you?’
[Random question…] ‘eighteen.’
‘You seem older.’
My reaction was annoyingly transparent though she did not rush to say, ‘not in a bad way. You don’t look older. You seem more mature’ [seriously?] ‘…level-headed…stable for an eighteen year old’. She paused.
‘Those two are keen; I’m sure you’ll cope. By the way. Don’t make assumptions about Zac – the icky moustache and pipe and his smelly tuna sandwiches – the disaster he calls his office – he’s a really top bloke.’
‘I know. I like him.’
‘Well, I love him. Very much’ [drat!] ‘always will. But we’re not married.’
‘No sign of wedding bells then?’
‘No and I don’t see him “popping the question” either. You never know with Zac, though. He’s full of surprises.’
‘Not really. We’re better off just living together, believe me.’
This was becoming the norm in the ’70s. No more faffing around “having” to get married…
‘He’s my brother.’
Now, I probably imagined the next bit, but one of two things, maybe both, happened. First, she got a vampire’s grip on my shoulders and kissed me firmly on the cheek – and I’m sure she lingered over it.
Second, I distinctly heard, “…a couple of Kooks, hung up on romancing…” as she headed back to her car. I floated into the hall on top of a small cloud. Handy as my entire body was deflating. The kiss continued to throb on my cheek. I’d been branded. Next time I attempted a beard, no hair would grow on that lip-shaped spot. I fixed my expression to preserve the sensation; stop it melting away in the sunshine.
Maurice and Helen were unpacking the boxes and setting up tables. A small cassette player was playing loudly.
It was Hunky Dory.
- This discussion was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Bill Gall. Reason: spelling error
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