NB: This post may contain offensive or inappropriate language. But who cares?
It was my
final day at work and I felt somewhat depressed. The end of an era and a new start. A new beginning that would hopefully see my
son get through to the end of school. I
had my first meeting there this morning with Janice Armitage before I got to
the office. I got ready slowly,
savouring the moment and applying more effort than usual. Tomorrow I’d be would be working from home
after my school visit and would be able to dress how I pleased. Hmm, maybe I
could go all boho hippy or something and invent a new me for my new role...Nah,
pancakes for the kids which was probably a mistake as I didn’t want them
getting used to the idea. I left them in a warm oven whilst I opened the pile
of letters on the side of the kitchen counter. Bills, bills, an invite to
neighbourhood watch and then a complete and utter shock. The letter was addressed in floaty style, italic
font and gilt edged. Maybe I’d won
something? I opened it up and began to
booking of Heavenly spa Indulgence at Eden Hall.
acres of luscious lawns this beautiful listed mansion, built in 1875 will be
your sanctuary for the day. Whether you want to refresh and revive or unwind
and relax, the first class facilities make sure all of your needs are met.
your pampering needs, escape to Eden hall for the perfect, peaceful getaway.
course meal at our beautiful restaurant and:
relaxation day plus the Thalgo Indoceane Comforting Wrap. This is the ultimate
therapy for those looking to pamper their skin. Enjoy soothing warm oils and
light massage to the back and scalp followed by the application of a hydrating cream.
Enveloped; drift away whilst these luxurious products hydrate and nourish the
Paid in full:
What? I hadn’t bought that! I turned the letter over to see if they’d
made a mistake or who it was from but there was nothing. Just the letter, a booklet that made me want
to head for Zen land right this second and a number for me to call to book my
preferred day. Who the hell was this
from? I put the letter in my bag so I
could deal with it when I got to work.
We got to
school and I parked up outside whilst Bryony and Brendon went in together. I made my way to reception to get my visitors
“Hi” I said
to the receptionist, “I’m going to be here pretty much every day for the next
few weeks so can I just have a month’s pass or something?”
It’s against our rules and regulations.
You need to sign in and out every time..Is it for Mrs Armitage?”
right.” I replied.
down to collect me and we went upstairs to Base. Brendon was already there removing all the
white board pens.
you doing?” I asked.
that freak boy from winding me up.” He replied.
I looked at
there was a pupil in here who was drawing on the white board. It’s what he likes to do. However, the pen was making a squeaking noise
and Brendon didn’t like it. He told him
to stop but the boy refused so Brendon snatched it out of his hand, removed all
other pens and forced the boy to leave.
Obviously it’s gone down as an incident.” She said.
“Brendon! That’s nasty.
It’s not up to you what other people do.
Put those pens back now!” I scolded.
“No. The noise does my head in. Not happening
Said Janice, “I’ve made sure he won’t be in here when you are. Plus now your
timetable is cut down, it won’t be a problem. Anyway, let’s go through lesson
plan now it’s been set. “
We all sat
down, Brendon still holding tight to the fat markers. We went through the timetable and Brendon
and I were made a copy.
well in most subjects.” Janice said, going through the reports, “Though
coursework needs updating. He can use
some free time at The Base to do that or at home. He is being put straight in for AS level for Ethics and philosophy because
he’s extremely good at it.”
surprised by that. I couldn’t picture
Brendon as a philosopher. Maybe a
professional hacker or a politician but a philosopher?”
“Why do you
like that so much?” I asked him.
can argue and debate and change people’s opinions. There’s one girl in there that I hate
though. She’s as thick as fuck and needs
to be removed.”
“Don’t be so
rude and arrogant!” I wished he’d be
more tolerant of people but I could never see it happening.
true. She’s stupid. I think my teacher even
agrees. He’s cool.” It was rare I heard Brendon call a teacher
only lesson he’s never received a negative comment in, only positives.” Janice
excused to go to his class and he put the pens in a cupboard high up that only
he could reach before leaving.
“It’s OK we’ve
got ladders.” Janice said to me after he’d
left. “Sometimes it’s just not worth the
“I need to
make this work Janice. I’ve left my job
for this and I want him to get his qualifications.”
“We can do
it. If we stick together then we should
get him through. To be honest he has
been relatively good lately, aside from the controlling and vigilante type
behaviour, he hasn’t been that rude. I
think that being on Governors report has actually made him think. Not that he’d
ever tell us that but he does raise
his concerns with me sometimes.”
I was glad
that he did. Maybe things did seep
through after all. I arranged to see
Janice the following day and so forth and left the school feeling quite positive. However, I wasn’t going to hold my
breath. I’d been on those momentary
highs before only to have them slashed ten minutes later when he’d got excluded
for the day. This was going to be a
continuous battle of highs and lows but a battle I was now ready for.
I arrived at
work to find my desk covered in presents.
I wanted to cry. Everyone
gathered round whilst I opened them all up.
I got a Starbucks card with £50 on so I could afford the odd luxury
coffee when in town, three bottles of Rioja, a cinema ticket for the year so I
could go out and watch films whenever I wanted, chocolates, a big mud pie from
The Cheesecake shop that Monica was already cutting into and a beautiful silver
bracelet with a charm on from Argento.
When I opened my card I actually did start to shed a quiet tear as the
messages were so beautiful.
felt so upset about losing something but I want only the best for you
Soph. You’d better come in EVERY week.
there was Colin’s.
‘You may be
walking out of this office but I won’t let you walk out of our lives.’ Colin X’
Colin? I’d got so caught up with the
immediate gathering that I’d only just noticed he wasn’t there.
Colin?” I asked the group.
called into a big meeting. He’ll be out
most of the day.” Monica replied.
devastated. He wasn’t here for my last
day at work. Plus we hadn’t spoken since
the ‘about last night’ speech and now I felt awkward and vulnerable. Maybe he’d had a change of heart.
tucking into my slice of mud pie as I packaged all my goodies away and set to
actually doing some work. Suddenly my
phone rang. It was Rhodes, Karl Rhodes.
replied without any emotion. “Where on earth were you the other evening?”
“What? Oh, you mean when I went to the World
know where you went except that you were with your boss. I had a phone call from Brendon at midnight
wondering what to do and whether he should ring you. It woke me up. “
Sorry.” I couldn’t believe Brendon rang
his Dad! Little snitch bag. He’d kept that one quiet.
you out so late? Is anything even open past midnight? It’s a little late to be
leaving the kids on their own.”
usually that late home if I get to go out, so don’t pull that one. It was a special
event so it went on longer than usual.”
Trust him to spoil my happy mood.”Plus the kids are fine, the house is
secure, they have my number, friends’ numbers and neighbours. What do you want me to do? Never go out
what I said. I think it’s a little late
to be out with your boss and you need to be aware of your responsibilities.”
late to be out with my boss? I wonder if
Sarah’s mum says that to her..” I said sarcastically.
need to be facetious. I was ringing to make sure there wasn’t a problem.”
receive my spreadsheet?” I asked, changing the subject before I lost my temper.
“Yes. I’ve made some corrections and alterations
which we need to go through. I’ll call
in to see you this weekend.”
Of course he
sure you call first in case I’m out. Now,
I must go as it’s my last day at work and I’m busy with my colleagues.”
“Right. I’ll see you later.” He hung up. I looked at my phone and thought about
The day flew
by fast probably because I didn’t want it to and though it had been nice it was
tinged with sadness. It was 4pm and I
sat at my desk with a cuppa and ate yet another chocolate from the pile on my
Soph!” Said Johnno. “They’re bad for you
and you won’t eat your dinner!”
buy me something and then tell me it’s bad for me! Besides, I probably won’t
will.” He replied.
COLIN FRAY:I can’t stop thinking about you.
My heart did
a happy dance and a smile spread across my face.
SOPHIE RHODES: Don’t worry; you’ll
get over that in a few weeks.
COLIN FRAY: I doubt that. Sorry I missed your big day. Meeting.
SOPHIE RHODES: It’s OK. That’s life. Thanks for all the presents.
COLIN FRAY: I didn’t want to see you
walk out anyway so maybe it’s a blessing.
I left the
office at the end of the day having been hugged to death, kissed a hundred
times and with a whole load of promises to keep.
I got home
to see Bryony at the kitchen table doing her art homework and listening to Ed
Sheeran. I spent some time helping her
paint even though she kept telling me I was doing it wrong. Painting by numbers was probably more up my
Brendon?” I asked.
Jessies. I think he’s gone there for tea.”
I made her
some dinner as she painted flowers in a Georgia O’ Keeffe style and I marvelled
at her talent. I couldn’t eat anything
as I had seriously overdosed on chocolate.
I decided instead to open one of the bottles of Rioja I had received and
have a glass of that to celebrate and commiserate.
later Brendon arrived. He looked happy
“Hey Mommy.” He gave me a big hug. “Did you get my present?”
present?” I looked around the room for signs of gifts.
have come in the post. They emailed me
to say it had.. It’s a spa day. You like
those don’t you? He asked.
God. The letter. I’d completely forgotten about it.
“You? You bought me that? Are you serious?” I was
“Yes. To say
thank you for everything you do. I know
I make life hard for you.”
I clasped my
hand to my heart before it broke in two.
afford that. How did you pay for it? You shouldn’t have..really. Thank you so
much. You’re my sweetheart!”
“I saved up
all my birthday money.”
I hugged him
hard and vowed in my heart to pay him back.
very happy and relaxed. You haven’t been
smoking weed have you?” I teased. I didn’t want to upset him now he’d just
bought me such a beautiful present.
“No. But I just got a blow job from a Catholic
girl. Result.” He high fived his sister
who burst out laughing.
“I beg your
pardon..” I looked at him outraged. “I
can’t believe you’ve done that.”
“And YOU,” I
turned to Bryony, “Shouldn’t even know what that means never mind giving him a
Mum.” Said Bryony. “We’re not five years old!”
“I didn’t do
anything Mum! She did it all on her
own.” He grinned.
good?” Bryony asked.
“What! OH MY
GOD, go to your room!” I shouted at her.
Bryony, it’s like a pizza,” He replied. “Even if it’s a bad pizza, it’s still a pizza!”
“I hear ya
bro!” Bryony smiled as she collected her
art materials and left the kitchen.
outrageous.” I said to Brendon as I stormed upstairs to my bedroom.
I lay on my
bed and tried to remember what it was like to be 15 to 16 years old before I
went into parent from hell mode and went ballistic. I needed to calm myself down a bit.
I clicked on
my word game and located ‘The Voice’. He
was now listed in the ‘Game Over’ category of my virtual board. Due to lack of play the game had
automatically resigned. I felt like I’d
lost my first cyber love. I’d never get
to know who that mystery Californian was who’d won my heart with his words.
rang. It was Colin. I could hear the noise of the car behind him.
ready I’m on my way to fetch you.”
Fetch me for what?” ARRR, I
wasn’t ready to go anywhere.
leaving do. Johnnos’s arranged it as a
surprise, you can’t let him down. Or me
for that matter!”
“Aww that’s so
sweet..But I’m not prepared!” I panicked.
your shoes on; I’ll be there in ten.
It’s nothing glam, just a few drinks and a pizza.”
I lay back
on my pillow and laughed my head off.
funny?” said Colin, laughing along at my outburst.
“Ah, nothing. I’m looking forward to it. After all, there’s no such thing as a bad
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And now I
shall leave you with a song. For all the famalam’s out there, the happy ones,
the broken ones and the ones that struggle through every day. Here’s to friends
and smiles and challenges! Thanks to
every single person that has followed this story and supported my endeavours.
You rock. Well done to all A-Z challengers, I know how tough it’s been and you
have my greatest respect. Now please
excuse me whilst I go and get hammered. :)