Carrying on…Nothing out of the ordinary happened during the year. It wasn’t until the traditional ‘End of Year / Leaving Do’ in July. As I don’t drink, I offered to drive; Ben along with two of our friends – Lara and Abi. It was dinner followed by drinks at well-known establishments.
It was a chance to see friends before I and a few others moved onto new pastures. Dinner was a quiet affair with Ben being the only male in attendance, although he wasn’t the only male at the school. When you work in a school especially the primary sector, the women always outweigh the men. Ben didn’t mind being the only male at dinner.
Somehow, Ben and I ended up sitting together or rather next to each other, on a large rectangular table. So chatting to others proved to be a challenging. Big groups need circular tables not rectangular as the dynamics just don’t work. The other side is don’t go out in a big group. That in itself is challenging as I’m quite a sociable person. I’m not boasting that I have lots of friends but I just have happened to have met lots of people through the journey of life so far.
Going back to the to the ‘End of Year / Leaving Do’, we finished dinner and eventually got chatting to other people, who were sitting on the other end and said bye to those not heading onto the pub. We (meaning, Ben, Lara, Abi and myself) headed onwards.
The noise of the pub hit you as you opened the door. Prizes for guessing who was making all that racket. Yep! The rest of the crew from school who had gone straight to the alcohol. Could you tell that it was the end of the term and that they were teachers? (Still are teachers) I can’t remember who bought the drinks, but I did buy a few rounds. Before you say – I thought you didn’t drink; I don’t. It’s personal choice. Chatting to the rest of the staff, whom, I wouldn’t be seeing in September – I hadn’t realised the time. It was almost eleven. It wasn’t that I’m not one for staying out late but it took me up to an hour to travel home. (Cross country)
Saying my ‘goodbyes’ was quite challenging (as a lot of people were quite drunk and letting their hair down). When you leave a work place, you are always going to remain friends with some people but not all. Hence, why, Ben, Lara, Abi and I still are.
As I was leaving Ben asked if he could catch a left back, of course, I said yes. Why wouldn’t I? Our mutual friend Nick (who was lovely and still is) saw us together as we were trying to head out, caught my eye, and mouthed “You and Ben?” My response wasn’t polite. But at the time, like I said Ben was only a friend and that’s all I saw him as. Luckily Ben, had his back to Nick so didn’t see the exchange. I think I would have been mortified if he had. I gave Nick a hug before I left and told him to leave those thoughts alone.
I dropped Ben home and my summer adventure began…