The Summer of Falling in Love - Liz Davies Page 0,1

mug and blew on his coffee. He only had ten minutes in which to drink it (there was the number ten again; he seemed to be plagued by it today), and if he wasn’t careful, he’d be forced to drink it at a temperature more suited to melting lead. He’d lost count of the number of times he’d gulped scalding hot liquid down his poor throat and burnt the roof of his mouth in the process.

‘Thank God it’s Friday, eh?’ That was from Lesley, who taught design technology, and had worked at Robert Crouch High School all her working life. ‘And there’s only one more week to go and then it’s the summer hols. Yay!’ She did jazz hands with a big grin on her face.

Theo would have joined in but, as she said, there was still another whole miserable week of term to go. There were a couple of positives about the forthcoming week, though. The Year 11s had already left school having completed all their GCSE exams, so that was one less class to teach next week. As for the rest of the pupils, Years 7 and 8 were on a school trip on the one day, Years 9 and 10 were out on another, no one taught any lessons on the last day, and to be honest, half of the kids wouldn’t turn up for the remaining few days anyway. So, it was an easy-ish week. Then he had a whole six weeks of freedom. Bliss. Sheer bliss. He was looking forward to the summer holidays immensely and the knowledge that they were just around the corner had been the only thing keeping him sane during this last half term.

Not that he had any plans, because he didn’t. He’d toyed with the idea of going abroad for a week or two, but he didn’t want to go on his own. His mum and dad had asked if he’d like to go with them, but honestly, he was thirty years old. Going on hols with your parents was obligatory when you were a kid, and possibly a relief when you had children of your own because there’d be a couple of extra pairs of hands to look after your little darlings. But it wasn’t the done thing when you were his age. As for going with his friends, all of them were either married or in long-term relationships, and any holidays they took invariably involved their other halves.

‘Going anywhere in the summer?’ It was April (politics and law) who’d asked.

‘I’m not sure,’ he said, as he usually did. ‘Are you off anywhere nice?’ He knew she was because he’d heard her talking about it the other day, and guessed she’d only asked him about his plans so that she could tell him all about hers.

‘Peru, for a whole month,’ she squealed and clapped her hands. ‘I can’t wait!’

‘Paddington Bear,’ Theo said, for no real reason other than whenever anyone mentioned Peru he thought of the bear.

April gave him a doubtful look. ‘Yes. Right. Ha ha. Paddington Bear. Darkest Peru and all that. What about you, Michael?’ She turned to one of the English teachers. ‘Are you and Charlotte going anywhere?’

Theo let the conversation wash over him as he sipped his coffee, wondering what to do with himself this weekend.

Tonight was takeaway night (Fridays always were) and a film or a box set, but the rest of the weekend stretched in front of him depressingly empty apart from the usual tasks of shopping, laundry, and cleaning. He supposed he could bite the bullet and do a bit of work