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Tricia
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PostSubject: Growing Pains   Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:01 pm

Joanne and Maria have been friends for years, ever since Junior School. Now a different part of their lives is starting as they go into sixth form. Growing up is never easy, so many new things to deal with. New people, new feelings, it can all be so painful if mistakes are made.


Last edited by Tricia on Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:40 pm

Growing Pains

Chapter 1

Joanne looked in the mirror and smoothed her skirt down, checking her tights for ladders. She raised herself on tiptoe to get a better look at the back of her legs.

‘Good’, she thought to herself, ‘didn’t catch them. Don’t want to look scruffy on my first day.’ She gave herself a final look over in the mirror and then headed downstairs. It was still early, before eight, and her brothers were in the middle of getting their breakfasts, Mum calling out instructions to them all. She’d left her sister in the bedroom, hastily grabbing her books before she left for school.

“Come on Linda! Get a move on,” her mum called up the stairs. “It’s nearly eight o’clock! You’ll miss your bus!”

Linda came dashing down the stairs, her platform shoes, hitting the surfaces noisily.

“And you can get those off for a start!” said her Mum pointing at them. “Get your uniform shoes on now young lady!”

“Oh but Muuum!” Linda protested. “No one will notice them! All the others are wearing them!”

“I don’t care what the others are wearing, you are not going to school wearing those!” her mother insisted. “You’ll break your neck in them!” she scolded her and handed Linda the shoes she should have been wearing. “Come on, put these on.”

Joanne grinned at Linda as she sat on the sofa changing her shoes.

“They’d have to be blind not to notice those Linda! I mean look at them, they’re three different colours, yellow, red and brown!” She giggled as Linda scowled back at her.

“Shurrup you!” she snapped at her as she laced up the brown sensible school shoes.

“That’s better,” her mum said approvingly as she snatched up her satchel and flung it over her shoulder. “See you tonight!”

The front door slammed shut as Linda left the house. Her mum sighed and turned to continue sorting out the rest of the family.

“Are you walking down with our Stuart?” she asked Joanne, nodding towards her younger brother.

“Is she ‘eck!” Stuart cried immediately. “Not having her show me up in front of me mates. She knows where the bus stop is, she can go on her own! I’m going now anyway,” he said grabbing his school bag and running off before she could go with him.

“It’s ok Mum. I told Maria I’d call for her on the way down. I’d best be off now. Don’t want to be late on my first day.”

“Ok, love. Have a good day. Good luck!” her mum said as she headed off out of the door, leaving her to deal with her youngest two brothers, Gerry and Martin.

Joanne walked briskly down the main road and turned right into one of the smaller side streets where her friend lived. They had known each other for years, having met at the local primary school. Maria and Joanne had been best friends ever since Junior School. They had been looking forward to this day for the last couple of weeks since they had received the results of their ‘O’ level exams. Today was the morning that they were starting at the new Sixth Form College. Their old school didn’t have a sixth form any more and they were having to travel to their brothers’ school on the outskirts of town. Maria had three brothers, her older one being in the year above them. He came dashing out of the house as Joanne reached it.

“Go on in, she’s nearly ready!” he grinned at her. “See you later!”

It was a similar scene in Maria’s house that morning. Her mum laughed as she knocked on the door leading into the living room.

“Come on in Joanne!” she called to her. “See I told you she’d be here soon,” she scolded her daughter as she dunked three biscuits into a cup of milky tea. “Bet your mum’s glad that it’s school today. It’ll be nice to have a bit of peace and quiet again!”

“Yes Mrs Jones,” Joanne replied as she sat on the sofa waiting for Maria. “She was saying that last night to my Dad. The lads have been driving her mad this last couple of weeks. It’s always the same at the end of the school holidays.”

“I know what she means,” Mrs Jones sympathised. “It’ll be nice to have the house to myself again once these two have gone!”

“Charming!” Antony sniffed as he too dashed out of the house leaving just the youngest John to be readied for school.

“Ready?” Maria asked as she gave her mum a kiss on the cheek goodbye and picked up her brief case from the sofa.

“Yeah,” Joanne nodded as she stood up. “See you later Mrs Jones!”

“Have a good day girls,” called Mrs Jones from the kitchen.

Maria and Joanne hurried along the street. They could see the bus in the distance and began to run so that they wouldn’t miss it. As they got closer they could see some of their friends waving to them.

“Hi you two,” said Chrissie as they joined the queue. “Thought that you were going to miss the bus then!”

“Yeah, you don’t want to be late on your first morning,” giggled Annie, pushing her glasses back further up her nose. “Are you nervous? I am!

Joanne and Maria looked at each other and nodded, laughing as they did so. The four of them got onto the bus, paying their fare and finding seats amongst the other pupils on the bus. The vast majority of passengers were male and younger than the girls. Joanne spotted her brother obviously ignoring her as she made her way down the bus, sitting with a group of his mates.

By the time they reached their destination half an hour later, a handful of other girls their age had joined them. All of them hesitated as they got off the bus outside the college, the younger boys heading into the building to find other friends.

Joanne and Maria noticed a sign directing them to the hall and found themselves amongst a crowd of other newbies, all trying to look as if they knew what they were doing.

As they looked around Maria noticed a row of notices with lists of names.

“That could be for us,” she pointed out to them as they went to find their names on the lists. Sure enough, the lists informed them which tutor group they were in and where the tutor room was. Each group had a list of fifteen names beneath it, and the name of the tutor at the top.

Chrissie and Maria were in the same group where as Joanne and Annie were in groups by themselves.

They headed off to find their rooms and tutor who introduced them to the rest of the group already there.

Joanne blushed as she headed for a seat at the back of the room, conscious of eyes following her as Mr McMahon gave her a sheaf of papers with various bits of information on. She took her place and then began to read them, not daring to look up until the next student was introduces.

“Hi!” came a male voice from the seat just in front of her. “I think this is yours!” he pushed a slip of paper over the desk to her. It was her timetable.

“Thanks,” she said gratefully, “Don’t want to lose that do I? Just about the most important piece of paper of them all!”

“Harrison, if you don’t mind!” called Mr McMahon as he waited to introduce the next student to them.

Harrison grinned and turned back around in his seat. Joanne took the chance to look at him now that she could do so without being seen. She’d already notice that he had blue eyes which had twinkled when he smiled. His hair curled up against his collar, not too short not too long, it seemed to refuse to sit neatly his fringe falling just above his eyes in a deep wave. He sat back in his seat, his long legs under the table in front of him as he listened to what their tutor had to say.

Half an hour later and instructions and directions were finally over. Joanne got up from her seat and headed off to her first session to sign up and receive yet more information sheets. Her first class was on the top floor, History with Mr Parkinson. She finally found it and joined several others there, choosing a seat by the window. A couple of minutes later, Annie came in and she waved her over.

“Oh this is chaos isn’t it? I love it!” Annie giggled to her. They settled down as the tutor began to give them an outline of the topics they would be studying. Just as he was halfway through it, the door opened and a flustered looking Harrison joined them.

“So glad that you made it Harrison!” Mr Parkinson bellowed at him. “Better late than never. Sit down, sit down,” he ordered him, waving a hand towards the class.

“Sorry I’m late sir, thought we were in the other room!” he apologised as he came and sat behind Annie and Joanne, winking at them as he did so.

“Hello again,” he whispered to Joanne as Mr Parkinson continued to drone on about Medieval History and Gobbetts.

“Harrison, when you’ve quite finished,” Mr Parkinson said sharply. “I’m sure you’ll be able to talk to the young ladies during break time. Although if they’ve any sense they’ll give you a very wide berth!”

Annie nudged Joanne and grinned broadly at her. Joanne rolled her eyes at her! Looked like sixth form wasn’t that much different from her last year. Except for the boys!
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:58 pm

What, no feedback?????? Ah well, sod it! Here's the next chapter!

Chapter 2

By the end of the first week, timetables and rooms were sorted out for all of them. Joanne’s was full. As well as doing her A levels, she was also doing some re sits in a couple of subjects. Every night she had a couple of hours to spend doing homework. This was done at the kitchen table with her brother and sister sharing it. It had lead to a mix up of books more than once in the past, including the embarrassing episode of Linda’s nail varnish appearing on top of a pile of books Stuart tipped out in full view of his classmates at school the next morning. And in the early 70s that was just not done! The girls had teased him about it for a couple of weeks after that and his mates for considerably longer.

That first week end, Joanne met up with Maria at her house along with some other friends of theirs. Christine was a year older and still at their old school finishing her A levels. She and the other girls in her year were the last in the sixth form there. There were still girls from third year up there, and they would all do as Maria and Joanne had done when it was their time for sixth form. Move to the boys school which was now going to emerge as a sixth form college. Changes like these were taking place all over the country at the time.

“So what’s it like then? Is it a lot different to our place?” Christine wanted to know. “Met any nice lads yet?” she grinned at them as she dunked a morning coffee biscuit in her tea.

“Huh, what kind of girls do you think we are?” Joanne replied in a snooty voice, her nose tipped in the air. “We’re there to get a good education we are!”

Christine glanced at her, dismissing her reply and turned to Maria.

“What about you? Have you seen anyone yet?” she persisted. “Or does Colin beat them all hands down?” she smiled slyly at her. Colin was someone who Maria had met during the summer holidays when she and her family had visited relatives in another part of the country. Maria had returned very smitten with him and they had exchanged a couple of letters since then. But he was older than she was and about to start at university in six weeks time.

“Oh no one will match up to Colin’s high standards,” Joanne teased. “He’s got the lot, looks, body and brains. How can you beat that?”

Maria shook her head at her and stuck out her tongue.

“Huh you can talk!” she retorted. “Poor Tom! Forgotten so soon! And him only gone back to America two weeks ago! Thought he was your hero with all the sighing you did when he went back home.”

Tom was one of twin cousins who had visited over the summer holidays, paying a call to Maria and her family. Her Dad and theirs were brothers and they had been over from Chicago in America visiting the “owld country” first in Ireland before coming to see other branches of their family in the north of England.

Joanne had developed quite a crush on him while he’d been there, falling for his tall, blue eyed, dark curly haired good lucks and his cheeky sense of humour. But nothing had come of it. All that remained now was a snatched photograph of him with his twin brother John.

Anthony, Maria’s brother teased them both mercilessly about their crushes and often threatened to tell them how they felt about them. They were both determined not to let slip this time if they did meet someone they liked at college.

Joanne laughed.

“Come on, you know nothing would ever have happened. I mean the distance for a start! And you said the same for Colin, if Birmingham is too far away, what does that make America?”

“We’re hopeless aren’t we?” laughed Maria as she took another biscuit out of the tin.

“You can say that again,” Christine laughed. “At this rate, you’ll still be sat here dunking biscuits in tea when you’re 25! You’ll have to get out more girls!” she scolded them, rolling her eyes.

“Oh belt up!” cried Joanne, whacking her one with a cushion. “We’re going to be career girls and make a load of money! That right Maria?”

“Yeah, that’s right!” Maria agreed, picking up another cushion and joining in. “We’ll be rich and famous before you know it. And you’ll have the husband and half a dozen kids snapping around your ankles!”

“And what’s all this then?” The door had opened without them hearing and Maria’s Dad stood looking at them, a half serious expression on his face. “What’s she done to deserve being thrashed with soft cushions? Your mother’s best soft cushions too?”

The three of them sat up sheepishly.

“Sorry Dad, but she deserved it! Telling us that we’re going to be old maids if we’re not careful!” Maria told him.

“I never said that!” cried Christine indignantly.

“No but that’s what you meant,” retorted Joanne. “She said we’d still be sat here when we’re 25 dunking biscuits!”

“Ah well now, there’s nothing wrong being an old maid of 25 if you can’t find a nice Catholic lad to settle down with,” replied Mr Jones, his Irish accent becoming more pronounced as he teased them. “She has her instructions from me and her mother what to look for in a lad. Only Catholic ones allowed in this house, isn’t that right Maria Dorothea?”

“Yes Dad,” replied Maria, blushing at the use of her full name.

Joanne giggled, knowing how much she hated her second name.

Mr Jones turned to her now and smiled.

“Ah now Joanne. I’m glad I’ve seen you today ‘cos there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you. How’s the canary doing that I gave you? Is she singing yet?”

“Like an angel,” replied Joanne smiling as Maria tried not to giggle too much.

“I’m glad to hear it,” replied Mr Jones. “If you have any problems with it, just speak up now won’t you?”

“Yes Mr Jones. But I think that it’ll be ok. Seems quite happy where it is.”

“Good. Good. Right now I’ll be off girls. Don’t hit Christine too hard with the cushions and be sure to keep the music down when you put it on. If Paddy will let you use his machine that is!”

Smiling he closed the door as he left the room.

“You’re going to have to tell him about that canary!” giggled Maria. “Singing like an angel!”

“Well it is doing, seeing as it’s up there with them,” Joanne giggled back to her. “I’ll let me Dad tell him the bad news when he sees him in the club!”

Maria’s Dad bred canaries, a hobby many miners had. He had an aviary at the bottom of the yard and kept them there. It was his way of relaxing when he wasn’t working at the pit. A couple of months previously he had given Joanne’s Dad one of them to replace their budgie which had died of old age. Sadly not long afterwards, the pet cat had got it and all that remained of Tweety Pie one morning was a couple of pale lemon feathers on the carpet that the family found when they got up. Joanne had been putting off the day when she would have to pass on the sad news to Mr Jones.

“Come on, let’s put some music on, before Paddy gets back from town,” said Christine, leaning over and pulling some records out of her bag. “I’ve brought some of mine round to play.”

“If we can,” said Maria. “I’ll have to check if the stylus is in it. That’s his latest trick at the moment to stop us using the record player. He takes it out and hides it. But I’ve found his hiding place so he can’t stop us.”

The record player belonged to her older brother Paddy and he was very particular about how it was used. To stop it being used while he was out, he had started to hide the stylus when he wasn’t there. Luckily today, it was in place.

“Look, I’ve brought that song ‘Ben’ Michael Jackson’s one over and I got the new Roberta Flack one “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” too,” she told them as they knelt on the floor and put them on.

“Oh I like that one, bit sad though isn’t it?” said Joanne. “I’ve got the Osmonds, “Down by the Lazy River” bit more lively.

“Yeah, we’ll put them on,” said Maria as she piled the records on. “Oh and we’ll have Argent too. Right that’ll be enough to start us with.”

She pulled the lever and the first record fell to the turntable, the arm going across to play it.

“I don’t think so,” said Paddy as he snatched the arm back. “I never said you could use this now did I?” he asked his sister.

“Hey watch it, you’ll scratch the record doing that!” cried Christine. “Don’t be so mean Paddy. You don’t want to use it.”

“I was out and now I’ve got back and I want to play what I want,” he said peevishly. “If anything is being played it’s this.” He took off the records they had chosen and replaced them with the one he’d come in with. The sounds of T. Rex drifted out and Maria and Joanne groaned.

“Not Marc Bolan! Not keen on him!” Maria complained.

“Tough, ‘cos that’s what’s being played,” her brother smirked at her. “Think we need to hear it a good few times to get the tune. And you lot had better clear out of here. Gormally is coming over after with Rolo. You can go upstairs.”

The girls looked at each other. They knew when to give up. Gormally and Rolo were two of Paddy's friends and just as annoying as he was.

Christine stood up and collected her records together, putting them back in their sleeves and into her bag. Joanne did the same and the three of them filed out of the room, leaving a grinning Paddy there.

“I’m sorry he’s spoiled it. I’ll see if Mum will have a word with him,” said Maria as they stood saying their goodbyes at the front door. “I could thump him at times,”

“I’ll help you,” offered Joanne. “With lads like that, I think dunking biscuits is a good alternative!”

“Seems like a good attractive option to me at the moment,” Maria agreed.

“See you tomorrow then? Usual time?”

“Yeah ok. Got to have a laugh somehow this weekend!” Maria said as she turned and went inside, T. Rex still playing loudly on the record player. “Boys!”
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:03 pm

Ooh I'll be back tonight to read this properly instead of just skimming through it now - they're making me actually work again Shock Roll Eyes

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:05 pm

Hids wrote:
Ooh I'll be back tonight to read this properly instead of just skimming through it now - they're making me actually work again Shock Roll Eyes

What a noirve! And at work too! Ok hun!
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:55 pm

I didn't realise you had started this yesterday, I'm going to read it tonight and then I'll be back with FB Grin

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:17 pm

Ohh nice start Tricia!! I'm intrigued to see how his develops.

I don't think the girls will have that attitude about boys for very long though Wink Laugh Laugh

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:36 pm

Ohla Wave

Not seen this until now, but I like it.. a lot!

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback Karen and Jo! Like I said, some of this is based on real life. Like the canary incident! That really did happen with my best friend's Dad when he gave us a canary! lol! Poor Tweety!

Thank you for reading ladies!
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:45 pm

Thanks again for reading Jo and Karen and my mystery peepers! Here's the next part now.

Chapter 3

The weeks went by and Joanne and Maria settled into their new daily routine at their college. They found the days and weeks passed by so quickly that before they knew it, it was already just a couple of days before half term. Most of their spare time was spent in studying, Joanne madly trying to prepare for her re sits in November.

“I’ll never be ready in time,” she wailed to Maria one morning as they sat in the college library. “And I must improve my grades if I want to go on to university and do my course there.”

“Don’t panic,” Maria tried to soothe her. “You worry too much and when you do that, you won’t be able to take in the information. Try to relax a bit, take a bit of time off and have a break. How about coming to the college disco this Friday night. It’ll do you good to have a change.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Joanne agreed after thinking about it. “I can always catch up a bit next week when we’re off on half term. Trouble is I’ve not got anything to wear! From one problem to another!”

“You can always borrow something of mine if you like,” Maria offered. “Come to mine tonight on the way home and lets see if we can find something for you. Ok?”

“Ok,” Joanne agreed reluctantly. It was highly unlikely that they would find anything for her as Maria was so slim. She herself wasn’t fat, being a size 12, but Maria was a 10 and a very svelte one at that. She looked at her friend now and thought that she seemed to have it all, the looks, the brains and the figure.

Life seemed so unfair at the moment. Her Dad had been off work for almost a year now. He had been ill and one of the results of the illness had left him with wasted muscles in his right arm. Being a builder by trade that meant that a lot of the work he did couldn’t be done. That meant that there wasn’t a lot of spare cash at home and for the last couple of weeks she had been looking for a Saturday job to do at weekends. The idea was that she’d be able to earn a little money and use it for things she wanted. Her mum was also working part time to help as well. Things were definitely tough at home and she couldn’t go in and ask for money for a night out at the disco. She still had a couple of pounds left from her birthday money in the summer and would be able to pay for her night out with that. She didn’t think she could stretch it to a new outfit for the disco as well.

That night on the way home from college they bumped into Christine. She had been on an errand for her mother after classes had finished that day and the three of them walked along home together.

“Have I got some news for you!” she grinned at Joanne and Maria. “You might find this especially interesting Joanne!”

“What? Go on, don’t keep us on tenterhooks, tell us!” Maria demanded. “What could be so interesting for Joanne and not for me?”

“Well me and some of the girls were chatting at dinnertime today and you know how it is, you start talking about one thing and then it leads to another?” she began, deliberately drawing the story out to tease them.

“Yes, and?” said Maria impatiently, trying to hurry her up. “What about it?”

“Well I was talking to Marion and she was telling me about a trip she’d been on with some friends from near where she lives. You’ll never guess who lives near her Joanne!” she teased again.

“Who? Who?” cried Maria eagerly. “Come on Christine, just tell us!”

“Well you know she lives in Crawford, just outside town? Guess who else lives there too?”

“Who? Who?” Maria repeated. “You can be so annoying at times you know Christine!”

“If you’re going to be like that I won’t tell you now,” said Christine, pretending to sulk. “You’ll never find out now!” she told them, folding her arms and marching ahead of them.

“Oh come on, you know I was only kidding,” said Maria as she put her arm across her shoulders. “But you do draw a tale out when you know we want to know!”

“She’s right you know, you do do that,” Joanne agreed with her, still wondering what this all had to do with her.

“You always agree with her don’t you?” said Christine, “ I bet you can’t wait to hear what I’ve got to tell you either can you?”

“Can’t say that I’m all that bothered to be honest,” said Joanne, trying to hide her curiosity. She hadn’t the faintest idea how anything Christine had to say could be of any interest to her especially with the conversation having started as it had.

“Ok, I’ll tell you both,” said Christine, realising she was in danger of killing their interest in what she had to say. “Well, as I was saying Marion comes from Crawford, outside of town. She belongs to some kind of musical group there and they have a good few members in it. Guess who one of them is?” she grinned at them. “You’ll never guess!”

“If we’ll never guess, then how about just telling us and getting on with it?” sighed Maria, getting bored now.

“Yeah just get on with it Christine,” said Joanne irritably. “We’re nearly at your house!” she said rolling her eyes.

“Harrison!” exclaimed Christine and looked straight at her. “Now I bet you never would have guessed that he had anything to do with it! What do you make of that eh?”

“Big deal, so what?” retorted Joanne as Maria grinned at her and nudged her. “So she knows Harrison! What do you want me to do about it?”

“Hang on, I’ve not told you everything yet,” said Christine, getting warmed up to her story. “They were talking the other night about all kinds of things, including college and the people they sort of knew. She knew that I had some friends who had started there and she mentioned your names to him.”

“So?” said Joanne, doing her best not to blush as Maria pointed at her.

“He said that he knew both of you or at least knew who you were. He has Maths with you doesn’t he Maria? And History with you,” she said nodding at Joanne.

“Yeah that’s right, and he’s in the same tutor group as Joanne as well,” Maria added.

“Yeah, she said,” Christine remembered. “Anyway, he thinks that you are the nicest girl in the History group and really likes you Joanne!” she concluded.

Maria laughed out loud at the expression on Joanne’s face.

“Ooh looks like you’re in with a chance there Joanne!” giggled Maria. “Oh you’ll have to go to the disco now on Friday, especially if we find out he’s going! Could be very romantic!”

“Right that’s it. I’m not going to any disco now!” said Joanne firmly, shaking her head.

“Why not?” asked Christine and Maria together. Christine shook her head. “I thought you’d be pleased to hear that!”

“You’ve got to go to the disco, don’t be daft!” said Maria.

“Not now, not knowing that you’ll be watching for me talking to him or seeing what I’m up to all the time. No way. And besides, I’ve told you, I’ve not got anything to wear.” Joanne suddenly felt that maybe the disco wouldn’t be a way of relaxing after all.

“At least you know he likes you,” said Maria encouragingly. “I don’t think his friend even realises I exist!”

“Oh he must do, don’t be daft,” said Joanne. “It’s just a matter of time. I’ve told you, I’ve seen him looking at you in the dining room, and in the study room. He does like you, it’s obvious.”

“Hmm by the sound of it you could both have boyfriends before very long,” Christine teased them. “Just one thing though Joanne. Marion did say that John had asked her out a couple of times and she’d turned him down. Told him she didn’t like him that way and to find someone else to take out.”

“Oh right,” said Joanne, feeling rather deflated at this extra information. That took some of the niceness away somehow. Like she was somehow only second best now.

“Well at least you know that he likes you,” Maria repeated, seeing her mood change. She shook her head at Christine and narrowed her eyes at her. She knew that Joanne didn’t have a lot of confidence when it came to boys. Christine had given her a boost only to take it away again.

“I was only trying to help,” said Christine as they reached her house. “Like Maria says, at least he’s noticed you.”

She turned and put her key in the lock and let herself into her house, telling them she’d see them at the weekend.

“Hmm, I bet she was trying to help,” muttered Joanne. “Sometimes I think she’s making fun of me.”

“Don’t be daft,” said Maria, linking her arm through her friend’s. “She wouldn’t do that. Come on, let’s go to my house and see if we can find something for you to wear on Friday.”

“No thanks. Not now. Anyway I’m not sure it would be such a good idea for me to go. I’m a bit short of cash at the moment. And Mum and Dad don’t have much to spare. Think I’ll give it a miss.”

“You’ve still got a couple of days to think about it. They’re still selling tickets for it at break. The offer still stands too about something to wear,” Maria told her. They turned into her street and Joanne walked on to her house alone.

‘Blast Christine. Why did she have to go and tell me that. What will I do the next time I see him? It’s bad enough as it is, liking him as much as I do.’ She sighed heavily and pushed her front door open. Yes perhaps it would be better to give Friday night a miss. She’d be too nervous now to enjoy it and besides knowing her luck, Maria would probably get asked to go to it with her John. Strange how the two of them had taken a liking to boys with the same name. Things could get very confusing!

Joanne decided that she wasn’t going to go to the disco. She knew that it would be a good night but after their chat with Christine, she’d been put off. In the end Maria got tickets for herself and Christine and the two of them had gone along together. They’d had a great time. Saturday night saw them in Maria’s house as usual, playing records that they had bought that afternoon in the Market Hall in town.

“I’m glad that you had a good time last night,” said Joanne. “Were a lot there?”

“Yes loads of people. Heaton was there and asked me to dance with him a couple of times. And the last one too,” Maria told her, a dreamy look coming over her face.

“Wasn’t just dancing she was doing either!” Christine grinned at her. “You should have seen her, the brazen hussy, snogging his face off!”

“It wasn’t as bad as that!” Maria objected, her face bright crimson. “Just a bit of a peck!”

“A bit of a peck!” laughed Christine. “You nearly wore his lips out!”

Joanne laughed as Christine received a hefty whack with the cushion like the week before.

“Oh yes, and we saw Harrison too!” Maria told her when she’d finished torturing Christine with the cushions. “He was there too. Didn’t do much dancing, spent most of the night talking to Gormally. He asked if you were with us too!”

Now it was Joanne’s turn to blush as Maria gave her this piece of information.

“Yeah, saw the famous Harrison!” Christine repeated with more of a sneer on her face than a smile. “Can’t say he was anything to write home about!”

“What do you mean by that?” asked Joanne, not understanding what she meant.

“Well I didn’t think he was anything special to be honest. Not at all what I expected after hearing you go on and on about him. Much preferred Heaton to him.”

“I don’t go on and on about him,” Joanne told her defensively. “I think he’s really nice anyway.”

“Well that’s all that matters then isn’t it?” Christine replied taking another biscuit out of the tine.

Joanne remained rather quiet for the rest of the evening, Christine once again having taken the shine of things for her. She was glad when the time came around for her to leave to go home. As she walked along, she decided to put her remarks down to the fact that maybe Christine was a little bit jealous of the fact that someone actually liked her. In future she wasn’t going to let her sniping upset her. She’d better things to think about.
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:51 pm

I'm not sure I like Christine very much Strop She seems a bit bitchy at times!!!

Why oh why didn't Joanne go to the disco?! Roll Eyes Oh well I'm sure her and Harrison will meet again soon Love Grin Laugh

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:56 pm

Hi Tricia Wave

I know you've got a lot going on at the moment but I wanted to know if you intend on carrying on with this fic?

I was enjoying what you had posted and I'm interested to find out how it develops...


Poke Grin Poke Grin

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:54 pm

Yes I am going to carry on with it Karen. The story is mapped out in my head but nothing is making it out of there to the word document at the moment. I've started the next chapter three times but have deleted in three times. It just won't go down. Nothing will at the moment. Sorry for the delay, but if I start something it will get finished! I hate not doing!

Thank you for the concern, means a lot. Kiss hug
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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:15 am

I'm pleased to hear you're carrying on with it!! I can wait as long as it takes Yes

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PostSubject: Re: Growing Pains   Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:43 pm

Managed to get a chapter done tonight. Hope it's ok!

Chapter 4

The next couple of weeks saw two important events take place.

The first of these was Parkinson’s announcement of a trip to France the following summer. He and the other teacher of Medieval History had decided to take a group of pupils to tour some of the places they had been learning about in their course. They would be staying in French youth hostels to keep the cost down and doing their own cooking on the trip. They would go in the college mini bus and drive around France for two and a half weeks. It was open to all taking the course.

At first, Joanne wasn’t sure that she would be able to go. She’d never been abroad before and didn’t even have a passport. Then there was the cost. All in all it would be about £100 plus pocket money and things she’d have to buy for the trip. She had over the half term to think about it.

For some it wasn’t a problem and even before they finished for half term, several people had said they would go for definite. Louis, Martin, Annie, Gormally and Harrison had all said that they would go. Julie, Yvonne, Paul, Steve and Carol like herself all needed to have a talk with their parents before they could say for sure.

“This just makes it even more important that I get a job soon,” Joanne told Maria as they made their way home that night. “There’s no way that I can go if I can’t help out towards the cost of it. I’ve still got a bit of birthday money that can be used and Christmas means that I’ll get some as presents off my nans. I’ll have to have a chat with Mum and Dad about it before I go back after half term.”

“I hope you will be able to go,” Maria said sympathetically. “If Harrison is going it would be too good an opportunity to miss. When would you be going?”

“During the summer holidays next year,” said Joanne. “It’s so long off isn’t it? I mean, I might not even like him by then!”

“Yeah right!” giggled Maria, “I know you! You’ll be just as mad about him then as you are now, don’t try and deny it!”

As she had expected, Joanne’s parents weren’t able to fund all of the trip but promised to give her half of what she needed. She was more than happy with this and on the first morning of her week off she was up bright and early to go into town and make a rounds of the shops, to see if anyone had any Saturday jobs going. Two hours later, she was back at home having had no luck. She’d left her name and address with half a dozen places who all promised to get in touch with her if anything came up.

Going into the house, Joanne hugged her Mum hello and went through to the kitchen to make a brew for them both.

“I nipped into town while you were out Joanne and I bumped into Gladys Jackson. You remember her?” her Mum asked as Joanne made their drinks.

Joanne vaguely remembered her. Gladys was someone she had met a couple of times when she’d been in town with her Mum. She had one of her front teeth filled with gold and it had always fascinated her for some strange reason, especially when she’d been younger!

“Yes well she and her husband Ken have a flower shop now in the centre of town, right opposite the station and we got chatting. I mentioned how you were looking for a Saturday job and she said they could use someone at the moment. Weekends it would be, Saturday and Sunday. She told me to send you down later on and have a chat with her. Are you interested?” she smiled at her.

“Yes of course I am!” cried Joanne, hugging her. “What time did she say? Would it be ok if I went now do you think?”

“Yes I suppose so love!” her Mum laughed back at her. “Watch out for my tea!”

Joanne quickly brushed her hair through and more or less ran back down into the town centre, only slowing down at the end of the street that the shop was on, to give herself a few moments to cool down before going into the shop. She smoothed her hair down, checking her appearance in the reflection of the shop windows as she came to the Flower Basket, the shop that Gladys and her husband owned.

Opening the door, she stepped inside the cool interior, all sorts of scents mingling together from the flowers on the stands.

A large red haired girl came over to greet her.

“Can I help you?” she asked her, smiling pleasantly. Joanne shook her head thinking that she looked familiar somehow.

“I’ve come to see Mrs Jackson,” she said. “She told my Mum that she was wanting someone to help in the shop at weekends.”

The lady behind the counter looked up from arranging flowers into a bouquet and smiled at her.

“Hello love,” she smiled at her, motioning for her to come a bit closer. “You must be Olive’s daughter Joanne then. You do look like your Mum you know!”

“Yes that’s right, I’m Olive’s daughter. She said that there might be a Saturday job for me here.”

“Yes that’s right love, Saturday and Sunday too! We get quite busy at the weekends you know. Janet could do with some help when Ken has a half day on Saturdays. Have you ever worked in a florists before?”

Joanne shook her head, she knew some flowers by name but not all of them.

“Oh well that doesn’t matter, you’ll soon get used to it. Janet will help you out, you’ll soon pick it up. Be here at nine on Saturday then. Make sure you have an overall and some thick socks on. The floor gets wet and the cold doesn’t half strike up! Can’t have too much heating on you see because of the flowers. Makes them open up and they don’t last as long then. So see you on Saturday then Joanne!”

Joanne left the shop with Janet smiling at her and nodding. “See you Saturday then.”

She couldn’t believe that she’d got herself a job! She would be able to go on the trip now and have some money left over to treat herself to one or two bits and pieces as well. She couldn’t wait to get back home to tell her Mum.

Before she knew it Saturday arrived and she made sure that she was at the shop right on time. Even at that time they seemed to be busy. Ken Jackson was there, bossing Janet around and helping Billy the delivery man to load the van with the bouquets that were to be delivered that morning. Ken was a big man, slightly balding and dressed in a dark blue suit. His podgy face was red with shouting and he looked down at her as she came and introduced herself to him. Janet stood just behind him, grinning at her in welcome.

“So you’re the new girl then?” he said to her. “Right first a test for you. How good brew do you make? I’m gasping for a cuppa. Janet show her where the brew things are and we’ll both have one eh?”

Janet led her into a small back room filled with wires and baskets and floats for the flower arrangements. She filled the kettle and made them both a drink as they finished putting some arrangements together for Billy to take out on his next run.

When their drinks were finished, she helped Janet to sort out some large boxes of flowers and put them out on display on the pavement outside of the shop. Their next job involved going to another shop to pick up some greenery and carry it back to theirs. People tutted and glared at them as they made their way back carrying two huge bundles of the stuff. It was what they used in bouquets and put into the selection of flowers that people chose when they came into the shop.

Soon dinnertime came around and Ken left the two of them together in the shop, saying he would be back in a couple of hours. Janet became much more chatty once he had gone and the two of them felt more relaxed. They sat together eating their lunch perched on high stools that kept them off the cold floor.

Joanne was getting used to the shop now and had even served one or two people who had come in. She was in the middle of serving another when she had to go outside and collect a bunch of daisies to go with a selection a customer was choosing. As she turned away from the display, she glanced across the road towards the station, just as a stream of people were coming through the barrier. Her eye was caught by a familiar tall figure as he came through the barrier. As she realised who it was, he also spotted her and a grin or recognition crossed his face. He raised his hand to wave at her and called “Hello” across the road. Joanne smiled back at him, her face turning red as she waved too. Harrison!

She bustled back into the shop, completely flustered at having seen him so unexpectedly, the cost of the flowers lost from her mind so she had to start reckoning up all over again. Janet saw her struggling and helped her.

“What happened?” she asked her. “You were doing so well then!”

“Just had a surprise that’s all!” Joanne tried to explain. “Saw someone I didn’t expect to see,” she said glancing at the clock to make a mental note of the time for future Saturdays!

Working here was going to have some nice benefits!
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