It was Monday morning. I was confused. I was sitting in the office and very confused.
The girl-boy seminar had been a great success, that's true. But why had I got a funny feeling in my stomach? Everyone told me how good it was, the teachers and the girls, though I think the girls found the boys more interesting.
But I had discovered (or had been told about) so many girl-girl relationships in our school. No, there couldn't be so many. And why was I interested in boys? And where was Miss Scunthorpe? I was confused.
I phoned Mr Cricklewaite at the boys' school to discuss the speakers for the next seminar. I went hunting for Miss Scunthorpe. No luck. Everyone told me how good the seminar was. I reminded everyone that it was Miss Stiltoe's idea.
But no Miss Scunthorpe. I asked Catherine to take the sports lessons. No problem and weren't the boys nice and a big mauling.
Back in the office I was still confused.
The seminar was a great success. So why am I unhappy?
I'm interested in boys. This is new!
I'm still interested in girls. But where is Miss Scunthorpe?
Why is Miss Pringold staring at me? I don't like it.
Miss Haroyd is standing in the corner. Cus Miss Pringold ignores her.
I'm unhappy. I'm confused. What to do?
Go and see Cook! Perhaps Miss Scunthorpe was visiting her sister, but unlikely on a Monday. Cook looked at me sadly. “Ask Miss Pringold!”
“Miss Pringold, I have asked Catherine to take the sports lessons today. Miss Scunthorpe is...”
“Jennffer, you can forget Miss Scunthorpe. She left this morning on the train for a new position at the school at the other end of the country. You bought the ticket, don't you remember?”
“You tricked me, Miss Pringold. You told me that the ticket was for Miss Haroyd.”
“Miss Scunthorpe has gone. She knew who bought the ticket. Forget her! She was never good enough for you, sweet little Jennffer. Come to me and I will put my arms around you and tell you sweet little things. Oh yes, you and me.”
I stared at her. What did the silly cow want? Miss Haroyd was standing in the corner, rocking backwards and forwards.
Miss Pringold dropped to the floor and hugged my legs. “I want you, I need you, Jennffer. Please say you love me, please.” Miss Haroyd was banging her head against the wall.
“No, Miss Pringold. You lose! Anywhere Miss Scunthorpe goes I go. Anywhere I go Miss Scunthorpe goes.”
Miss Pringold hugged my legs. “I need you, I love you, Jennffer. Please!” Miss Haroyd was banging her head hard against the wall.
Suddenly Miss Scunthorpe ran into the room. “I had to come back. I had to be with you. I never got there. I have to be with you, Jennffer.”
I pulled a leg free and kicked Miss Pringold in the side of the head. I liked it. I kicked her harder. I'd never done that before.
“Stand up, Miss Pringold! And listen to me. You will never get the better of me. I have beaten you once. I was the one who persuaded the teachers and the governors to choose the new gym. I have beaten you twice, Miss Scunthorpe is back here with me.”
“Stand up, Miss Pringold! Go to your desk, pick up the phone, dial the school at the other end of the country and tell them that Miss Scunthorpe is not coming, never. Just do it!”
I didn't care if she rang that school or the talking clock – Miss Pringold was beaten. But what about poor Miss Haroyd? She was hurting herself.
“Miss Haroyd, stop doing that! I've got a job for you. Run to the school gates and bring back the big chain and padlock. Go for it!” Surprise, surprise, she did it.
Miss Pringold made the phone call, Miss Scunthorpe stared at me and Miss Haroyd came running back with the big chain and padlock.
“Miss Haroyd, wind the chain around Miss Pringold and yourself!” Oh, she liked that. “Wind it very tight! And now the padlock.” I pushed the two of them onto the sofa.
Suddenly Miss Stiltoe entered the room. “What's all the noise? What's going on?”
Miss Stiltoe stared at Miss Pringold and Miss Haroyd on the sofa. Miss Scunthorpe took fright and ran out of the room.
“Jennffer, please run after Miss Scunthorpe, she didn't look too happy.” Funny, that was the first time that Miss Stiltoe had said the word please to me. I ran out the room, I guessed that Miss Scunthorpe had gone to her car in the school yard.
Then it hit me! What had I done? I had hit the head teacher, twice. I had chained up the head teacher. I was going to be thrown out of the school for certain. And worse than that, I had lost my loved one, Miss Scunthorpe knew I only liked boys. What a failure! Give up now!
Miss Scunthorpe was sitting in her car. I stood in front and yelled “Just drive over me! I'm worthless. Just finish me off. The world and you don't need someone like me.” I dropped to the ground. The end must be soon.
Miss Scunthorpe got out of her car “What did you say, Jennffer?” She opened the back door, picked me up, put me on the back seat and drove off.
Oh, she was taking me to the dump for useless people. I would just rot away and she could forget about me. I had deserved it.
She drove to High Cliff. Oh, she was going to throw me over the edge. I had deserved it.
She stopped, lifted me out and put her arms round me. “Jennffer, you are wonderful. You are my hero.”
“I have been very silly. I don't know why I let Miss Pringold persuade me to go to the school at the other end of the country. She said that I had no future at Uffetton. Why did I not speak to you first. I got halfway there and then I came back. I had to see you and my motor car is here.”
“Jennffer, you are wonderful. You are my hero. I loved the way you kicked Miss Pringold. Twice! I loved the way you told Miss Pringold what to do. I loved the way that stupid pair chained themselves together.”
“Jennffer, you poor thing. You are absolutely drained. I can see it. You have been working too hard. You have done so much for the school and the girl-boy-project. You have so many responsibilities. You have given your best.”
“We are going to sit together on the bench and watch the sun go down. I will drive you home, cook you something real nice, feed you with a spoon and hold you all night long.”