Like Cats And Dogs – Episode 21


Cally recounted Sheila’s call in as much detail as she could remember . . .

“Have you heard the latest?” Sheila had begun. “You know how Mrs Patterson introduced those exercise sessions to music in the playground before school?”

The primary school headmistress was very progressive and had read that getting the children moving before their school day began was beneficial both for their fitness and for their ability to learn throughout the day.

By all reports it had been a tremendous success. Disco music blasted over the playground from one of the school’s windows, and the whole playground rocked for 10 energetic minutes. Then it went quiet as the children filed in to begin their academic day.

“My Charlene loved it! And so did all her pals,” Sheila had gone on. “But now someone’s complained about the noise and Mrs Patterson has been ordered to stop. It’s such a shame. I don’t see what harm it was doing. There’s always someone who wants to spoil things, isn’t there?”

“It really is a shame,” Cally said now to Tim. “I’ve passed the playground when it’s in full swing and the kids were having a ball.”

“And no-one knows who placed the complaint?” he asked.

“Nope. It was an anonymous call to the council, Sheila said. Just like the one about your kennels.”

“And again it’s someone complaining about noise. Do you think it’s someone new in town? Or has one of your neighbours suddenly developed super-sensitive hearing?”

Cally shook her head.

“No idea. Anyway, you said you’ve got someone coming at eleven-thirty? Not that I’m throwing you out, but you’d better make a move.” She indicated the clock on the wall and Tim got to his feet.

“No rest for the wicked.” As he moved to the door, he dared to ask what was on his mind.

“Have you seen much of Ged lately?”

She looked surprised, and a gentle blush pinked her cheeks.

“Not really. I popped into the pub for a drink with Sheila last week and he was behind the bar as usual, but apart from that, no. Though I’ve heard on the grapevine that he’s seeing someone new.”

“And how do you feel about that?” Tim pressed.

Cally laughed.

“I’m not bothered. I told you, it wasn’t that kind of relationship.”

Their eyes had locked, and there was a moment of delicious tension sparking between them.

“Well, I’d better get back.” He paused, his fingers wrapped round the door handle. “I’ll come over and give you a hand later, if you like. And then maybe we could go out for dinner? If you’ve not got anything else on, that is.”

The smile lit up her eyes.

“I’d love that. See you later then?”

“See you later,” he echoed, and as he clambered into his car and drove back to the kennels, he was whistling cheerfully between his teeth. He met his own gaze in the rear-view mirror.

“She could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you, Timbo. Whatever you do, don’t mess this one up.”

****

“How are things?” Sheila placed heavy emphasis on the last word so that Cally was left in no doubt that all she wanted to hear about was her budding romance with Tim.

“Things are fine,” she said, as she pulled out the seat opposite her friend in the little coffee shop.

They had bumped into each other in the main street and, with a bit of time to spare before Marna expected her back, Cally had been more than happy to agree to a catch-up.

Sheila waited till they’d got their coffees and a sultana scone each before she pressed on.

“So, is it serious?”

“Give us a minute, Sheila!” Cally laughed. “It’s only been a few weeks!”

It was five weeks since that first dinner date, which had been easy and relaxed and exciting, and Cally knew she was falling hard. And she had the feeling it was just the same for Tim.

He seemed to want to see her as often as she did him, and they were dating three or four times a week.

“We laugh at the same stupid stuff and watch the same rubbish on TV, but he’s a book buff, too.”

Cally loved her novels; she and Sheila had set up a little book group with three of their friends.

“He did a lot of reading when he was overseas with the Army. He’s so interesting – when he gets talking about all the places he’s been, I could listen to him for hours.”

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one aspiring tip to new writers is to “write from your imagination”.