Strike Up The Band – Episode 24

“There was a phone call for you about an hour ago, Bethany,” her mother told her as she arrived home. “Someone called Des. He asked if you could ring him back.”

Bethany took the number and stared at it. She knew what this would be about Des trying to arrange a date with her. She’d been thinking about this and a plan was forming in her mind.

“Is it someone you know?” Diane asked, probing for more information.

“Remember Des who looked after Grandad when he was taken poorly at the band contest in Saddleworth?” Bethany reminded her. “You saw him at the hospital.”

“Oh, of course. A nice lad. So, you’re going out with him, are you?” Diane’s eyes were gleaming. “Is he someone special?”

“Someone desperate,” Mizzy said rudely as she slunk downstairs. Bethany ignored her.

“No, not really,” she told her mother. “I mean, he’s nice enough and I like him, but I know someone who likes him more,” she finished mischievously, thinking of her friend, Rachel.

“Hi, Bethany,” Des Davies’s voice said when she returned his call. “I’ve got tickets to see the Halle orchestra in Manchester tonight. A client gave them to me. I was wondering if you’d like to come with me?”

“That would have been nice, Des,” she said non-committally, “but I’ve already arranged to go out. But rather than see your tickets go begging, I know who would love to go with you. Remember Rachel who was with me at the caf?”

“Yes, of course,” Des said warmly. “She plays the euphonium.”

That was a good sign!

“She just loves classical music. And I know she’s free tonight. Would you like her number?”

“You think she’d like to come with me?” Des asked doubtfully.

“I’m sure she would,” Bethany assured him, smiling to herself. “Here’s her number.”

Hoping her plan had worked, Bethany waited a little while and then phoned her friend.

“Well?” she asked.

“Bethany Douglas, just what are you up to?” Rachel demanded.

“Never mind all that are you going?”

“Well, yes, I am. If you’re honestly not interested in

him . . .” Rachel said tentatively.

“He’s nice, but he’s really not my type,” Bethany insisted. “And you seemed to get on so well with him.”

“Is there someone else you’re interested in?” Rachel probed. “Why don’t you tell me?”

Thoughts of Ellis came flooding into Bethany’s mind. She’d have liked to confess her feelings to her friend, but now wasn’t the right time.

“We’ll see,” she said. “Best of luck tonight.”

So for once on a Saturday she would spend a night in front of the television with her family. At least it would give her a chance to tackle that pile of ironing.


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