Champions Part 15

  “Patricia,” she said, “we know how hard it is on you to have to play wearing a skirt. We also appreciate the way that you’ve tried to make yourself look like a girl so that there won’t be any questions asked. With that in mind all the girls have clubbed together to get you something that might help you a little bit more. It will also serve as a reminder to you of this weekend when everything is over.” With that she handed me a tiny box and when I opened it I saw that it contained a set of stud, pearl clip on earrings. I didn’t know what to say and just muttered some thanks and what I was doing was nothing. Grace chimed in and offered to help me put them on and while she was doing so someone from the front of the bus shouted. “Let’s hear it for Patricia!” and they all gave me a rousing three cheers, which in the confines of the bus was deafening. After that they all went back to their seats and the journey continued rather more quietly. As I was looking at the world passing by through the window I became aware of Grace’s hand resting on my leg. Ever so slowly it moved up my leg, under my skirt and began to stroke my most private area. This action obviously had an electrifying effect on me but thankfully it didn’t last. Suddenly she withdrew her hand, patted my skirt back into place and with a mischievous smile whispered into my newly bejewelled ear, “maybe later on.” 

I shuffled about on my seat, feeling a little embarrassed when Grace began to speak again. “Hey I’ve just had a thought, I’ll bet you’re glad that the netball finals aren’t played during next term instead of this one.” “Oh, why?” “Because if they were you wouldn’t be sitting here wearing a skirt you’d be wearing one of those awful school dresses.” At the start of the summer term the girls forsook their pleated skirts and blazers and replaced them with red and white gingham dresses and cardigans. I knew that none of the girls like the dresses but having seen pictures of the girls wearing them I couldn’t see what the problem was after all they were girls and girls wore dresses didn’t they? The dresses were made from cotton and had a full skirt that flared from the waist, at the neck was a little collar trimmed with lace and the arms had little sleeves cut off mid way between the shoulder and elbow. The girls loathed these dresses with a passion and had been campaigning to get them re-styled, so far without success. I could see that for the older girls the dresses were a bit childish but I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. During the winter term all the girls were given a project in their needlework classes to make themselves two dresses each ready for the onset of the summer term. Any attempt to stray from the approved pattern such as using less material for the skirt to cut down the amount of flare or dropping the waistline were all too quickly discovered by the needlework teachers and the guilty party was made to put things right in her own time. Even shortening the skirt didn’t really help because all it did was make the dress look more childish on the wearer. “I think I’d like to see you in one of those,” Grace giggled.

    The journey took  an hour and when we finally stopped in a crowded car park Sister Wendy began to give us our instructions. We were told that each pair would be given a slip of paper with the name of the family who would be looking after us printed on it. After the formalities in the large building we were parked near were completed we were to collect our cases from the bus and then proceed with both sisters to find our allotted family a representative of which would be holding a name card. Only then were we to break up from the group. Someone asked where the sisters would be staying and were told that they would be spending their time as guests at a local convent. We followed the nuns into the hall, which was full of little groups of schoolgirls each resplendent in their individual school uniforms. All manner of hue and colour seemed to be represented, blues, greys, reds, and greens, each group being shepherded by two or three adult ‘minders’. As the lights dimmed an unseen announcer introduced one of the three personages sitting on the raised platform who turned out to be Lord somebody or other, his name escapes me. He went on to bore us for twenty minutes with a speech about fair play and it was not being the winning that mattered but the taking part. The next speaker, a lady was introduced as the championship umpire who would be the point of contact should any problems occur during matches. She explained the format of play; there were thirty two teams, which had been divided into eight groups of four. The next day each team in a group would play a match against each other teams in the group. The winner of each group would go forward to the following day where they again would be divided into two groups of four teams. 

The winners and runners up from each group would go forward to the final day when the winner of each group would play each other for the championship and the runners up would play for third place. The third person on the platform explained what was to happen to us when we were not involved in netball. She repeated Sister Wendy talk about how to find our allotted families and asked everyone to be on their best behaviour. She then explained that, that evening we would be brought back here to be served a special dinner which was to be followed by some entertainment and then a disco. The next two evenings we were to be looked after by our individual carers and on Sunday, after the final match presentations we were to depart for home. Grace had the slip with our family’s name on and after we had retrieved our cases we proceeded round the rear of the building where they were all standing to await their individual charges. “We need to look for Mr. and Mrs. Wilson” whispered Grace. We realised that all the people were standing, more or less in alphabetical order and as the fist name we saw read ‘York’ we knew that we weren’t far away. Suddenly Grace pulled at my arm and pointed to an elderly grey haired man who was holding up a card with the name ‘Wilson’ printed on it.

 
oldgrumpy oldgrumpy
51-55, M
1 Response Sep 12, 2012

Hmmm. An elderly gent, eh?