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Amelia

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“Oh darling do you really have to go? You know how much I’ll miss you.” I say.

I hate it whenever Judy has to go away for work. It wasn’t like it was for a week, it was 6 months! The joys of being an actress she says. Still her money pays the bills, I just carry on teaching because I enjoy it so much. I couldn’t even think of retiring right now!

My first day as a fully qualified teacher. I’m excited but nervous. What if the kids don’t like me? What if I couldn’t control the class? I take a deep breath. Come on Amy you can do this.

I get in my car and put some music on. Good old ELO! I can always rely on Jeff and the gang to cheer me up. I turn the volume up full blast and start singing along. Then I don’t feel so nervous any more. I can do this.

“Oh Mike, I’ll miss you too but the months will fly by! Besides, you’ll be busy at work anyway. Start of a new term and all. You’ve got that new girl starting today haven’t you?” Says Judy.

“Yes, newly qualified so I’m taking her under my wing. Not sure what to expect!” I say.

Judy puts her hand on my face and smiles.

“Well I’m sure you’ll be brilliant with her. Your wealth of experience will really help her!” says Judy.

The traffic seems more busy than usual but I don’t mind. I’m too busy enjoying the music! I hope Mr Preston is nice, the Head Teacher of the school. I had heard good things about him, he’d mentored many a new teacher over the years. He knows more about teaching than anyone. Fingers crossed he doesn’t think my methods of teaching are too modern…

“Anyway my dear, I have to go. I’ll phone you when I get there!”

She kisses me goodbye and gets into the taxi. I did want to take her to the airport but she doesn’t want me to be late on my first day back at work after the summer holidays. I go back into the house and pick up the books and documents I need for the working day, put them on the passenger seat and head for work.

When I reach the traffic lights, I can see a bright purple car waiting to turn right, towards the school. The driver seems to be enjoying herself, I hear the music from here! Sounds like ELO? I have to admit the girl has taste. She is singing her heart out to whatever song is playing. I can’t help but smile. Before I know it, she turns into the road and I’m still stuck on red.

I manage to park okay at the school and head for reception. The receptionist looks to be in her mid-60s, definitely ready to retire! She glances up from her desk and examines me, scans me up and down. Well she seems a delight…

“Yes, can I help you?” She says coldly.

She probably thinks I’m one of the parents…

“Yes, I’m the new teacher, Miss Fairbourne?” I say.

Her demeanour changes, she starts to smile. Maybe she just doesn’t like dealing with parents? I suppose they can be a pain from time to time.

“Oh yes of course, now Mr Preston hasn’t arrived yet. He should be here soon though so if you’d like to wait in his office and when he gets here I’ll let him know you’re here.” She says with a smile.

“Oh lovely, thank you. Where is Mr Preston’s office?”

“Turn right, carry on a little bit and it’s on your left.” She says.

I eventually find his office and I’m impressed by how organised and tidy it is. All the paperwork in the relevant folders, a bookcase, on the desk it has school pictures of his kids and a picture of his wife. I look again at the photo. I know her face! Wow Mr Preston married an actress! I think her name is Judith Earnshaw? Very good actress actually. He must be loaded!

I get into school just about on time, hope the new teacher hasn’t been waiting too long for me! Better go and find out…

I scan through the titles of the books he has in the bookcase. The typical classics such as David Copperfield, Ulysses, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream my favourite Shakespeare play. He certainly has good taste!

 “Good morning Mr Preston.” Says Mrs Turner.

“Morning Mrs Turner, good holiday?”

“Yes it was good to get some sun on the skin! You?”

“Well I joined Judy for a few days in Italy whilst she was on a break from filming. Has the new teacher shown up yet?”

“Oh yes, I sent her to your room. She hasn’t been waiting long!”

“Oh great, thanks Mrs Turner!”

I don’t know what I was expecting Mr Preston to look like but he certainly isn’t the fuddy duddy I imagined. His hair is black (definitely dyed!) though you could see small tints of grey, his expression warm and welcoming, his eyes a hazel colour. He definitely dresses like a Head Teacher, he wears a shirt and tie, sweatshirt on top and a tweed jacket, showing his age.

She’s sat there ever so proper with her pencil skirt, white blouse and blazer. She turns round and I realise she’s the girl I saw singing in the car. I didn’t see her face properly before because the car windows were slightly tinted. Her hair is medium length, brown in colour and wavy. Like she’d just come back from a walk on the beach. Sun kissed. Her eyes a dazzling chocolate colour with a tint of green. Bloody hell she’s beautiful.

I feel at ease when I see him. I think I’m going to learn a lot from him…

He shuts the door behind him and smiles.

“Hello, you must be the new teacher, I’m Mr Preston, Head Teacher but you can call me Mike.” He says.

“Hi Michael, you don’t mind if I call you that? Michael’s such a nice name as well. I’m Miss Fairbourne, Amelia Fairbourne but most people call me Amy.” I say.

I couldn’t think of the last time I’d been called Michael, probably when I’d done something wrong! She’s different, it didn’t sound wrong when she said Michael. Her voice is intelligent and seductive, it draws me in. God what am I saying? She’s old enough to be my daughter! I hardly know anything about her. I have to be professional.

 

I swear he blushed slightly when I compliment his name. I bet he gets called Mike by everyone, would be a nice change for him.

“Since most people call you Amy then I’ll call you Amelia.”

Amelia, Amelia, like a name in a fairy-tale or am I just quoting Doctor Who? Pretty just like her. I’ve never felt this way about a woman since I’ve been with Judy. She was special then work got in the way for both of us and distance became a barrier.  Suppose that’s what 25 years of marriage does to you, you become complacent, you don’t make the effort as much anymore. There’s still a small spark between us but we don’t have fun like we used to.

She flushes when I call her Amelia, like me I don’t think she’s used to being called by her full name!

“Oh okay, that’s fine!”

“Right let’s get down to business! For this school year, I’m gonna start you off with the Reception Class. The kids in there are reasonably well- behaved so nice and easy for you. Have you got much experience in that year?”

“A little bit yes, I mostly had placements in Key Stage 1.”

“Well I’m sure you’ll be fine. So what I’m going to do is for the first couple of weeks is observe your teaching just to see where you are now. Then every Friday after school we’ll have a meeting to discuss how you’re finding it, evaluate your teaching such as what you’re doing well and what you can do to improve. I’m also interested in how you plan lessons and how you deal with troublesome kids.”

He gives me a document. Looks a little bulky but I’m sure it’s important.

“This is a document detailing the curriculum for Reception children. Plan your lessons around this but don’t bombard the children with too much information. Kids of that age don’t have a very high attention span! Make learning fun, that’s the most important part.”

I’m looking forward to observing her lessons, I’m intrigued what her lesson style is like. I can imagine her being fun but firm. She’s listening so intently to everything I’m saying. I’m surprised she isn’t taking notes! She obviously wants to make sure everything goes perfect today. She must be so nervous poor thing.

“Right I think that’s everything so I’ll show you to your classroom, the kids should be arriving soon! How you feeling about it?”

“Want me to be honest? I’m bloody terrified but I’m looking forward to it. It’s my dream job and I’m grateful you’re willing to mentor me.” She says with a smile.

He has this way of calming me down, maybe it’s the tone of his voice, patient and understanding that makes me feel more confident. More importantly he makes me smile and it had been a few years since a man has done that…

Her smile is infectious, like a ray of sunshine. The kids will love her, I just know it. She’s got a certain charm to her character, I can’t put my finger on it. All I know is that I want to get to know her better.

“That’s okay Amelia, I’m always here to help. Many years ago I was in the exact same shoes as you, who knows? In a few years time you could be the Head Teacher of this very school, once I’ve retired of course which won’t be any time soon!” I say with a wink.

Mr Preston leads me to the classroom, it already feels like I belong. I imagine all the fun sessions I would be having with the children. Teaching them arithmetic, reading, writing, art, history, all the subjects I loved at school when I was their age. The only thing I wasn’t looking forward to was teaching P.E. Hated it with a passion when I was at school. Except when we played Badminton or went swimming.

“I’ll just sit at the back of the classroom, you won’t even know I’m there!” said Mr Preston.

The kids come in and are very welcoming towards her. A bit energetic but it’s to be expected on the first day back.

The kids soon come in and though they seem very hyper, they are pleasant enough. Although Mr Preston had given me details of the correct curriculum for reception kids, I already had a good amount of knowledge on what they should be learning. I first introduce myself and then get the whole class to say their names and their hobbies.

I can tell straight away that the kids love her. They listen to what she’s telling them with great interest and is praising and correcting the kids in the appropriate way. There isn’t really much I could tell her to improve on. To be truthful, sometimes it’s hard not to be taken in by her extraordinary beauty. God damn it Mike pull yourself together, you’re married for God’s sake…

I start off with a fairly easy lesson of learning basic maths and writing skills. I can see in the corner of my eye Mr Preston making some detailed notes. Is that a good thing? I just carry on as normal.

She really has the makings of a great teacher. I just wish I could find out more about her personally. I know she’s into ELO but what are her other interests? Does she have a boyfriend? With her magnetic personality and beauty, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s got one… What are her family like? So many questions, I couldn’t ask her too many questions about her personal life, don’t want her to get the wrong idea…

Considering it’s the first day of term, the kids seem eager to learn and I follow Mr Preston’s advice of not loading their brains with too much information.

It’s after the children have had their lunch that they may prove a bit of a challenge for her but I’ll see how she copes. I just worry that they’ll be too much for her and she won’t know what to do about it. Don’t want her panicking… Wow I didn’t know I cared so much about her.

Course I care about my staff, especially if they’re new to the job. I’m a helpful person.

Lunch soon came and I’m worried about how Mr Preston was finding my teaching. I want to make a good impression.

“You’re doing really well so far. How about you have lunch with me in my office and we can discuss things a bit more?”

“That sounds great!”

“So how did you find your first morning as a teacher?”

“Oh I loved it! The kids were very well behaved! I think they like me!”

“I think they do too. Though don’t expect them to be so well behaved once they come back from lunch!”

“Oh no, I know kids get very hyper after eating food. I’ll sort them out if they get cheeky.” Amelia says with a wink.

“I’m sure you will. Anyway what does Amelia Fairbourne do in her spare time?”

“Do housework, go out with friends to the pub and occasionally go on nights out. What about you?”

“Oh I’m a boring old fart really, the kids are grown up so they do their own thing and Judy’s away working, so most of the time I’m doing work, watching the television, might occasionally go to the pub.”

“Aw Michael you need to get out more, as much as having your own space is good, you’ll drive yourself mad if you’re in your own company too much, that’s what it gets like for me sometimes.”

“So you live in that house on your own?”

“Yeah been living there for about six months now. The house is lovely enough but I just wish it was a nicer area. Now since I’ve got this job that pays a lot more, I’m hoping to move to a different area. Preferably somewhere that’s closer to the school.”

“So is it a bit of a distance to get to work every day?”

“Takes about half an hour or so depending on traffic really. I don’t mind the journey too much.”

“I suppose a bit of ELO can make the journey a lot more bearable right?” He said with a smirk.

“How do you—oh you saw me singing in the car this morning didn’t you?”

I go bright red. A good first impression to make Amy, not.

She looks so cute when she blushes. I have this urge to comfort her, tell her that I found it funny, it’s one of those traits that I find attractive. Oh god I can’t say that! It’s not appropriate.

“Well it certainly made my morning! I was impressed by your knowledge of ELO because of your young age. How old are you if you don’t mind me asking?”

“25. Yeah I like a lot of old music stuff like The Beatles, Kate Bush and David Bowie. I feel I was born in the wrong era, it’s down to my parents, they’re probably about your age. Since you asked me how old I was, how old are you?”

In some ways I don’t want to tell her my age, she might think I’m really old. Oh get over yourself Mike, what makes you think she’d ever be interested in you? Why am I even contemplating this? I’m a married man! Though most of the time I don’t feel married, my wife spends most of the year filming. I’m surprised she even still loves me, she only spends half the year with me…

“I’m 48, my kids are a bit younger than you, Tom’s 22, hasn’t long graduated from uni and Leah has just turned 18. They’re great kids, I’m very proud of them.”

“Yes I thought you were proud of them, your desk has got their pictures on them. You must be proud of your wife too, her being an actress and all.”

His age sort of surprises me, to me he only looks in his early forties. Maybe he moisturises really well!

I’m surprised she even knows who Judy is, Judy wasn’t a really famous actress, she was known more for her television work. Though all this filming she was doing lately was hopefully going to help her break into the film industry.

Can’t believe I’m having to coax Michael to talk about his wife! I sense some marital strife… It must be tough for him her being away a lot. He really needs some company. Maybe I should take him out somewhere? Or would that be weird? I mean he’s old enough to be my dad… I just can’t help but feel sorry for him.

“Oh yeah I’m very proud, just wish I saw her more. I like ambition in a woman of course but I dunno, I get so lonely sometimes.”

“Don’t worry I feel the same. I won’t bore you with all the details but I used to live with my ex in the house I’m in now and he was working away a lot and no matter how much I texted him or phoned him, it didn’t make the situation any easier. Anyway that wasn’t the reason we broke up.”

I sense something dark in her past. I’m intrigued but I can’t pressure her to talk to me about it. She’s obviously not ready to open up to me yet. After all, only when the personal conflicts with work it’s a cause for concern.

I wasn’t quite ready to tell Michael about what happened with Jack, all the emotions were still raw. Besides which, I hardly know the man. But I did want to be there for him, when he was feeling lonely. I didn’t want to say this to Michael but I suspected Judith’s reason for being away so much isn’t just down to filming commitments… He really deserves better. 

 “Well as long as you’re happy now, that’s all that matters. Must be hard running a household on your own though.”

“Yes especially when my job wasn’t very well paid. I worked mostly part time and had to ask for overtime too. Oh well that’s exes for you…”

The poor girl really has been through so much, I hope no man ever treats her like that again. She deserves so much better…

It’s nice when someone really listens to what you’ve got to say, he’s such a sweet man. He’s so easy to talk to.

“I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through that, hopefully you’ll find someone who really appreciates you.”

Why do I want that person to be me? Do I really think that low of my marriage? I don’t know, I just have this uncontrollable urge to protect her from harm. Though I get the feeling, she doesn’t need much protecting. I think she can fight her own corner if necessary…

“Maybe, one day.”

Lunch soon finished and I’m dreading the state the kids will come back in. They are evidently full of beans but I can handle them. I carry on with some more basic maths and set some work solving some word problems.

After a few minutes of setting the work, I can see one of the kids is struggling.

“You okay there Bella?”

“No Miss, I don’t know what to do with this question.”

“That’s okay, now let’s have a look at this question.”

I see how helpful and patient she’s being with one of the children. She really was born to be a teacher…

I felt quite proud that I helped little Bella, I can see maths is going to be a struggle for her. Well I never found maths very easy…

“Right class, now if you put your workbooks at the end of your table, I’ll collect them in at the end. We’re gonna end today with a nice story!”

“Urgh I hate stories!” pipes up one child.

“What is it that you don’t like about stories Matthew?”

“Reading’s boring!”

Oh no we’ve got an opinionated child, how’s Amelia going to deal with this?

Ah there’s always one… Time to give this little smartarse a lecture in the importance of reading…

“Do you know how important it is to learn how to read? Reading helps you understand how to do something, improves your imagination, if you can’t read you’ll find it very difficult to get a job in the future…”

“I suppose so Miss.” Matthew says grudgingly.

I have a small smirk on my face that certainly shut him up!

I was right about her being able to defend herself! Oh she’s adorable, what a remarkable young woman.

I read the kids a story and they all really enjoy it, even Matthew did! I can’t believe how fast the day has gone and it’s gone pretty perfectly!

“You did really well today Amelia even when you had a mouthy child! You handled that brilliantly. You really have a way with children. I’m very proud of you.”

She goes bright red again. For someone who gives the impression she’s very confident, she gets embarrassed really easily. It’s kinda cute.

Why does he make me blush so much? Maybe I’m not used to so many compliments. I’ve never met a man like him.

“Thank you Michael, I’m really pleased how today has gone. It’s gone better than I anticipated!”

We start walking towards the car park. In some ways I didn’t want to leave her, we’d both be going back to our shared loneliness.

“Well don’t expect it to be like that every day! Teaching is certainly a rollercoaster!”

“I gathered that but I can deal with the ride!” Amy says with a wink.

I rummage through my handbag and find my car keys.

“I love the colour of your car Amelia, certainly suits your personality!”

“Thanks, haven’t had her very long but she’s a dream to drive.”

Chapter Text

We go our separate ways and I just can’t seem to get her off my mind. I get home and just as I sit down on the sofa, Judy calls me.

“Hello Mike, sorry I didn’t call earlier, I didn’t want to call whilst you were at work. How’s it been today with the new teacher?”

Amelia’s pretty face comes into my head, why does she have this effect on me?

“That’s okay dear, it has been a very busy day! Oh very good actually, certainly has the potential of being a great teacher!"

Once I get back home, I get all the marking out of the way. These kids are undoubtedly smart! I better ring my mother…

“Hi Mum, how’s your day been?”

“Oh you know so-so. More importantly how’s your day been? The kids haven’t been too much of a pain have they?”

“Oh well that makes your job easier darling! We’ve got a lot of filming done today actually, so it’s been quite a productive day for both of us!”

“That’s good, make sure you have a good rest tonight!”

“No, overall the kids were really good and so bright! Course I had one gobby child but I soon put him in his place!”

“Good on you Amy, very proud of you. So what’s this mentor like? Hope he’s being patient with you!”

Actually he’s pretty wonderful. He’s the type of teacher I want to become.

“Oh Mike you’re such a worrier! How long have I been doing this job?”

“Ooh nearly 26 years?”

“Trust me darling I know the importance of sleep! Anyway dear, I’ve got to go, I’ll speak to you in the next few days.”

I’d forgotten how much I love hearing Judy’s voice. I wish she wasn’t so busy all the time but she loves her work and I respect that.

“Oh he’s really good, he seems impressed with me! Though I don’t expect me to get it right every day.”

“Oh Amy, don’t put yourself down! You’re a brilliant teacher.”

“But you have to say that you’re my Mum!”

I get on with some paperwork, make myself some tea and watch television. I wonder what Amelia’s doing? Probably feeling as lonely as I am… Still least I’ll see her tomorrow, I’m looking forward to it more than I should…

I crack open a bottle of wine and watch some television. I really ought to be asleep. Got to be up early in the morning… Ha bet Michael’s asleep by now. Why am I thinking about him so much?

I try and get off to sleep but I just keep thinking of her. God I hardly know the girl but I know that she’s special. I just get that feeling off her. Her smile, how her hair falls perfectly onto her shoulders, I feel like a lovesick teenager.

The working day starts, this time straight in the classroom. I think I will start with teaching them some basic history. It was my favourite subject at school, that and English. Well I did study History and English for three years at university…

She starts them off with some history, I can tell she loves the subject. The kids feel the passion too. Her tone of voice makes the most boring period of history so interesting. It reminds me why I studied history at university.

“I think the kids really enjoyed your history lesson today Amelia. Did you study history at university by any chance?”

“Thanks Michael. Yeah I did and English.”

“I thought you did, I studied history at university myself. I was at Oxford.”

“Oh wow, you went somewhere as prestigious as that and you became a Head Teacher?”

“Well I’d always wanted to be a teacher of some sorts. What university did you go to?”

“Liverpool, I loved it there. Was my dream come true to live in the city where The Beatles were born.”

“Liverpool is a great city, haven’t been for a few years though. Did you do your teaching qualification there as well?”

“Oh no, I went to somewhere called Newman in Birmingham. You know I’d love to go to Liverpool again for like a few days…”

Was that a hint on my part for Mr Preston to take me? Oh come on Amy, he’s obviously committed to his wife. Though god knows why, the bloody woman’s cheating on him… Well that’s actresses for you… I don’t know why I care so much about his crumbling marriage, maybe it’s because I can see he’s a nice man and he’s being taken advantage of. Oh well, not my place to say. None of my business really.

Oh if I could take you Amelia I would… Was that what she was really hinting or did I imagine it? It was nice to spend lunch with Amelia, she seemed old for her years. Maybe that’s why I’m so attracted to her? I can’t help it, she’s just so beautiful. I feel like I’m in a marriage with my phone for half the year. Not much of a marriage is it?

“I’m sure you’ll be able to go again at some point. So how’s the lesson planning going? You finding it okay?”

“Yeah I mean it’s very time consuming but I enjoy it.”

I’m surprised I even have time to plan lessons, the joys of working every day. I have a weekend job you see, it’s the only way to pay the bills.

Most of the time I’m shattered, hardly have time to socialise…

“Well that’s good. Oh before I forget, I want you tomorrow to do your first P.E lesson. Just start them off with some simple games like beanbag throwing, maybe a bit of basketball. Remember to warm them up beforehand as well.”

Wonder how she’d look in shorts? Now I really sound like a perv…

Oh joy P.E, wonder if Michael will be able to tell that I hate P.E?

“Oh great, thanks for the tips!”

She gets the children to write a story and read them out in front of the class. The kids have a great imagination! She ends the lesson again with a story. I can imagine her reading bedtime stories like that to her own children in the future.

The school day goes very quick and the kids as usual are very well behaved. I’m very lucky to be teaching them.

“Another great session Amelia, you’re not giving me much to work with here!”

“Oh I don’t know about that, there’s got to be something I can work on!”

“Well we’ll see what you’re like tomorrow doing P.E!”

“Yeah I gotta be honest here Michael, never been a fan of P.E. Hated it when I was at school.”

“Haha I could tell you weren’t feeling particularly enthusiastic about it. Well the good thing about teaching Reception year is that you don’t have to teach them sports like football, rounders and netball yet.”

“Oh god I can’t wait for that… All the sports I hated at school.” “Why do you hate sports so much?”

“I mean I don’t mind watching football but I dunno I have bad memories of the girls in my class bossing me about and having a go at me whenever I made a mistake. I was never good at sport.”

“Ah kids can be cruel. I was good at football and that was about it. Which football team do you support?”

“Oh I support Brentford, it’s the nearest team to where I was born.”

“Ah, which area of London were you born?”

“Westminster, how about you? Who do you support?”

“Sheffield Wednesday, I was actually born in Sheffield but I have spent many years in London, hence the lack of a Yorkshire accent.”

It’s always nice when a girl is into football, it’s certainly an attractive trait! I’d love to take her to a match sometime. I can see the looks now, they’d think I was her father or something… Maybe I shouldn’t care what other people think. Besides, she may not even want to go with me to a football match.

I thought I could hear a subtle hint of a Yorkshire accent in his voice when we first spoke. I love the Yorkshire accent or maybe I just like the sound of Michael’s voice? It is very sweet. Christ what am I saying? I suppose I can’t help it, he’s really making an impression on me and no one’s done that since, well, Jack.

We say our goodbyes in the carpark and head home. She looks absolutely shattered and it’s only Tuesday…

I’m completely and utterly knackered. I head straight for the sofa when I get home and before I know it, it’s 7 o’clock. Fuck I must have been tired. I sort myself out some tea then get straight into planning lessons, best get the stupid P.E lesson out of the way. That session will definitely be in the morning…

When I get back, I’m as always on my own. The kids have gone out, it’s like they don’t want to spend any time with their old man. Social butterflies like their mother. I wonder what’s going on in that head of hers? There’s so much I want to know. The whole situation with the ex-boyfriend is very mysterious though. Who knows? She may tell me all about it one day.

I complainingly get out of bed in the morning, making sure I pack my P.E gear which consists of a white t-shirt, black shorts and trainers. Even looking at the outfit makes me wanna puke. Oh well sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t wanna do! I can see Michael definitely giving me some points to improve on in this lesson…

I’m looking forward to seeing Amelia’s first P.E lesson more than I should, why am I imagining her in really short shorts? Ha who am I kidding? Parents would definitely be complaining about the inappropriateness of her outfit…

Or he may not notice any mistakes if he’s enjoying the view, am I just hoping he’ll enjoy the view? No I can’t distract him like that, it’s not fair and he’s married Amy come on.

When I see her come into school, she smiles at me. Oh that smile, I’ve never known anything like that. The smile that can brighten your whole day.

I’ve never known a smile like Michael’s before, it takes years off him. I wonder whether that’s been the first time he’s smiled in years. Have I got something to do with it?

It’s been a long time since I’ve smiled so much. Does she know how much of an impact she’s made on my life?

The kids come into the classroom and I tell them to go into the changing rooms and put on their P.E clothes. They seem very excited about this as it’s a nice day and all. I go into the toilets and get changed myself.

I see that Amelia wants to get the P.E lesson out of the way, ha typical.

Once the children are changed I escort them onto the playground and wait for Amelia to get outside.

I admire myself in the staff toilets. Is the shorts too short? I pull them down slightly but as soon as I start walking, they go back up again. Oh well, I’m sure the kids are too young to understand the effect of short shorts on someone.

She comes outside and I have to stop myself from gawping. My god those shorts are short… Those lovely long legs, they could give a man a heart attack especially a man my age!

I can see Michael staring, whoops I’m distracting him already. Is it bad that I don’t feel guilty about this? Not that I’m expecting him to compliment me, god I must be mad trying to impress a married man…

She starts the kids off with a warm up and of course she’s bending down. God the shorts are tight as well, fitting perfectly around her arse. Christ what a vision. I have to stop myself from looking too much, don’t want to get too excited. Not in front of the children!

Is Michael trying really hard not to be aroused? Why should I even be caring? The guy’s married remember Amy…

I wonder if she’s bending down on purpose? To tease me. Oh Amelia if I could I’d certainly give you a good spank for being naughty like that… Oh god what am I saying? This is so wrong!

Never been so glad to finish a lesson in my life! I think the kids enjoyed it though. I got tired just watching them! I proceed to go and get changed.

I don’t think I was concentrating during that lesson at all. God I’m such a fool! I’m meant to be mentoring her not eyeing her up!

“Oh Amelia, there you are. Really good first P.E lesson today. Bet you’re glad it’s over!”

“Thanks. Ha just a bit! I got tired just watching them!”

“Well it was a good idea on your part to get them out when it’s nice weather. You never know as the weeks go by, you might find yourself enjoying P.E!” Michael says with a wink.

“Pft, don’t think there’s much chance of that happening! So you, er, enjoyed the lesson too?” Amy says sort of flirtatiously. Have I just flirted with my employer? Ah crap, nice one Amy…

Was she just flirting with me? Did she notice I was enjoying the view? Mike you couldn’t be discreet if you tried…

“Oh, yeah, it was a good session.” Michael says quietly.

The weeks go by and I feel I know the curriculum well. Michael seems impressed by me. I find myself longing for that 45 minutes in his office eating lunch. Most of the time we don’t even talk about work, we discuss our interests, he talks about his kids, never mentions his wife though. Then again I never really bring her up.

These days all I seem to do is long for that short bit of time I get with Amelia. She talks to me about her time at university, how she enjoyed her studies, the nights out she used to go on and get ‘off her face’ as she phrased it and not get back till sometimes 5 in the morning. I think she needs to find that girl again. She has an inner sadness. She seems to look more and more tired every time I see her. I hope she’s not working too hard.

We’re sitting in Michael’s office as usual at lunchtime and I don’t know, I feel today is the right time to talk about my messy breakup. I just feel I can tell him anything. Whenever I talk, he listens to everything I say and he’s so interesting. There’s something missing in his life. Could I be the missing gap in his life?

"You seem a bit quiet today Amelia, you alright?”

“Yeah, it sounds silly but it would be, um, mine and Jack’s anniversary today. Not that I look back on our relationship with much fondness but it just brings it all back to me today.”

“When did you break up?”

“Ooh about four months ago. I may as well tell you why. Jack got a bit, well, controlling from time to time, not allowing me to go out with my friends without him, stuff like that. There was one time when I just went out without him, I thought bugger this I want some space and when he got back late from work, he wondered where I was and he went spare. He didn’t hit me or anything, he just, um, forced himself on me. Then he didn’t allow me to go out at all, I felt like a child. Then I just had enough, I packed his bags and kicked him out. He said I wouldn’t be able to last a day without him, well it seems I don’t need him.”

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. He must have raped her a number of times before she stood up to him. I just want to hold her and never let her go. I’m proud that she was strong enough to get out of the relationship when so many women don’t. It’s easier said than done to get out of situations like that. I start to feel angry, I just want to find him and beat the shit out of him.

“I don’t really know what to say but I’m so glad you’re not with him anymore. Does anyone else know about this?”

“Um, no, I didn’t really want to go over all what happened again. I mean I’m dealing with it really, sometimes it affects my sleep but on the whole I’m okay.”

“You know if you tell the police about this, then they can stop him from doing this to other women. Who knows? He could be with someone else doing the same thing he did to you. I mean I could come with you to the police station, you know, you wouldn’t be on your own.”

Man, he must care about me so much. Maybe I should tell the police about it. Michael’s right, I don’t want other women to go through what I did. He shouldn’t worry about me though. I’m stronger than I look!

“You’re right Michael. Could you take me tomorrow after work?”

“Of course I will but do you promise to talk to me when you feel upset?”

“I promise.” Amy says with a smile.

I give her my phone number so whenever she feels like talking, she can ring me up. Is she really ready to talk about what she suffered? Am I pressuring her?

“Are you sure you’re ready to take this to the police? I don’t want to push you into something you’re not ready for yet.”

“No, I think I’m ready. The fact I told you about it actually made me feel confident about talking to the police about it.”

It was nice to have Michael’s phone number, once we got back to our respective homes we spend most of the evening texting. I have to say I’m impressed by his texting skills, considering his age. I even encourage him to install WhatsApp that way we can send each other pictures. He proceeds to send me silly photos of himself, I can’t help but smile. God he’s so cute.

I enjoy sending texts to Amelia, it makes me feel not so alone. Even though for once Tom and Leah are in. They spend most of the evening on their phones though I can’t really talk. Her photos are so cute, she’s very photogenic. Jack was a fool to treat her like shit. Now he’s going to get what’s coming to him.

The school day soon comes to an end and now I feel really nervous. Michael offers to drive me there and says I can collect my car later. Before I go and speak to the police, Michael squeezes my hand tightly. In some ways I don’t want him to let go of my hand. I feel I can withstand anything if he just holds my hand. However I know I have to do this on my own. Got to be brave.

When I squeeze her hand, I realise just how delicate she is. Her hands are soft and I just want to hold them forever, hold her forever. It feels like hours she’s been in there. I hope she’s okay.

I’ve done it. A great weight lifts from my shoulders. I see Michael waiting patiently for me and rush up to him and hug him. I don’t know what makes me do that but I just wanted a hug. I’m mentally exhausted.

She comes up to me and hugs me tight. I can’t believe it. She’s safe in my arms, safe from harm. Do I really have to let go? How can I feel like this? Does she feel the same as I do? Look at her. She’s so pretty and I’m, well, old.

“Thank you for encouraging me to do this. Now I can move on with my life.”

“You know I’m here to help. You okay?”

“Yeah, just want to go home.”

“Fair enough, we’ll go and fetch your car. Are you okay driving?”

“Oh yeah I’ll be fine, once I’ve got my music blasting I’ll be okay.”

When I get back home, I have a quick nap and do some marking and planning lessons. Oh joy another P.E lesson… I check the weather forecast for tomorrow and see it’s going to be very warm! I wonder if I can wear a vest top for that lesson? I text Michael to check.

My phone buzzes and it’s Amelia. She wants to know if she can wear a vest top for her P.E class tomorrow. Oh god what an image. If it’s very low cut, I don’t know if I’ll be able to control myself…

I’m surprised I’m even allowed to wear one but a sweaty teacher is not exactly a good look! Hm will it distract Michael though? Need to stop trying to impress him. He can’t be interested in me surely?

“Who you texting Dad?” says Leah. “Oh well you know that new teacher who I’m mentoring? I said she could text me if she’s having trouble planning any lessons.”

“Is she fit?” says Tom.

A sense of jealousy fills up inside me. Am I just hoping she’s into older men, ie me?

“Tom that’s not a question you ask your father. Besides, you wouldn’t be her type. She seems the kind of girl who likes older men.”

“How would you know Dad? Do you fancy her or something?” says Tom.

“Oh don’t be silly Tom, you know I love your mother.”

I try and get an early night, it’s certainly been a long day today! When I get up the next morning, I make sure to take my P.E kit. God I feel like I’m at school again!

Chapter Text

I’m wondering whether it’s a good idea to wear these shorts, I mean it’s not like I’m taking part in the sessions. It’s just too hot outside. I don’t really want to be sweating in a suit. Not a good look. Who knows? Amelia might enjoy the view or am I just hoping that?

Michael bless him, every lunchtime would ask how I was feeling. I think he’s worried about me having nightmares about Jack due to me going over what had happened to the police. The only recurring dream I have consists of him. Not something I can really tell him. He’d think I was a right weirdo!

Amelia is coping surprisingly well with the aftermath of reporting her ex to the police. I wonder what she does dream. I know what I dream. About her. About me taking her places at weekends, little weekends away, comforting her whenever she’s upset or stressed, going out to a posh restaurant seeing her in a beautiful dress looking more stunning than she already is. It’ll only ever be a dream.

The weekend approaches and unlike most people I’m not looking forward to it. Another weekend of dealing with arsey customers and me having to be polite to complete twats. What bliss… Still it pays the bills I suppose. Just wish I didn’t have to do two jobs in order to keep the house.

Tom keeps asking me about Amelia, not that I talk about her much to the kids but he’s seen her about and thinks she’s ‘quite fit’ to quote him. Still I’m looking forward to hearing from Judy. In many ways I miss her, other times not so much especially when I’m spending time with Amelia. She almost makes me forget I even have a wife.

“Hello Mike, sorry that it’s going to be a quick call tonight but you know what it’s like! How are you love?”

“Oh yeah I’m fine, missing you as usual but I’m coping. How about you?”

“Aw I miss you too darling, I’m okay tired most of the time but you know how hectic filming can be! How’s Tom and Leah?”

“Oh they’re fine, doing the usual of being out all the time. Don’t know where they get it from…”

“Well I hope Leah is getting stuck into her A Levels and not staying out till all hours. She knows she’s got to get good grades to get into university…”

“You’d better come and tell her that yourself. Leah! Your mother wants to talk to you!”

God I hate this job, haven’t some people got better things to do than take their frustrations out on me? I mean it’s not my fault you live such shitty lives… I’ve only been here an hour and I’m already ready to go home. I’m so tired as well, I need my bed.

11 o’clock finally comes and I’m soon in bed. In the morning I decide to text one of my old uni friends and catch up in the morning before work.

She gives me a big hug when she sees me. It feels like years since I socialised outside of work!

“Ahh Amy, it’s so good to see you! It’s been ages since I last saw you. What you been up to?” says Laura.

“Oh just working, you know about me and Jack splitting up I’m guessing?”

“Oh yeah I heard, you deserved better. You know I never liked him. How you finding being a teacher?”

“Loving it. Except the P.E part, still it’s nice to be out in the warm weather.”

Another boring weekend for me. Wonder if the kids fancy going out anywhere for the day?

“Morning Dad!” says Leah.

“Morning love, don’t suppose you and your brother fancy going out somewhere for the day? Since it’s a nice day and everything.”

“What like a family outing?” says Leah.

“Yes, we haven’t had one of those in ages.”

“What without Mum?” says Leah.

“I know it wouldn’t be the same without your Mum but I thought it would be nice to spend some time together as a family. I hardly see you and Tom these days.”

“Tom? Do you wanna come out with us and Dad?” says Leah.

“Where to?” says Tom.

“Somewhere warm I think! Dad will probably treat us to some lunch.” Says Leah.

“Yeah alright then.” Says Tom.

It’s really good to see Laura, we always have such a laugh! I told her that we’re not leaving it this long to have a catch-up, we hadn’t seen each other since graduation! Now it’s time for work, boy this is going to be a long shift. It’s always busier than normal on a Saturday that means customers get even more pissed off with you.

I decide to take Tom and Leah to Margate, I thought the seaside would do us good. It wasn’t quite warm enough for wearing shorts or in the ladies’ case bikinis. I bet Amelia looks nice in a bikini… Oh bloody hell, the whole point of this day was to forget about her for a day. The girl’s driving me mad.

Though I’m absolutely shattered, I’m glad to be back at work. Most importantly I’m excited to see Michael. I bet he’s had a better weekend than I’ve had but that isn’t exactly difficult.

“Had a busy weekend Amelia?”

“Yeah you could say that. Good weekend Michael?”

“Yeah took Tom and Leah out for the day, was really nice to spend some quality time with them. Was weird that Judy wasn’t there, think she was quite gutted she couldn’t come but the industry calls!”

“Do you miss her?”

“Yeah but I’m used to it. I mean when the kids were first born she didn’t work at all, so I had to work all sorts of jobs then as they got older she slowly started to accept more acting jobs but they’re used to it. She still supports them and worries about them!”

“Yes but does she worry about you?”

“Bloody hell Amelia I’m 48, think I can take care of myself!”

“I’m sure you can but I mean you must miss like the intimate stuff, I don’t mean like sex but like cuddling and kissing, stuff like that.”

“Oh yeah course I do but as they say absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

“I suppose that’s true.”

“You alright? You seem a bit quiet today.”

“Oh yeah I’m fine, I’m just tired.”

“Yeah I didn’t really want to say that you’d been looking very tired lately…”

“I wouldn’t have been offended if you did say that. It’s true, not even an inch of makeup can disguise it.”

“Never thought of going au natural for the day?”

“Christ no, I’m not gonna subject those poor kids to that!”

I bet she looks beautiful without makeup, the just rolled out of bed look. She probably looks beautiful first thing in the morning, I imagine waking up to such a vision. I remember it’s P.E day. Another day of me trying not to get excited in that um department.

Another P.E lesson to teach, what joy. The only thing that’s good about the session is seeing Michael in shorts. I wonder if he wears them to tease me somehow? Oh come on Amy why would he do that? He really isn’t interested in you, you’re old enough to be his bloody daughter…

“So you finding the suit too hot when you’re watching me teach P.E?”

“Yeah I didn’t think the sweaty Head Teacher look was a good one.”

“Haha, I’m burning more calories than you are! How about you make use of those clothes and help me teach the lesson?”

“But then how I could observe you?”

“Well you can give me tips on how to improve my teaching there and then.”

“Yes I suppose that’s true. Alright I’ll do it, should be quite fun!”

“You look like you keep yourself in good health anyway, do you work out?”

“Well I do a lot of running, every morning before work.”

“Ah no wonder your legs look in good shape.” Amy says with a wink.

I swear she’s flirting with me, I try not to blush. Or is she just messing with my mind? Playing games with me, she can’t like me surely…

Man he’s gonna get the wrong idea about me if I keep being flirty, I can’t fuck this up. I love this job, it’s been my dream for so long.

“Haha well surely you should be concentrating on teaching the class and not my legs? Or are they a distraction to you?”

“Well women can multitask… But yes, it’ll be good for you to get involved in the P.E lessons too. Will make us either healthy or tired in my case!”

“You know I really look forward to our chats Amelia.”

“Me too. I’m glad I came here, probably the best decision of my life.”

She’s so kind, she’s everything I’ve ever envisaged in a woman and more. I keep telling myself to stop feeling like this about a woman I can’t have but I can’t. I dream about her, I think about her all the time, even when I’m talking to Judy I wonder what she’s doing. It’s crazy I know, wanting a woman you can’t have.

As soon as I get back home I’m asleep on the sofa. I’ve really got to cut down my hours at work, I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I dream about him, about Michael. I’d love to take him on days out, weekends away, listen to his worries and just be there for him. Like he’s been there for me.

Who knows? The flirting might be genuine but I doubt it… If it was what could be done about it? I’m married. As usual Leah and Tom are out, just another night on my own then… I suppose I could do something to pass the time…

When I finally wake up, which isn’t till late I do all my marking and planning the lessons. Safe to say I don’t think I’ll be going to sleep any time soon. The joys of having a long nap… I feel like texting Michael, would he be up at this time?

Can’t sleep again. My phone buzzes and to my surprise it’s Amelia. What she’s doing still awake? Maybe she can’t sleep either.

Hey, sorry to text you so late, can’t seem to sleep. I’m hoping you can’t sleep either so we can talk haha

No you’re in luck, I can’t sleep either! You okay?

Yeah I’m fine, just sometimes my mind works overtime and I can’t get to sleep. Hope you don’t think it’s weird I’m texting you!

I feel quite flattered that she’s even texting me at this time! Unless she’s talking to someone else as well?

Oh no, not at all! But haven’t you got anything better to do than to text an old fart like me?

I wish you wouldn’t call yourself like that, if anyone’s the old fart out of the two of us it’s me! I don’t exactly act like a normal 25 year old!

No that’s true! But you really ought to get off to sleep, not a good idea to try and teach kids when you’re tired!

Good point Michael, why so reasonable? Night then! ;)

Oh god was that wink even appropriate? It was quite suggestive wasn’t it? He may not even have noticed it… Dread to think what he thinks of me right now. Probably thinks I’m a right weirdo! I don’t know why I care so much…

She’s sent me a wink face! What does that mean? Is she flirting with me or is it just an emoji (yes I’m down with the kids!) that people of her age just use a lot? I’m probably reading way too much into this!

 Another P.E lesson to teach… Though for once I’m actually looking forward to it! Ooh he’ll be doing some bending down won’t he? In the warm ups. Oh god, I face palm myself. I’m an actual embarrassment. It’s a good job he can’t read my mind…

Chapter Text

I get dressed for my joint P.E session with Amelia, well it stops me from getting distracted by certain parts… We start off with a warm up and I wonder if I’m distracting Amelia from her teaching with bending down. Probably wishful thinking.

I try not to look at Michael’s arse when he’s bending down during the warmup. Man he really keeps himself in shape, puts me to shame! Well he only jogs everyday so not too difficult to do. Maybe I should start jogging? Would make me even more tired though… Still he could find it attractive that I keep myself in shape.

“I really enjoyed that session Michael, for once! So do you really only just jog every morning? You have a good body for a, uh…”

“Man of my age?”

Amy blushes.

“Uh, yeah, man of your age. I really need to keep in shape myself, I’m not getting any younger!”

“Nonsense you’re not exactly overweight or anything but nothing wrong with keeping fit!”

“Yeah I’m not the fittest person, I drive everywhere!”

“Ah yes, a good jog every morning will do you the world of good. Much better than the gym and you get to see some good views too whilst exercising!”

“Yes that’s true, I love the park and the countryside. Just never get the time to these days and my friends aren’t exactly the type to go on walks!”

“Unless it’s a pub crawl of course!” Michael says with a wink.

Images of taking Amelia on walks to the countryside fill my mind. Oh she’d love it, she deserves to be spoilt! I don’t know why she wants to get into shape, she has a wonderful body. I suppose you can’t stay that slim forever without doing some form of exercise…

“Ha that’s very true! I’m, um, sorry for texting you at such a silly time yesterday. Just couldn’t sleep and I sort of hoped you’d be awake.”

“Amelia you don’t have to keep apologising, it’s okay honestly. I don’t get many texts as it is, let alone at 3 o’clock in the morning! It’s difficult enough getting my children to text me to let me know they’ve got somewhere safe!”

“See I was never like that with my parents, even when they split up I still texted them both to let them know I was safe.”

“When did your parents split up?”

“Ooh I was just going into sixth form, so I was about 17 or so? I coped surprisingly well with it, to be honest I could see it coming.”

“Still, it’s a big thing to have to deal with.”

“Yeah I guess so but Mum’s happy with her boyfriend Martin they’ll be getting married in a few months. Been together since I started uni. Dad’s married too and he’s got a kid. So I have a baby sister, don’t see them that much though but they do live in Scotland.”

“Well least they’re happy.”

“Yes that’s the main thing.”

When I get back home, I realise just how tired I am. Don’t even have the energy to plan this bloody lesson. Alas I try to use PowerPoint like I usually do and everything that could go wrong goes wrong. I feel like chucking this laptop out of the fucking window. Then my laptop decides to freeze.

I can’t help it. I just break down in tears. I can’t keep doing this. Trying to juggle a full time job, pay the bills, work at weekends, it’s draining me. But I have to finish this lesson off. I don’t know what to do, then it came to me.

“Hello Amelia?”

“Sorry to bother you like this but I don’t know what else to do.” Amy says between tears.

“Hey, hey, slow down. What’s the matter?”

“I’m trying to plan this lesson and my laptop has completely frozen and now I don’t know what to do because it’s a lesson for tomorrow. Do you think you could come over and help me?”

“Um well I’m not exactly a computer expert but I suppose I can try and help. What’s your address?”

It was the worst thing in the world hearing her cry, I had to do something about it. She gave me her address and I set off there right away.

The doorbell rang and there was Michael with a concerned look on his face. I wiped under my eyes and let him in.

“Hey thanks for coming.”

“That’s okay, you sounded really upset on the phone so I was a bit worried.”

Her house looks quaint but homely. I can tell she takes great care of it. She escorted me to her sofa where on the coffee table the laptop was on.

“As you can see the laptop just won’t do anything and I worry if I turn it off I’ll lose everything that I’ve done so far.”

“Well surely it’ll just have autosaved it?”

“Ooh yes that’s a good point!”

I turn the computer off which essentially was an improper shutdown. When I turn the computer back on again, I load PowerPoint up again and by some miracle as Michael predicted the presentation had been recovered thanks to Autosave! I could kiss the guy if it wasn’t inappropriate.

“Oh bloody hell thank god for that! And you say you’re not a computer expert!”

“I’m not, I just thought it was the most logical thing to think if your computer has frozen and you have to do an improper shutdown.”

I’m surprised that she didn’t think that herself! The poor girl looks so stressed, can’t be just to do with this lesson planning she had a complete breakdown. Still least she’s not upset now. I’ve done something right.

“So is this the only reason you’re upset?”

Better come clean to him…

“No I’m stressed beyond belief. I’m trying to run a house on my own and I can’t even pay the bloody bills so I have to work weekends as well. You don’t know how hard it is to work every single day of my life doing two completely different jobs. I can’t even remember the last time I slept properly. And it’s all down to that stupid ex of mine!” Amy bursts into tears.

I didn’t know what to do, I hate seeing her upset. So I thought the most appropriate thing to do is to put my arm around her. I pull her close to me. God it feels so good, just wish she wasn’t crying on me. Would be a lot more enjoyable if it was in better circumstances.

“Oh Amelia why didn’t you tell me you were having money troubles?”

“Because it’s not down to you to help me in those matters.”

“It is when it’s affecting your work life. I’d do anything to help my colleagues if they’re in trouble.”

“I couldn’t ask you to help me financially that would be exploiting you as my employer. It’s silly really, I wouldn’t be homeless or anything if I didn’t pay my bills or keep up my mortgage repayments, my Mum said I can move into her house but I want a house of my own. I just—I just can’t do this anymore, it’s killing me.”

I start crying again, I’m such a mess right now. Michael looks so concerned, like seeing me upset is the worst thing in the world. He moves a strand of hair from my eyes, he puts his hand on my face. His thumb starts stroking my cheek ever so softly. I should really be pulling his hand away but I’m enjoying it too much. The tender touch of a real man.

I’m not really sure what I’m doing now but I can’t control it. She hasn’t moved my hand away or told me to stop, does that mean she’s enjoying it? Her face is so soft, she’s so beautiful.  I bring my face closer to hers, I hear her breathing. She seems nervous. I’m ever closer to her lips, she closes her eyes. It’s as if she’s saying, kiss me just kiss me.

I close my eyes and he kisses me. So passionately and deeply, I’ve never known anything like it.

“Oh god, what am I doing? I’m so sorry!” says Michael looking flustered.

She obviously must have enjoyed the kiss because she kisses me back. I’ve never known a kiss like it, it’s like she’s been wanting to do this for weeks. She starts stroking my hair.

“You’ve got really nice hair…” Amy replies, she carries on stroking his hair.

“What for someone who’s not far off 50?”

“Age has nothing to do with it, I love how wavy and soft it is. My hair looks bloody awful, oh well, I’ll wash it tomorrow before I go to work.”

“I think it looks lovely. The messy look sort of makes you look cute. Though your eyes are red raw. I’m glad you’ve stopped crying, you can’t begin to imagine how much it was breaking my heart seeing you cry like that. I had to have you in my arms.”

He starts stroking my hair and I feel incredibly sleepy. I check my watch and it’s only 9 o’clock.

“Oh my dear you’re exhausted, you’d better go to bed.”

“But what about my lesson?”

“Don’t worry about that, I’ll finish it off for you. But only this once, don’t expect this kind of treatment all the time!”

“Alright, thank you Michael.”

She kisses me on the cheek and starts to head up the stairs and then stops for a moment.

“What you gonna do after you’ve finished my presentation?”

“Well I could go home if I wanted to spend the rest of my night alone watching crap on the telly or I could stay the night with the most beautiful, kind, intelligent girl in the world.”

“Oh, well okay then. Don’t be too long!”

I carried on upstairs into my bedroom, got dressed into my pyjamas and went straight to sleep. Boy I must have been tired!

After a good hour working on Amelia’s presentation, I save the file and shut down the laptop. Should I sleep in one of her spare bedrooms or join her in bed? I feel like this is all a dream. She likes me, me of all people!

I wonder what room is hers and see a small glow emanating from one of the rooms. It must be her room. I open the door slowly so as not to disturb her, I see that the bedside lamp is still on. Amelia is sleeping soundly in bed. She looks adorable, I’ve never seen such perfection before.

I smooth some hair that had fallen in her eyes and kiss her on the forehead.

“My angel.” He whispers.

I feel Michael’s hands wrapped around my waist and he pulls me close to him. He didn’t bring his pyjamas with him surely? Probably sleeping in his clothes bless him. How can something that’s so wrong feel so right? For the first time in a while, I feel happy.

I wake up suddenly and see that Michael is sleeping soundly, gently snoring away. He looks so peaceful asleep, I want to wake him so we can talk. However I look at the clock on my bedside table and see it’s 2 o’clock in the morning. Christ how long have I been asleep?

“Amelia? You alright?”

“Sorry, did I wake you?”

“Oh no, no, I usually wake up at this time and then go back to sleep a few minutes later. Did you want to talk about something?”

“Well after you kissed me and I went upstairs to bed, we didn’t really get much chance to talk.”

“Yes I’m sorry for kissing you out the blue like that without warning you. I don’t know, I just felt the moment was right.”

“You don’t need to apologise silly, unexpected kisses are the best ones. I just want to make clear that I don’t usually do this sort of thing. I’m not really what you call a homewrecker. I don’t know there was just something about you that I just got from the moment I saw you.”

“I thought it was crazy liking a woman who’s way out of my league, I never thought in a million years my feelings would be reciprocated.”

“Do you really want this though? To be with me? Because I don’t want this to be a one off thing where you regret it and things are awkward between us. God knows I’ve been messed about enough times…”

I hold her face in my hand and smile. God she’s got such beautiful eyes, so easy to get lost in them.

“Amelia, I’ve wanted you from the moment I saw you. I want to look after you, spoil you, you deserve nothing but the best.”

He kisses my forehead. Typical, I find the man of my dreams and he’s got baggage!

“Well I’m glad.”

“Come here.”

I put my arms around her and hold her tight. I wish I could hold her like this forever. What have I done to deserve someone like her?

“You’re like a hot water bottle Michael.”

“In a good way?”

“Of course, though I don’t know if I’ll be saying that when it gets to the summer months!”

We go back to sleep in each other’s arms then my alarm goes off. God I hate that noise, Michael jumps up.

“Shit I better get going as Leah will come back to the house to get her school stuff and she’ll be wondering where I am! Don’t suppose you’ve got a toothbrush I could use to quickly brush my teeth?”

“Yes I got one just in case a handsome Head Teacher came around my house and slept over…” Amy says with a smirk.

“Are you joking?”

“No seriously I have got a spare toothbrush, it’s in the bathroom, next to mine.”

“Thank you love.”

I kiss her on the cheek and go to brush my teeth, better get a move on. Leah’s well known for smelling a rat a mile off!

“So I’ll see you later then love.”

Chapter Text

He kisses me on the lips and heads off. I take it as my cue to have a shower, I feel like making an extra special effort today…

“Morning Dad!”

“Morning love, you okay?”

“Oh yeah I’m fine, just worried about this university application…”

“Oh, well I wouldn’t worry about that yet love, you’ve got till January to submit it haven’t you?”

“Well yeah but I still want to have the application completed in plenty of time!”

“Ah you’re nothing like your brother who left his UCAS application to the last minute! Much to the disgust of your mother, completely stressed her out!”

 

I decide to go the full works with my makeup, foundation, eyeliner, blusher, topped with a red lipstick. I slightly curl my hair at the ends. Now what to wear…

I pick out a white blouse, a black skirt (one that is shorter than my other one!), fishnet tights and some high heels. Shit am I gonna be able to drive in those?  So I put some flat shoes on and the heels in the boot of my car. I quickly unbutton a few buttons on my blouse so my cleavage is very visible. I put a black blazer over the top. Don’t want to show Michael everything straight away!

“You don’t have to keep comparing everything I do with Tom you know…”

“Ah I’m sorry sweetheart, tell you what when I get back from work later we can go through the application if you like?”

“Yes that would be great, thanks Dad!”

She gives me a big hug, something in which she hasn’t done in a while! Takes me by surprise actually! I keep going over in my head what happened last night with Amelia, it did happen right? I wasn’t just imagining it?

I drive to work with a big smile on my face, I can’t wait to see how Amelia looks today. I just can’t wait to see her again.

I’m driving to work with a big smile on my face, for once I haven’t got ELO blasting but a bit of Ed Sheeran. I’m in love with your body… Wonder what Michael’s body looks like under all those clothes? Fingers crossed I find out soon enough!

I walk into reception and I see that Michael is talking to Mrs Turner. Actually she’s rather a nice woman, I take back everything I said when I first met her! Michael senses my presence and turns round.

“Morning Mr Preston!”

“Morning Miss Fairbourne.”

Oh dear god her legs, never realised how long they were, especially as she’s quite small. That girl is a massive tease, maybe she does need a good spanking…

I start the morning off with some Geography, not one of my favourite subjects but an important one nonetheless.

The kids don’t seem to understand it very well, especially little Bella. After I set the children an exercise I go over and help her. In the process my cleavage is visible to Michael…

She really is teasing me now, I worry about my professional reputation for a moment. What if someone complains and Amelia loses her job? It could all be my fault, I decide to nip it in the bud.

“Uh, Miss Fairbourne? Would I be able to have a quick chat with you during lunch?”

Ooh what he’s got in mind?

“Of course Mr Preston.”

Lunch soon comes and I wait eagerly in his office.

I come into my office and there she is, sitting so lady-like, not knowing I’m going to be giving her a sort of telling off.

“Hello.” Amy says.

“Hello.”

“So what did you want to talk to me about?”

“Honestly Amelia, you look so beautiful and you’re lucky that I haven’t got you up against the table right now, you look so sexy but the thing is, I don’t want people to get suspicious.”

“How would anyone get suspicious, they’re 4 and 5 year olds…”

“I think even 4 and 5 year olds know that a teacher with their cleavage out is inappropriate. I’m saying this to you because I don’t want you to lose your job because of me. I know how much you love this job so if you wanna wear anything like that in the future, save it for our private time!”

“You sure you’re not thinking of your own job?”

“Come here.”

I start to walk over to him. I don’t want to be angry with him but I feel like a naughty schoolchild.

“Come and sit on my lap.”

When she does, it’s hard not to be turned on. I put my hands around her waist and look into her eyes.

“Look I’m sorry if it felt like I was telling you off, I’m only thinking of you.”

“Felt like a school child or one of your children…”

He starts stroking my hair and I can’t be annoyed with him anymore. Damn you Michael.

“You know you doing that makes me unable to be angry with you?”

“I know that’s why I’m doing it…”

I notice on his hand his wedding ring. My heart sinks. It’s a reminder what we are doing is wrong no matter what Judith is up to whilst filming.

She starts playing with my wedding ring.

“I wish you weren’t married.”

“I know love but I promise when Judy gets back from filming I’ll ask for a divorce.”

“What? But what about your kids?”

“Oh they’ll cope, besides they’re old enough to take care of themselves! But until that time comes, just enjoy the time we have together.”

I feel bad for causing such a mess but I’m hoping when Michael does ask his wife for a divorce, she’ll do the right thing and tell him she’s been unfaithful. God that makes him as bad as her…

She starts to button up her blouse…

“Aww, I was enjoying the view…”

“What happened to me being looking professional?”

“Yeah but there’s no kids about…”

“True but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination and besides you’ll get to see it all very soon. Are you planning on stopping over tonight?”

“I promised Leah I’d go through her university application with her but if she’s going out afterwards then I’ll stop over.”

“What does she want to study at university?”

“Law, think that’s why Judy’s worried about Leah being out all the time. Leah wants to go to Cambridge you see and of course she has to get top marks so it’s a lot of pressure for her. Still if it’s something she wants to do then she knows she’s got to work hard. I mean who knows? She could be doing lots of school work at one of her friend’s houses?”

I hold his face and smiled.

“Oh Michael stop worrying. If she’s anything like you, then she’ll do absolutely fine.”

I kiss him on the lips.

“You sure you don’t mind me not coming over till late?”

“Why would I mind? I wish my Dad did the same for me when I was applying to uni. It’s what a parent does, they help their children.”

“You’re the best you know that?”

“Why thank you dear, you’re not so bad yourself. I could if you want, cook you a nice meal?”

“You can do but I will cook you something to make up for it on another day.”

“Okay, I look forward to it!”

Lunch finishes and I’m wishing for the school day to end so I can see her again. When I get back home, I spend a long time going through the application process with Leah. She’s worried she won’t be good enough to get into Cambridge. I do what any father or parent would do. I reassure her. I remind her of all the talents she possesses and how much Judy and I are proud of her and Tom.

I get on with my usual marking and planning lessons. I seem to have got into a routine. I’ve handed in my notice at work, so now I have the weekends to myself! I still feel bad that Michael is offering to help pay my bills. I know he cares but I don’t want him to think I’m a gold digger… Hmm what to cook Michael?

“So are you stopping in tonight?”

“No I’m gonna stop at Danni’s house. Can I have some tea before I go?”

“Yeah I’ll cook you some tea.”

“Aren’t you going to have any?”

“No I’ll make something a bit later, don’t feel hungry at the minute.”

I rummage through the fridge and find ingredients that are suitable for making a big bowl of nachos to share. But would that fill him up? I decide to look through the freezer and find a couple of chicken breasts. That’s it, I could make some chicken marinated in a sauce with some rice and onion rings!

I make sure I pack an overnight bag, that way I don’t have to sleep in my clothes this time. Just when I’m about to head out the door, Tom walks in.

I start preparing the nachos and blast some music in the kitchen. I hope he’s not going to be too long!

“Where you off to Dad?”

“Oh I’m off to Jeff’s, he’s text me to say that him and Sandra have had another argument and she’s gone walkabout. I said I’d keep him company for a few hours, I’m worried he might do something stupid.”

“Oh well have fun. If you see that Amy on your travels, give her my number?”

I shoot him a dirty look and headed out the door. A few minutes later I notice Tom getting into his car and driving off. Phew that’s a relief.

Michael rings the doorbell and I answer the door in my pinny.

“You look good! Sorry for being a bit late, I cooked Leah some tea before she went round a friend’s then Tom turned up and I had to make up some excuse as to why I was going out.”

“It’s fine, I haven’t finished cooking the main yet! Did Tom believe you?”

“Yes I think so, he’s still got the hots for you, you know.”

I roll my eyes. I mean I didn’t ignore him when he spoke to me but I have certainly never given him the impression I’m interested in him… He’s a bit too young for me.

“I gathered since whenever he sees me, he’s incredibly flirtatious… Still you have nothing to worry about. Anyway, do you like nachos?”

“Ooh yes I love them, haven’t had them in ages!”

She leads me into her dining room and serves up the big bowl of nachos, they look delicious.

“You’ve really put a lot of effort into cooking me dinner haven’t you?”

“Well I try…”

“Honestly Amelia, this looks wonderful, thank you.”

I kiss her on the cheek. The nachos are probably the best I’ve ever tasted, who needs to go to pubs when your girlfriend makes the best homemade ones?

After a good few mins chatting and letting the nachos go down, I serve the chicken. It’s turned out a lot better than I expected! Michael is visibly impressed!

“Ooh now this looks lovely! Do you fancy cooking for me on a full time basis?”

“Cheeky, you haven’t tried it yet!”

But of course it was delicious, she really is an amazing woman. A woman of many talents!

“So is there dessert as well?”

“Haha that’s pushing it a bit but I can think of one treat you may like…”

After cleaning up the dinner things, I lead Michael upstairs. For someone who’s 48, he has amazing stamina. I feel so happy and it’s all down to him.

Wow, that was certainly an experience, underneath those clothes she’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. God, why do I have to be married? Not long till Judy comes back Michael…  

Chapter Text

The half term soon approaches and I’m saying my goodbyes to Leah and Tom who I’m dropping off at the airport to see Judy. I then drive to Amelia’s house. I left all the things necessary for the weekend away at her house.

Amelia answers the door in a beautiful pink flowery dress, she looks stunning.

“You ready then?”

“Oh yeah, I’ll just get your bag and my stuff!”

I bring down a large bag containing my things, it’s mostly clothes and my essential toiletries. Michael looks in horror.

“My love, we’re only going for a few days not for a whole month!”

“I know but a girl needs her essentials!”

“What you got the bloody kitchen sink in there?”

“Oh shut up and put the stuff in the car you idiot.”

“You look lovely by the way.” Michael says then kisses her on the cheek.

I smile to myself. He does as he’s told and puts all the bags in the boot. We head to the train station and park the car there.

“So you didn’t fancy driving to Liverpool then?”

“Oh god no, it would take us hours! Besides train journeys are a lot more exciting and I can talk to you properly then.”

“Yeah that’s true, I like train journeys they can be quite relaxing.”

We get onto a train pretty quickly, it’s nice chatting to Amelia but I can tell she’s tired. The movement on the train does make you quite sleepy.

“You okay? You getting a bit sleepy?”

“Yeah I’m fine, I actually don’t feel that tired.”

Taking her word for it, I turn to start talking to her then I see she’s asleep on my shoulder. I move a piece of hair from her face and smile. So much for saying she wasn’t tired… I decide to leave her to sleep, so I read a book. God I’m such a teacher.

After 2 hours on a train, we finally arrive in Liverpool. I’m relieved.

“Amelia? We have to get off the train now love.”

“Oh, god how long have I been asleep?”

“Only the past two hours, come on we’d better go.”

He holds my hand tightly and helps me off the train and through Lime Street Station. He even offers to carry all my bags, what a gentleman. I wonder where we’re stopping, he’s being incredibly secretive about it…

“So where we stopping?”

“Ah you’ll find out soon enough.” Michael says with a wink.

After a few minutes walking from the train station we arrive at our hotel. The Hard Day’s Night Hotel, a must for any Beatles fan. Very expensive too!

“Oh my god, I’ve always wanted to come here!”

We soon check in and I can’t believe the room we’re staying in. It looks so posh, far too posh for the likes of me. This must have cost poor Michael a fortune!

“So what do you think?”

She pulls me onto the bed and kisses me passionately. It’s safe to say she’s very happy. Well she deserves nothing but the best.

I really show Michael how grateful I am for him spoiling me like this. We do a bit of sightseeing after getting unpacked and enjoy a spot of lunch. I pay for myself which Michael isn’t too pleased about.

“Why you paying for yourself silly?”

“Because you’ve spent enough on me.”

“I’ve told you I don’t mind spending money on you. Goodness sake woman let me treat you!”

We go round The Beatles Story and Amelia is telling me all The Beatles knowledge she knows. I tease her by saying she should work at the museum and give tours to people.

“Have you been here before then?”

“Oh yeah but not since my first year at uni. Uni work started to take over so didn’t really have that much time to go on a Magical Mystery Tour of The Beatles!”

We even go round a few National Trust sites like Speke Hall, Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road the homes of John and Paul. Michael takes plenty of pictures and I think it’s reignited his love of history. I wonder if he misses the teaching? Head Teacher duties don’t involve much teaching, mostly paperwork, how boring.

“Don’t you miss the teaching?”

“At times yes. Though I do, do some teaching still. I miss the history teaching mostly, watching you teach it really makes me miss it actually.”

“You should teach one history lesson then, I can do your job for a change and make notes!”

“Haha okay it’s a deal!”

I treat Amelia to dinner at Blake’s Restaurant at the hotel, it’s a very nice meal, you certainly get what you pay for! Then we go into Bar Four and sample some cocktails, Beatles theme of course. Amelia having been a student a lot more recently than me goes through the cocktails like nobody’s business!

“Bloody hell darling slow down with the cocktails, I’m gonna end up carrying you to bed the way it’s going!”

“Oh Mikey don’t you worry about me, I’m absolutely fineee!”

“Well okay then love. Do you want to go to the Cavern in a bit?”

“Ooh yes please, you will give me chance to freshen up won’t you Mikey?”

She’s actually quite cute drunk, her slurring Mikey is very attractive…

Once I stand up, I realise just how drunk I am, god it’s been a while since I’ve been this drunk! When we get back to our room, I drink some water and feel a bit more sober. I redo my makeup and change into something more appropriate. I wear my leopard print playsuit and heels and hold onto Michael’s arm.

“You look very beautiful Amelia.”

“Well you look very handsome, Mikey.” Amy says with a wink.

“Ah so you do remember calling me that…”

“Course I do, I wasn’t that pissed Michael…”

The Cavern is absolutely packed but it’s Friday night, Michael is being very protective of me, having his arm around me at all times. I think people think he’s the overprotective father, so it didn’t stop some people trying it on with me. I can tell Michael is getting very angry.

“Do you want to go home now?”

“No I’m fine, bloody hell Michael it’s only 1 in the morning!”

“Well I’m ready to go so we’re going.”

He practically drags me out of The Cavern and doesn’t talk to me the entire walk home. I’m so pissed off with him.

“What the hell’s up with you?”

“What’s up with me? I had to stand there and watch guys practically throw themselves at you.”

“Oh come on, they were harmless enough. I had to deal with that crap at uni all the time!”

“Oh you would say that, I bet you were loving all the attention from lads your own age.”

“I don’t have to listen to this.”

“Where you going?”

“Out!”

She takes her handbag and hotel card with her and heads out. I feel like following her but I know that she needs some space. I just hate seeing men trying it on with her right in front of me. I mean look at me. I’m old and she should be with someone who’s closer in age to her.

For the first time since first year of uni, I light up a cigarette. I don’t know why I even bought a pack of cigarettes in the first place, it’s just being back in Liverpool again, it reminds me of all those student nights where I’d social smoke. Honestly Michael has made me want to have a cigarette after four years. How dare he think I was enjoying those boys trying it on with me! I love him for Christ’s sake. I’ve been out with boys my age or a bit older in the past and it never worked out for me. I thought Michael was different. I guess he’s feeling insecure.

Liverpool hasn’t changed much since the last time I came. I know the streets pretty well, everything is still full of life. I’m reminded of how much I miss living here, some of the best years of my life were spent here.

I’ve been crying since she left. I don’t know why I said that to her. Course she wasn’t enjoying the attention. It’s just she’s so beautiful, she’s going to have guys fancy her, I suppose I have to get used to it and remember that she loves me.

I go through a few cigarettes on my walk, I go near the Albert Docks and watch the water. It’s so peaceful here. The Clock Tower in clear view. A symbol of Liverpool. I carry on smoking whilst sitting near the water. I feel a lot calmer now.

The hotel room door opens and Amelia comes in. I can tell she’s been crying. When she comes to sit next to me on the bed, the smell of cigarettes hit me.

“You been smoking?”

“Yeah, only a few.”

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah.”

I can tell Michael has been crying himself, he looks so sad. I just want to hold him. I’m still angry with him but I hate seeing him like this.

“Amelia I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said those things.”

“No you shouldn’t.”

“I just get so jealous seeing men around you. I worry I’ll lose you.”

“You’ll lose me if you keep coming out with crap like that.”

“Oh Amelia I love you so much, can you forgive me?”

“Just hold me.”

I put my arms around her and hug her tightly. I start stroking her hair ever so delicately.

“I’m never letting you go. I’m afraid you’re stuck with me.”

“I think I can deal with that Michael.”

“I’d better make it up to you then?”

“Yes that would be very good!”

Michael certainly put me in a better mood, he mentions something about taking a morning run with him near The Albert Docks tomorrow. I openly agree, I do need to get the nicotine and tar out of my system…

I hold her even more tightly tonight, I don’t want her to resort to smoking whenever I upset her. We wake up not too early and head for a run. She finds it difficult to catch up with me so I know she doesn’t run very often!

“I need to get you in the habit of running every morning I think!”

“Well you’ve got a week to get me into healthy habits!”

We head back and shower. We go out for breakfast and I find out that Michael has booked us on a Magical Mystery Tour, I’m very excited!

“God you’re like a little fangirl aren’t you?”

“That’s exactly what I am, a fangirl!”

The bus starts playing Beatles songs and Amelia and I are singing our hearts out much to the disapproval of the other passengers.

We have photos outside the iconic Beatles places like Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and John and Paul’s childhood homes. To people we look like father and daughter but to us we are the happiest couple alive.

Lunch is at Turtle Bay, one of my favourite places to eat but also one of the most expensive. I insist on paying for myself, Michael’s reaction is that of an eye roll.

“Can’t believe I’ve never eaten here before!”

“Really? Me and my housemates used to go as a weekend treat every fortnight.”

“So much for poor students eh?”

“Well we could afford to treat ourselves every now and then!”

After lunch we go on a boat ride along the River Mersey, it’s surprisingly relaxing! The wind is blowing Amelia’s hair and she looks perfect.

“You know I usually feel as sick as a dog on a boat but with you I can deal with anything.”

“Ah you big softie.”

He moves a strand of hair from my eyes and puts his arm around me. I put my head on his chest. Man he’s like a human hot water bottle. This is the best weekend I’ve ever had. I feel so lucky.

“You know Amelia, if I could be on this boat ride with you forever. I’d be the happiest man alive.”

“Aren’t you the happiest man anyway?” Amy says with a raised eyebrow.

“Of course love.”

I kiss her on the forehead. Throughout this whole trip, my mind has been completely on her, not on my wife and kids. Does that make me a bad husband?

“So what are our plans for the rest of this trip away?”

“Ah for me to know, you to find out.” Michael says with a wink then taps her nose.

As much as I like surprises, I really want to know what Michael has planned for me. God I’ve got a lot of making up to do! Michael decides to take me to Southport as there’s a nice beach there.

“Michael you could have said we were going to the beach, otherwise I’d have packed my swimming costume!”

“Oh stop complaining, there’s shops that sell bikinis and swimming costumes you know…”

I of course am right and once Amelia sorts herself out with a bikini we go to the beach. It’s nice to have a swim in the sea, no one is really at the beach. It’s like we have the place to ourselves…

“Oh your hair’s all wet!”

I start messing with Michael’s hair, trying to put the pieces of hair in the right position.

“It’ll go all curly now…”

“I love your hair.”

She starts stroking my hair, god she looks so beautiful.

“Hey watch the hair. You’re gonna make it even worse keep messing with it!”

“Oh shut up you know you love me stroking your hair. You’ve gotta embrace the curls Mikey…” Amy says with a wink.

“What about your hair? Does yours go wavy when it gets wet?”

“Hm a bit, not as much as yours.”

“It’s still nice though.”

He holds my face and smiles. He kisses me gently on the lips.

“You know I think you’re the sweetest guy I’ve ever met.”

“And I think you’re the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.”

“Are you expecting a phone call from Leah and Tom any time soon?”

“Not sure, I think they’ll ring at some point! This week is about me and you anyway, so that’s my priority right now.”

We have a wander around the town, taking in the views. Amelia looks at ease, her hair starting to dry slightly wavy. She looks so natural, she really is a natural beauty.

“You seem happy here.”

“I am but I’m always happy when I’m with you.”

I rest my head on Michael’s shoulder. We grab some fish and chips for lunch and take in the sunshine. It really has been a perfect day. Then Michael’s phone starts ringing.

“I’d better answer it, I’ll go and find somewhere quiet to talk, you wait here.” Says Michael, he kisses Amy’s cheek then walks off.

“Hello love you alright? How’s the weather?”

“Oh you know, nice and sunny! How you getting on?”

“Fine, fine, haven’t really done much really.”

“Well that goes without saying! Do you want to talk to Tom and Leah?”

“Yeah might as well!”

“Hello Dad you alright?”

“Hey Leah, I’m good missing you lot though! The house is very quiet without you pair, though you don’t spend much time in it as it is!”

“Well once my exams start, I’ll be at home a lot more often!”

Whilst Michael’s on the phone, I light myself a cigarette. Oh god I’ve got into that habit again, Michael’s gonna kill me… Good job I put some perfume and chewing gum in my handbag!

My face drops slightly when Leah says that.

“That’s good! Do you want to put your brother on the phone now?”

“Alright Dad? You seen much of that Amy?”

“Shhh, not in front of your mother! No course I haven’t, we only see each other at work!”

Michael’s been on the phone for so long, I light myself another cigarette. Tastes a lot better than the first, then again that’s how it always works with cigarettes. I quickly finish this cigarette and spray myself with perfume and chew some gum. I can see Michael coming towards me, phew that was close.

“Sorry about that darling, had to deal with Tom mentioning you and of course Judy was wondering who he was on about. Honestly he’s besotted with you…”

“Lucky me, having you and your son head over heels in love with me…”

“Well can’t say I blame him, you are very beautiful.”

I put my hand around her waist and pull her close to me. The smell of her perfume hits me. I swear it wasn’t this strong before I went to answer the phone…

“You smell good…”

“Well only for you darling…”

“So what do you want to do for the rest of the day?”

“I don’t mind Michael, I trust you completely.”

Honestly Michael is so oblivious to some things… Before I know it, I’m craving another cigarette so I have to say to him I need to go to the toilet.

When Amelia comes back from the toilet, a faint smell of cigarettes hits me. She hasn’t started smoking again has she?

“Amelia you haven’t started smoking again have you?”

“What? No.”

“Don’t lie to me Amelia, I can smell it on you.”

“Oh for god’s sake Michael don’t talk to me in that condescending tone.”

“Amelia where you going?”

“For a walk if that’s okay with you sir!”

I walk off and when I’m out of Michael’s eye line, I light up a cigarette. Honestly he talks to me sometimes like I’m one of his bloody children… I find a bench to sit on and take in the cigarette smoke. I see Michael coming towards me, I roll my eyes.

“Oh for goodness sake Michael, can’t you leave a girl in peace?”

“So I was right about you smoking again…”

“Is it any wonder when you keep telling me off like I’m one of your children?”

“You know I’m only saying it because I care.”

“I know but you could show you care in a much nicer way Michael…”

I grasp her chin to get her to look at me.

“Alright alright, I’m sorry my dear. Now you have to promise to not resort to smoking whenever I annoy you okay? We have to talk through our problems.”

“Even if I feel like punching you in the face or strangling you?”

“Yes even if you feel like doing that. Now can I bin your cigarettes and lighter?”

I roll my eyes and reluctantly give him the cigarette packet and lighter. He throws them in the bin, well that’s the end of that habit.

“Oh Amelia I’m sorry I’m such an arse sometimes. Honestly I don’t mean to treat you like one of my kids, I just worry about you.”

“I know and I appreciate that. I suppose me swanning off in a huff makes me look very immature…”

“No that doesn’t really help, especially since you’re 25…”

I put my arm around her and kiss her hair.

We head back to Liverpool and I show Michael where I used to live when I was at university. He seems impressed. He promises to show me Oxford, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. It looks such a pretty place.

“When was the last time you went to Oxford?”

“Ooh it’s been at least fifteen years! We took Tom and Leah when they were only very small. Think they were too young to really appreciate it.”

“Did you meet, um, Judy there?”

“Uh, yeah, I did. She was a couple of years below me studying music. She performed a lot in the Oxford Revue that I was involved in. That’s how we met.”

“Known each other a long time then…”

“About 27 years or so.”

“I can’t compete with that can I?”

I put my hand on her cheek.

“My love you can’t think like that. I love you, mine and Judy’s marriage has been over for a few years now. I’ve just been in denial about it.”

We try somewhere different for dinner and head back to the hotel.

“Right well I’m going to have a shower Michael.”

“Can I join you?”

“Michael you idiot, have you seen the size of it? You’ll bang your head off everything!”

I put my arms around her waist and pull her close to me.

“Alright, alright you win. Can I have a bath after you’ve finished in the shower?”

“Oh yeah course you can hun, gives me time to get ready!”

I go in the shower and start singing Beatles, ELO and Kate Bush songs. I hear Michael giggle to himself. I come out of the bathroom with a towel around me and my hair wrapped up in a towel. I see Michael is sat on the bed reading a book. Bless him, he looks so cute. He looks up from his book.

“Now that’s something that’s so much better than reading a book!”

I go up to her and put my arms around her waist.

“Oi watch it, you’re gonna pull my towel off!”

“Oh yeah? And what’s wrong with that?”

“Oh shut up you silly idiot and go and have your bath!”

“Alright, alright fine!”

Michael goes to have his bath and I start to get ready. I put on the full set of makeup, foundation, eyeliner topped with red lipstick. I spray on a little perfume then dry my hair. As I have the hairdryer on, I don’t hear Michael behind me. He grabs me from behind and I scream, nearly throwing the hairdryer in the air.

I punch him in the arm.

“Hey! What’s that for?”

“You stupid git, you made me jump! Nearly broke the bloody hairdryer and I’d have had to pay for it!”

“Sorry darling, I’ll go and get ready in the bathroom shall I?”

“Yes!”

Things you learn from being with a woman, never disturb them whilst they’re getting ready!

I start curling my hair and finish the look with some hairspray. Now to put on the dress… I step into the dress and now I need a little help.

“Michael?”

“Yes love?”

“Can you zip up my dress for me?”

“Okay love, I’m coming!”

The sight of seeing her from behind was enough to give me a heart attack. I start to kiss her neck and back, she’s clearly turned on.

“Oi, enough of that and just zip up my dress!”

“You know you love it really.”

“I do but plenty of time to do all that later!”

He zips up the dress and I turn around and admire Michael in all his glory. He’s wearing a very nice shirt with small blue dots on it, problem is, is that all the buttons are done up.

“Very dashing Michael, only one problem though.”

“What’s that?”

She undoes a couple of buttons on my shirt and smiles. I feel very self-conscious.

“There we are much better.”

“You sure I look alright?”

“Course you do silly, you look very handsome.”

I kiss him on the cheek. I put my low heeled red shoes on and we head out.

“You haven’t said how I look Michael…”

“You look very beautiful Amelia.”

“Why thank you Mikey. I know this really posh cocktail bar we can try!”

“I’ll let you lead the way love.”

I notice it’s a place called Alma de Cuba, a very extravagant building! Once we get inside it’s even more impressive, very posh indeed!

“Wow this certainly looks posh! How could you ‘poor students’ even afford to come here?”

“Well we came here after we finished our degrees! We had got jobs then you know…”

Coming back here brought it all back to when we celebrated finishing our degrees. All seems so long ago. The cocktails are soon flowing and even Michael is feeling the alcohol!

“Great place int’it luv!”

I giggle to myself, my god I’ve got Michael completely sloshed!

“Told you it was a great place!”

“Do you want another drinkie poo love?”

“Yeah go on then, I’ll let you pick.”

What does the idiot do? Pick the most complicated sounding cocktail, then when he tries to order the drink he can’t even say it!

“Is he alright?” says the barman.

“Oh yeah, he’s just had a bit too much to drink. I’ll get this.” Amy says. She points to a drink in the menu.

“Oh yeah that one, to be fair that’s difficult to say sober!”

“Michael why don’t you sit down over there and I’ll get you a drink too.”

“Whatever you say luv!” says Michael, he kisses Amy on the cheek before proceeding to find a seat.

Amy rolls her eyes.

“Honestly he’s such an embarrassment sometimes!”

“Might be a good idea to get him a glass of water!”

“Yes I agree…”

I take the drinks to the table Michael’s sat by and I can see him swaying back and forth on the stool he’s sitting on. I giggle slightly to myself.

“Oh thereee you are luv! Great place int’it!”

“Yes lovely, here’s your drink darling.”

I drank the drink and sober up pretty quickly. I notice Amelia is drinking a large glass of a cocktail. It comes to me how I was not so long ago, an utter embarrassment.

“Sobered up now?”

“Yes thank you love. I was an embarrassment wasn’t I?”

“Actually you were quite funny.”

I squeeze his cheeks. He’s got such cute dimples, I bet he got them squeezed quite a lot as a child!

“Oh don’t do that, makes me feel like a child…”

“I can’t help it, you just look so cute! Maybe lay off the cocktails so much eh?”

“Hmm maybe a good idea love.”

I move a piece of hair out of Amelia’s eyes and smile.

“I love your hair like that, you should have it like that at work.”

“Hm maybe but it would take a long time to do! I’m half asleep as it is in the morning!”

“I guess that’s true, maybe as a treat then?”

“Yes only for you!”

I tap him on the nose playfully.

“So shall we get going love?”

“Yeah we’ll go to a pub this time, I think I could manage another cocktail or two!”

“Okay, is it alright if I just stick to beer for the rest of the night?”

“Course not dear, you have whatever you want!”

We go into a pub a few minutes walk away and sit in the quietest part of the pub. Amelia goes up to the bar and comes back with a cocktail for herself and a pint of beer for me.

“You should have let me buy the beer.”

“Christ’s sake Michael it’s only a beer, it’s not going to break my piggy bank… “

After a few drinks, we head back to the hotel and we do something I’d been wanting to do for a few hours…

“My god you’ve certainly got some stamina Amelia but I’m ready for bed. Home time tomorrow!”

We don’t get up too early and before we know it, we’re back at my house. I can’t put off decorating much longer so I leave Amelia to do her own thing in the house whilst I’m busy painting and wallpapering.

“Anything I can do to be useful whilst you’re decorating?”

“Well you could clean upstairs if you wanted?”

“You what? I’m not your bloody maid Michael but I suppose it’s something useful to do…”

While Michael is busy decorating, I clean upstairs from top to bottom even clean the bathroom and hoover the landing and the rooms. I notice that Leah’s room is a complete tip, reminds me of how my room used to be when I was her age. Michael’s room on the other hand is exactly what I expected it to be. Immaculate. It’s like he hardly uses it. I suppose lately he hasn’t.

“Amelia? Do you want some lunch?”

“Yes please Michael!”

Amelia seems impressed by my lunch making skills throughout eating our lunch, she has a big smirk on her face.

“What’s so funny? You’ve had that smirk on your face for the last 10 minutes…”

“Oh Michael, you’ve got paint on your nose!”

He starts touching his nose to feel where the paint is and I immediately start laughing. He blushes furiously.

“And you’ve only just decided to tell me? Oh Amelia you are a naughty girl!”

I start tickling her sides and she giggles even more. She’s certainly ticklish!

“Oh no, Michael stop it, I’m ticklish!”

“Ticklish eh?”

Michael carries on tickling Amy, her laughing gets louder and louder.

“Michaelllll, stop!”

“Alright, alright I’m sorry love. So what do you think of my handiwork so far?”

He points at the walls in the living room. I notice that most of the walls were painted magnolia except one wall which had wallpaper on it. He’d done a very good job!

“Very impressive, is it just the living room you had to decorate?”

“Oh no, I have to do this room as well but I’m saving that for tomorrow.”

“Well you’ve worked very hard my dear. Your house is very nice, puts mine to shame!”

“Yes we moved in a couple of years ago. Downsized actually but I’m glad you like it so much love.”

Michael kisses Amy on the cheek.

For tea I cook Amelia a nice homemade chicken curry with poppadums. Well I have to show her my cooking skills!

“This is delicious Michael, I reckon we should share the cooking duties!”

“I agree my dear!”

It’s weird sleeping in a bed that’s not my own, though of course I feel right at home next to Michael. Though as the days went on, his house felt more like home than my own. I can imagine myself living here.  I wake up to Michael gently tapping me on the shoulder.

“Good morning love.”

Michael kisses Amy on the lips.

“Thought you might like some breakfast.”

“Oh Michael you really are the sweetest guy.”

I give her a tray with a croissant, cereal with a jug of milk next to it, toast with marmalade and a cup of coffee.

“Well anything for you love. You stay in bed a bit while I get cracking on the dining room.”

“Well okay then dear. Am I okay to use the shower a bit later?”

“Course you can love, I want you to treat this house as if it were your own!”

Maybe it will be my home soon enough…

Chapter Text

Half term soon ends and OFSTED come a-knocking. A visit I never look forward to. They’re especially interested in Amelia’s quality of teaching. Amelia is of course bricking it but I tell her to be herself.

The OFSTED Inspector’s first visit is of course to my classroom. Michael isn’t allowed to be in the classroom during the inspection so naturally that makes me even more nervous! I have to admit this Inspector isn’t bad looking… He looks a bit older than me, with long wavy hair and a fringe to the side. To be truthful he looks a bit like a young Michael!

He comes to me at the end of the morning session. He has a small smile on his face, is that a good sign?

“That was a very enjoyable session, Miss?”

“Fairbourne, Amy Fairbourne.”

“Mind if I call you Amy?”

“No not at all.”

“Well Amy I was very impressed by your quality of teaching, would you be able to have lunch with me and we can go through your session?”

I frown slightly, usually I have lunch with Michael. Oh well it’s only for today, I’m sure he won’t mind.

“That sounds great, thanks!”

I come out of my office ready to have lunch with Amelia and what do I see? Amelia with the OFSTED Inspector. She notices me and mouths sorry. Wonder what he’s up to? No Michael, got to stay calm. I trust her completely.

“So you been a teacher long Amy?”

“No only a few months. I’m sorry I don’t know your name?”

“Will. I have to say you have such great potential to be a wonderful teacher.”

I blush slightly. I can’t resist the charm. I think about Michael sitting in his office all on his own. I do hope he’s alright.

“Thank you Will. I’ve really found my feet here.”

I realise I’ve forgotten some paperwork in the staffroom and I see Amelia and that Inspector in there. He brushes her hand slightly and she giggles a bit. Nope do not like this at all.

“Sorry to disturb you but can I have a word with Am—I mean Miss Fairbourne?”

“Of course, she’s all yours.”

Damn right she bloody is you creep.

I follow Michael to his office and he doesn’t say a word to me. I can tell he’s angry. Oh god not again…

“What the fuck do you think you’re playing at Michael?”

“What am I playing at? You think I didn’t see you flirting with that Inspector and he was enjoying every bit of your attention!”

“I wasn’t flirting with him! I felt bad that you were on your own for lunch but he wanted to talk about my lesson. He seemed very impressed!”

“Oh yeah I bet he was, he was probably saying that to get into your knickers!”

“Oh well it’s nice to know what you think of my teaching skills! And it’s good to know you trust me so implicitly!”

She slams the door in my face. Oh dear I’ve really done it now…

At the end of the school day, I wait behind for her but she just walks past me and drives off in her car. Think I’d better make it up to her.

I’ve never been so angry at Michael before. I feel bad for ignoring him but he’s just made me so mad! I stop off at the local corner shop for some cigarettes and a lighter. When I get back home, I light up a cigarette in my garden and give myself chance to calm down before marking and planning my lessons.

I put the cigarette and lighter in my kitchen drawer and just as I’m about to get my laptop from upstairs, the doorbell rings.

I answer the door and it’s Michael standing there with a bunch of flowers.

“Oh it’s you. Wasn’t expecting to see you.”

“Can I come in?”

“If you must.”

I come into the living room, still clutching onto the flowers.

“I’ll put these in water.”

 Michael has already made himself at home and is sitting on my sofa, I sit as far as possible away from him on the same sofa.

“You’re still angry with me aren’t you?”

“Course I’m still fucking angry with you Michael.”

“Look I’m really sorry. I was annoyed that you didn’t join me for lunch and when I see you with that Inspector, I think the worst.”

“Yeah of me. I felt bad not joining you for lunch but he wanted to go through how well I did in the lesson. I haven’t exactly been a teacher for very long so I need all the feedback I can get. Yes I did think he was good looking, he reminded me of a younger you actually. I just feel insulted that you think I can’t get good marks from OFSTED on my own merit but through my looks! Okay so he may have been flirting a bit but I’m quite capable of looking after myself! Maybe you should have a little faith in me instead of jumping to the wrong conclusion!”

“I’m sorry darling. I do trust you honestly. It’s how I see myself, I wonder why would you be in love with someone who’s twice your age when there’s guys like him about?”

“Because I love you for you, you daft sod. You’re sweet, caring, funny and incredibly handsome.”

I stroke her cheek and smile. I kiss her deeply.

“Thank you for the flowers, they’re beautiful.”

“I’m glad you like them. I hoped they would help me make it up to you for making you angry. I felt awful.”

“Well so you should! Anyway I’m okay now so do you want me to cook you some food?”

“No, no let me cook dinner tonight love. All part of my making it up to you.”

“Well okay then that would be nice!” Amy says with a wink.

Ha maybe Michael should annoy me more often, if he offers to cook me dinner every time! Whilst he’s cooking dinner, I decide to get on with marking and planning my lessons. I was about to do that until Michael showed up out of the blue!

So dinner turns out to be a triumph! Amelia is in a much better mood, chatting away about anything and everything. She really is the most amazing girl I’ve ever known.

“So am I forgiven now?”

“Yes just about…”

“So do you fancy just snuggling up on the sofa tonight watching a nice film?”

“Yes and I know the perfect film!”

After cleaning up the dinner things, I find the perfect film. Monty Python and The Holy Grail. The actor who plays Sir Galahad is to die for! I grew up on Python thanks to my dad. So it’s safe to say I’ve watched The Holy Grail a few times over the years…

“So have you decided what film we’re going to watch love?”

“Yes out of my vast Monty Python collection, Monty Python and The Holy Grail! You into Monty Python at all? I absolutely love it!”

“Oh yes me too, can’t say I’ve watched Holy Grail for years!”

It’s nice to watch some Monty Python again, I’d forgotten how funny it is! I notice every time the actor who plays Sir Galahad comes on the screen, Amelia gushes all over him.

“You know the actor who plays Sir Galahad? He really looks like a younger you!”

“What Michael Palin? Yes I suppose he does. I did used to have my hair like that back in the day!”

“I will have to have photographic evidence of this! You sure you’re not really Michael Palin?” says Amy with a wink.

Michael smirks slightly. It’s great to watch The Holy Grail again, though it’s not my favourite Python movie. I ask him whether he wants to watch any more Python, he’s happy to do whatever I want to do. I go into the dining room where in my shelf there’s a vast collection of Python related items. Michael follows me.

“Wow when you said you loved Python, you really meant it! You ever met any of the Pythons in person?”

“Sadly not, maybe one day!”

So we finish the evening with the first series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and we’re roaring with laughter. Course Amelia carries on gushing whenever Michael Palin comes on the screen.

“You’ve really got a thing for that Michael Palin haven’t you?”

“Ooh yes he’s my favourite! Though I used to love Eric until I reached about 18 when I discovered Michael’s travel programmes. You should have seen my room when I lived at home and when I was at university! It was covered with pictures of the Pythons and Michael and Eric!”

“Ah the ultimate fangirl! Anyway, I think it’s time we went to bed don’t you?”

Chapter Text

March approaches and Judy has come back from filming, she told me the night before that there was something important she wants to tell me. Makes two of us then…

Leah and Tom go upstairs into their room to give me and Judy space to talk.

“So you wanted to talk to me about something?”

“Yes, I thought it was about time I was honest with you. You deserve that at least. You see I’ve been having an affair for the past year. Someone who I met whilst filming and I love him. We want to get married you see and I can understand completely if you don’t want to grant me a divorce. But I’m sure you can think of my happiness here. I think you know Mike that our marriage has been over for a few years now.”

“Well I suppose I better be honest too. I too have been having an affair for the past 6 months. With the girl who I’ve mentoring, Amelia. I love her so much, she makes me very happy.”

“Oh, well that makes divorce easier then! I’m happy that you’ve found someone who truly loves you Mike. You deserve nothing but the best. We haven’t had a bad 25 years of marriage have we?”

“No we haven’t.”

We decide to tell the kids about us splitting up. Including all the details of why we’re splitting up. Surprisingly enough it’s Tom who is the most surprised about me and Amelia being a couple. Leah is pleased for me.

“Can I come and meet her Dad?”

“Course you can love. I’m going to see her a bit later anyway so you can come with me.”

Michael texts me to say that him and Judy have officially split up, telling me that Judy has been having an affair for the past year or so. Something which I had suspected anyway. He also mentions that Leah wants to meet me so will be coming with him a bit later. I have to say I’m a bit nervous! However I’m very relieved. Everything is all out in the open. No more sneaking around, we can be completely public.

The doorbell soon rings and standing there is Michael and his daughter Leah. Leah is very pretty. She looks older than 18! Facially she looks a lot like Michael, with brown hair to her chin, her eyes a similar colour to Michael’s. She has a big smile on her face which immediately puts me at ease.

“Hello love, this is Leah.”

“Hello Leah, I’m Amy. Can’t believe you’re 18, you really don’t look it!”

“Haha it’s amazing what makeup can do! Very nice to meet you Amy.”

I let them in and offer Michael and Leah a cup of tea.

“So your dad’s told me that you’re looking to study Law at Cambridge.”

“Yes I know it’s a big ambition but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I know it’ll be hard work but it’ll be worth it.”

“Well I have every confidence in you. You started revising for your exams yet?”

“Yeah I have, it’s so stressful though. Oh well got to get used to exams if I want to study law at uni!”

“Well if you ever need any help with revising, I’m here.”

“Thanks Amy, I’d appreciate that.”

It’s nice to see Amelia and Leah getting on so well. I have been surprised by Leah’s reaction to me and her mother splitting up. She’s handling it very well. Tom on the other hand seems to be in a state of shock.

Leah tells Amelia about her hobbies and interests, Amelia even gets Leah to watch some Flying Circus episodes! Leah is as mad on Python as she is, so Amelia has found a kindred spirit. Leah is also mad on Michael Palin, so I have to witness both Amelia and Leah gushing over him. I roll my eyes every time…

“Oh god have you two heard yourselves?”

“Well you don’t have to watch this with us Dad…”

“Yeah Michael, you could be doing something useful like cooking us food!” Amy says with a wink.

“You know he’s well into his 70s now? He’s old enough to be both your grandfathers!”

“So? He’s cute.”

“Yeah Dad, he’s super cute!”

Michael groans. Me and Leah enjoy winding him up. It’s nice that me and Leah get on so well, we really have a lot in common! Michael leaves us to watch Monty Python and starts cooking us food.

“He’s a good cook isn’t he? Your Dad.”

“Oh yeah he is, Mum never was the housewife type. Don’t think she’s ever done any housework in her life!”

“No I can’t imagine your Mum being the type to do cooking and cleaning. You’ll have to learn all that when you start uni!”

“Yes I know, problem is, Dad is such a good cook so I’ve been a bit spoilt!”

“Tell you what, if you want to come here again I can teach you how to cook if you like?”

“Yes that would be great thanks!”

Leah starts to spend near enough every weekend with Amelia. However Tom can’t help but be suspicious of Amelia’s motives for being with me in the first place. Judy looks for a place for her, her boyfriend and the kids to live.

It takes about 8 months for the divorce to be finalised. After which, I move into Michael’s house and sell my house in a couple of months, making a nice profit. Well I said I wanted to move to a nicer area. Michael’s estate is so quiet and not too far from the school!

After dinner in a very posh restaurant, once we get back home Michael springs something on me. A proposal. The ring is beautiful. Delicate but lovely. When did he get this eh?

I’m speechless for a few minutes and give him the answer he expects. Yes. Yes of course I’ll marry you. I’ve never loved a man as much as I love Michael.

“It’s certainly been a rollercoaster of a year hasn’t it love?”

I put my arms around Amelia.

“Yes it has, can’t believe I’m getting married to the most perfect man in the world.”

I blush slightly. She really is the sweetest girl.

“Anyone ever told you, how perfect you are?”

“Yeah, you.”

He kisses me deeply. There’s nothing more I want in the world than to be his wife.

Chapter Text

He kisses me deeply. There’s nothing more I want in the world than to be his wife.

The night before the wedding approaches and I feel so nervous. Michael has gone on a night out with some of his mates so I’m on my own for the night, or so I think.

The doorbell rings and it’s Tom.

“Oh hi Tom not out tonight? Your dad’s out for the night I’m afraid.”

“Actually it’s you I want to talk to.”

“Oh okay, well come in then.”

“So what did you wanna talk to me about?”

“You split up my parents.”

“Erm no I didn’t.  Think your mum had some part to play in your parents splitting up…”

“Do you really want to marry my dad?”

“Of course I do, I love him.”

He suddenly puts his hands on my waist, I feel uncomfortable.

“Why do you wanna bother with a fuddy duddy like him when you can have someone like me?”

He reaches out to kiss me and I pull away.

“What are you doing? Look I’m sorry Tom but I’m marrying your father tomorrow and that’s that.”

“Have to admire your commitment to my Dad. He’s not a bad guy, I never stood a chance when you love him like you do. Guess I was just testing you.”

I put my hand on his shoulder.

“Tom I know you have feelings for me but you’ll find someone who loves you as much as I love your Dad. You’re a great guy.”

“Thanks Amy, I’ll leave you to it then.”

I come back from my night out and I’m surprised Amelia is still awake as it’s 4 in the morning! I notice she’s sat on the sofa and when she realises I’m here, she has an uncomfortable look on her face.

“Oh darling, you didn’t have to wait up for me. You alright?”

He hugs me tightly, he senses something is wrong.

“Oh Tom came over…”

“Oh no, what’s he done?”

“Well he tried it on me. I think he did it to see if I really am committed to you. So please don’t tell him off, I think it was his own way of making sure you weren’t being made a fool.”

“Alright love I won’t have a go at him. So it seems you can resist some Preston charm…”

She wraps her arms around my neck.

“As I told Tom, I love you and only you. I cannot wait to become Mrs Preston tomorrow.”

She kisses me deeply. I cannot wait for her to be my wife either.

The wedding day is here and it all feels so surreal. Do I really deserve this happiness?

Can’t believe it’s here already, hope I look alright… Though I’ve got married before, I’m still very nervous.

Walking slowly through the church I look at all the people, all my friends from university, my family and on the other side Michael’s friends and family. Leah gives me a big grin from where she’s sitting and Judy does a little wave. I turn around and Laura in her bridesmaid dress gives me a thumbs up. I breathe a sigh of relief, everything’s going to be alright.

Here comes the bride starts to play and take it as my cue to turn round. Amelia is wearing a long sleeve laced dress and fits perfectly around her curves, the style is very reminiscent of the early 1980s. Though it’s difficult to see her face in the veil, her hair is curled. She looks absolutely beautiful, like a goddess. I feel myself starting to well up, come on Mike pull yourself together.

Michael I see is wearing the traditional suit and tie, I think they have some pinstripes on them? Oh my god he looks so handsome. I get all emotional but I stop myself from crying, don’t want to ruin my makeup!

“You look gorgeous.” Michael whispers into Amy’s ear.

“Michael Edward do you take Amelia Jessica to be your lawful wedded wife?”

“I do.”

“Amelia Jessica do you take Michael Edward to be your lawful wedded husband?”

“I do.”

I have been incredibly secretive about the honeymoon but I’m lucky that Amelia completely trusts my judgement.

Once we get back home after the very short wedding reception (according to Michael we have to set off ASAP!) Michael carries me over the threshold. I can’t help but laugh.

He kisses me deeply on the lips.

“Welcome home, Mrs Preston!”

“You can’t begin to understand how wonderful it is to hear you say that.”

“Oh I can imagine, now have you done all your packing?”

“Most of it yeah. Though I wish I knew where we were going so I know what to pack!”

“Well pack clothes for all weathers! Don’t worry you’ll know when we get there, though I do warn you it is a very long journey!”

After half an hour, we’re ready to set off and I put on some of Amelia’s favourite music in the car. At first she starts singing along then after 3 or 4 hours I notice she’s fast asleep. Probably saving her energy for tonight. Oh boy she has no idea what I have in store for her…

I’m woken up by Michael’s soothing voice. Jesus how long have we been in the car?

“Darling? We’re here.”

I immediately jump out of the car and take in the surroundings. It’s starting to get dark so it was hard to make out exactly where we are. I spot the silhouette of a castle in the distance, wait a minute that looks familiar… 

“That’s Doune Castle, that’s where The Pythons filmed Holy Grail!”

“I know, that’s why I chose it.”

“Oh Michael, it’s perfect.”

She kisses me on the cheek.

“I hoped you’d like it. I thought we’d spend a week here then go onto Jamaica for a week then spend a few days in Tunisia.”

“Oh what a lovely idea, a Monty Python fan experience. Sounds wonderful.”

Chapter Text

One year later…

I rush to the bathroom and retch violently in the toilet. Urgh I feel awful. Michael hears me being sick…

“Amelia? Are you alright?”

“No not really, just been sick. Must have been something I ate last night.”

“Probably a good idea not to go into work today, don’t worry I’ll cover your class for you.”

“Thanks love.”

I can’t help but be worried about Amelia. We both ate the same thing last night so it can’t be food poisoning, unless she’s had a bad allergic reaction to something…

When Michael goes to work, I’m sick again. I decide to pop to the local chemist and buy a pregnancy test. I mean we have talked about children but haven’t really tried for a baby or anything yet. Oh well here goes nothing…

The kids keep asking where Mrs Preston is (it’s taken them quite a few months to get out of the habit of calling her Miss Fairbourne!) so I tell them that she’s not feeling very well but she’ll be back tomorrow.

I look at the line, pregnant. Well this certainly wasn’t planned… I start crying. Not through sadness but happiness. Am I really ready for this? I suppose I am 27… It’s like a dream come true, having a child with the person you love.

I check up on Amelia during lunch, hoping that she’s resting.

“Hello love, how you feeling?”

“Yeah feeling much better. Had a little rest in bed but now I’m up and about!”

“I’m glad to hear that darling. Have you managed to have something to eat?”

“Oh yeah I’ve had some soup and sandwiches. Are my class behaving themselves?”

“Oh yes just about! I think they miss you though. I know the feeling…”

“Oh darling I miss you too. I’m just glad they’re not playing up for you!”

I decide to keep my news a secret from Michael for now. I feel it’s better to tell him in person! I ring up the doctors and manage to get an appointment for in an hour’s time.

The kids still carry on being well behaved but I can tell they miss Amelia. I’m glad she’s feeling better though.

After seeing the doctor, I find I’m only 6 weeks pregnant hence the lack of a bump yet. It’s all so exciting! Michael comes back from work and gives me a big hug.

“Oh I have missed you today love.”

“I missed you too. I’ve got something to tell you.”

She indicates for me to sit down next to her on the sofa. I suddenly feel really nervous, is it good news?

“Well you know how I was sick this morning? I went to the doctors earlier just to double check and I’m pregnant. 6 weeks gone to be exact. You’re going to be a father.”

Michael jumps up. He picks me up and gives me a big kiss. Whatever reaction I was expecting, it certainly isn’t this!

“Oh you beautiful wonderful woman. I can’t believe it, I’m going to be a father again.”

I bend down to where Amelia’s stomach is and smile widely.

“Hello in there my little darling. Oh you’re going to be loved so much by me and your mummy.”

He lifts up my top and kisses my stomach. I laugh.

“Well I suppose we’d better get preparing then!”

Amy and Michael have two children, two girls called Ruby and Scarlett. They are brought up on all things Monty Python related and grow up to be very smart children. The Prestons are happily married for many years to come.