Monday, 8 July 2013

The Evening Class - Joe

This is part 2 of a work in progress.  Click here to start from the beginning.

Joe

“Thank God for that,” Joe muttered - a little too audibly - to himself.  

He’d been watching the door for the last ten, excruciating, minutes, wondering if he could make a dash for it.  This really wasn’t his thing and he was only here to keep Irene happy.  Why hadn’t he, or rather couldn’t he have, just said no to her?  He thought back to the day - his birthday - when all this began.  

Despite his better judgement, he’d allowed himself a few moments to get excited as his wife gave him an envelope and told him that his present would be “slightly different this year”.  He had turned it over in his hands a few times, prolonging the long-lost feeling of excitement and trepidation.  Had she gone and done it?  Finally got him that season ticket?  Or if not, maybe it was one of those ‘Red letter days’ and he had a day of rally car driving ahead of him?  

He’d grinned up at her, like a child on Christmas morning, before ripping open the envelope, now so anxious to see it’s contents: 

Dear Mr Harvey
We are delighted to confirm your place on the above course at The Rivers College.  We look forward to welcoming you to our campus on...

He had switched off by this point, and instead looked questioningly at Irene.

“Well, I thought it was time you tried something new, love.  You know, since your retirement you haven’t really done very much except potter about the house, and go off on those long weekends away with the scouts.  And so I thought, you know, that you might like, you know, to....”  she had tailed off into silence as the weight of disappointment from Joe had become almost tangible, filling her eyes with tears. 

Despite the bitter let down, Joe just couldn’t bear seeing her upset.  So instead, as usual, he had drawn himself up, dug deep, and done his best to show her that he was, in fact, just in shock and of course there was nothing he’d like better to do than to spend some of his new-found, very precious, spare time learning a new skill.

And that was how he had found himself sat around a table with three women he’d never met before, a huge pile of magazines in front of them, being asked to ‘find his ‘inspiration’ for the session while they waited for the others to arrive’.  He’d long-since tuned out of their oestrogen-fueled conversations of children who’d now left home, the latest charity fundraiser and the perils of labour.

So his relief had been visible - and audible - when the door opened and he saw that, at last, another man had arrived.  He barely noticed the mouse-like woman who stepped in ahead, so pleased was he that he was no longer the only male in the room.

In a much-needed show of machismo, completely ignoring the accompanying woman, Joe reached across the table with an outstretched hand to his fellow man.

“Hiya, It’s good to see ya mate.  Joe.  I’m Joe.”

“Luke.” the man had replied eagerly, shaking his hand and giving Joe a slight static shock as he did so.  

“Have a seat,” Joe said gesturing to the empty chair in front of him. “We’re just finding our inspiration” he added with a smile and a conspiratorial wink.

This would do thought Joe.  There were two of them there now.  He could get through this session, and then put his plan into action to escape the rest.  

He’d already come up with the story he would need to tell Irene if she were to discover his deceit.  It had, in fact, come all too easily to him, as the stories often did these days.  But then, he rationlised with himself as he always did,  little white lies - and maybe even the odd slightly bigger grey ones - never really hurt anyone, did they?


To be continued.....

You can read the next instalment here.

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31 comments:

  1. Ah! I was not expecting that! Another character in the mix and a really interesting one at that. Even better than the first chapter.

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    1. Thank you fellow writer! Can't wait to read your next instalment x

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  2. ooohhh now I want to read the next part. I am truly hooked at the mo...........

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  3. Ooooo love it - very excited at the next installment! I think Luke is going to be Christian Gray! :) x

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    1. Not sure I could write a 'steamy' story a la Fifty Shades!! Now there's a challenge! x

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  4. oh fabulous, I need to read more NOW! I'm putting my money on Luke being .........I'm not saying :) I can't wait now to read some more x

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    1. Oh now I want to know what YOU think! :) Thank you x

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  5. Brilliant, I'm loving this already, can't wait for the next instalment :)

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  6. Excellent, what a wonderful read - can't wait to hear more. Brilliant writing by the way :)

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  7. Ah next part please! You've got a great skill for writing in a way that makes me want to keep reading to find out what happens next!

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    1. Ah thank you x Better try and think of something then ;) !! x

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  8. I love the character montage - the people you're describing feel very realistic and well-rounded. Really looking forward to the next part!

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    1. Thanks Nell, so lovely of you to comment and say xx

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  9. Way to go on the suspense, fascinated by this character and what it is he is hiding. More! More!

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    1. Yes - me too! Have a few ides what his secret(s) might be... xx

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  10. Just read this and then realised there's a previous bit. I don't think the first bit grabbed me as much as this has, I'm hooked and want to know what Joe is up to.

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    1. Thank you - I'm glad this part has grabbed you :) x

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  11. Looking forward to next week's character intro. :)

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  12. Absolutely love your writing as ever lovely lady. Can't wait to see what happens next. Once you have completed this story, I am going to go back to the beginning and read the whole lot all the way through. Thanks for linking to Prose for Thought xx

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    1. Oh thanks Victoria that's lovely. Thank you for hosting Prose4T xx

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  13. Only part 2 and I'm hooked! I really like this new character you've introduced into the mix and I think it reads brilliantly... more soon please!! xx

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    1. Thank you Helen. I wonder who will be next...xx

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  14. Just publicly shared this. Need I say more? x

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    1. Oh thank you Emma. That's so lovely x

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  15. ooh, can't wait for part 2!

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  16. oooo I want the next part nowwww!!! lol x

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