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Date Posted: 18:04:01 04/09/22 Sat
Author: Cirrus
Subject: Part 4
In reply to: Cirrus 's message, ""Dear Ronan" (Complete Story)" on 18:14:44 04/07/22 Thu

Dear Ronan,

Progress mate, I think I might have made progress. And this whole kayaking thing might be a goer if George and I ever live that long.

Our school ain’t got a pool big enough to practice in, so they load us all into a minivan to take us to one of the council pools. George still ain’t talking to me even though we were sitting right next to each other in the van. Closest we’ve been to each other in days and he’s still giving me the cold shoulder. I just want to apologize but I ain’t got the words.

First thing I notice is that we’re definitely the youngest two members of the club. Mister Brown is the teacher in charge. but it was a prefect called Phillip Smith who told us what to do all session - the same prefect who had bailed George out with the bullies. Weird coincidence innit?

We changed into our boardies (yeah I might have taken a peek or two at George) and strapped on our life vests. While the others did drills and things in the pool, Smith took George and I through the basics. I mean, real basics. “This is the paddle. This is how you hold the paddle.” It seemed kind of obvious and all, but Smith explained some of the obvious things weren’t actually that obvious, and if you got them right now it would save us a whole lot of time and strife later.

So he was standing in the pool, with me and George finally in our kayaks, and we’re more’n ready to learn something cool.

“Something cool” is apparently being dunked repeatedly. As Smith explained it, we WERE going to capsize eventually, so we needed to learn not to panic when we were underwater, then how to get ourselves right side up again. Smith would tip us over, then we’d wait, upside down underwater, until he tipped us right-side up again. It was just a few seconds at first, but he progressively kept us down longer and longer.

The first time he did it I thrashed around like a mad thing convinced I was going to drown any second. I came up spluttering and cursing and swearing blue murder. Smith just looked at me and tipped me over again. That shut me up.

Once I figured out he wasn’t ACTUALLY going to let me drown, I started to enjoy the experience a bit more. Once Smith was happy we was comfortable underwater, he showed us how to right ourselves up. Easy enough for him to show... bloody hard to copy. You throw your body forward till it feels like you’ve folded yourself in half, hold the paddle parallel to the boat, then sort of lever yourself up with the paddle.

Final score for successful rightings : Me zip, George one.

It was pretty epic really. He’d got himself about halfway up, but it looked like he was going to tip right back down again, but he kept fighting it and fighting it and fighting it, digging his paddle into the pool again and again, till finally he got enough leverage to push himself all the way. I can tell he’s gonna gloat for weeks that he got himself upright first.

After that Smith told us we could hit the showers early while the rest of the club finished off. Didn’t have to ask me twice!

So George and I were in the showers together, and he was looking at me all defiant like, just daring me to say summat. Well, I had to man up sometime right, and this was the probably the best chance I was gonna get.

“Soz mate. You know. The other day.”

George weren’t gonna make it easy for me. He was still glaring.

“I thought you were my FRIEND!”.

“I was... I am mate. I just... I got scared, didn’t I? Scared they’d be calling me the poof or the faggot.”

I saw tears on George’s face.

“I needed you Alex.” He said that real small-like, and it broke my bloody heart it did.

“I’m sooo soz mate! I’ve missed you, you know! Apparently without you I ain’t got any friends left at this school no more.”

“What, not even Jamie?”

“Especially not Jamie! Didn’t you hear? Belted him one, and got myself detention for a month.”

“Worth it?”

“Not even. Wish I’d hit those bullies instead.”

He said something quietly. I had to ask him to repeat it,

“You’re not forgiven you know.”

“Just give me a chance mate! Just a chance. And by the way, you were a fucking stud in the pool today. Felt I bloody tore my arm off trying to get that boat upright and then a runt like you manages it!”

“Hey watch who you’re calling a runt weakling!” He struck a pose and flexed his bicep like some bloody bodybuilder. I knew he was going to gloat.

Wet and bedraggled but somewhat hopeful,

Dear Ronan,

I think the ice between me and George is starting to thaw a little bit. Ain’t all the way unfrozen, and he reminded me at lunch I’m still got some work to do.

I sat down at lunch in the cafeteria by myself like I’ve been doing for the last week, but this George makes an appearance. He looks at me, and I shit you not, I was holding my breath at that moment. He sits down and I’m thinking things are all kosher are again, but George puts me in my place right quick.

“I’m still not talking to you.”

So there we are eating our chips in silence, and it’s getting to me just a bit. I’ve been giving him his space and all, but I think I need to make an effort here.

“So whad’ja get up to over the weekend then?” I ask all tentative-like.

George’s trap is clammed shut, and he ain’t saying a word. Well I guess I was pretty nervous, so I just start babbling. In this case I just started making up George’s side of the conversation.

“Well, if you must know Alex,” - said that real posh-like. George has what me English teacher would call “great diction”. “Well, if you must know, I spent the weekend hanging out with Brazilian supermodels!”

George looks up sharply, cause he don’t know where this is going, and at this point neither do I.

“Gerrof mate, you’re having me on!”

“No, no, it’s true” (me as George again), “they insisted that I oil them up before their bikini photoshoot.”

George was trying to keep up the stony face, but I could see the hint of a grin trying to break though.

“Why would they do that then?”

“Well, maybe they were grateful to me for rescuing them from the Colombian drug cartel.”

“Ya didn’t!”

“Someone had to jump out of that helicopter, storm their high-security compound, and rescue the girls. So the CIA turned to me.”

“And why on earth would they do that?”

“They knew about my superior Call of Duty skills.”

George was grinning now, and I think he was staying silent now to see what I would come up with next.

Well I spent the entire lunch period inventing the most elaborate weekend ever for George. He scored a hat-trick as a walk-on substitute for Man U, made a fortune at the poker tables in Vegas, then lost it all when the casino realised he was underage, married one of the Brazilian supermodels called Giselle in a shotgun wedding at the Chapel of Love so she could get an EU passport and rescue her sick grandma from the slums of Rio, been a guest-judge on X-Factor and sung for the Queen in a private performance at Buckingham Palace.

I was exhausted by the time the bell rang for afternoon classes. George had been giggling like mad as my story got more and more outrageous.

I wondered if the whole thing had been worth it, but as George headed away to his next class he turned back to me.

“You’re alright, you are Alex.”

Jumping for joy,

Dear Ronan,

OMG OMG OMG!!!! George has a got a spare ticket to T4 on the Beach this weekend! And he invited me to come with him and his dad! It’s gonna be amaaaaaaaazing! Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Sugababes... just fucking awesome.

It was a pretty damn cute actually. We were sitting down at lunch, and George looked like he wanted to ask me something but couldn’t figure out how to say it.

“Just spit it out mate!”

“Well... I’ve got an extra ticket to T4 on the Beach.... You wanna come?”

“You’re not having a laugh are you?” George shook his head.

“You’re shitting me! T4 on the Beach? Fucking A!” I think I jumped around like a madman for about 5 minutes yelling “Fucking A! Fucking A!” while George giggled again. He does that a lot I’ve noticed.

Then I realised I was acting like a loon and came over all shy-like.

“Course I’ll have to ask me mum and dad first.” I ruffled George’s hair. “You’re a fucking legend George. T4 on the Beach!”

Wish me luck Ronan, I’m gonna ask me parents now.


P.S. THEY SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Part 5 -- Cirrus, 18:04:47 04/09/22 Sat

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