Where Do I Fit In?
by Andrew Foote
Throughout this story real organisations and real people are mentioned by name. Their place in the tale is in the author's imagination. No thoughts, words or deeds attributed to those people or organisations are real, nor have they ever happened. This is a story! It's fiction. The people and organisations, even when they interact with the characters, are presented in an entirely imagined and fictitious manner, and no discourtesy is intended to them by the author nor by the web site.
I must get out of this habit of oversleeping. I suppose its school holidays that make me lazy but at half past eight there was a knock on my bedroom door.
"Andy? You've got visitors. Up now please."
My Dad, unlike me isn't an early morning person so I didn't bother with a shower, I just flung on clothes enough to make myself decent an went down stairs only to see Mr and Mrs Carmichael sitting in our lounge. Lucas was not with them.
"Morning! Sorry, I'm normally up with the lark but these last few days, I don't know, I think I've got a touch of sleeping sickness! Where's Lucas?"
Mrs Carmichael answered me.
"Oh he'll be along shortly. All our belongings arrived at six this morning. The agent is supervising everything but he wanted to find his bike, you know how it is!"
"Yes I suppose but while it's great to see you and everything, why so early?"
"Swimming or rather diving. Have you forgotten already?"
"No chance! It was the last thing I thought about last night and it probably would've been my first thought this morning had my Dad not woken me!" I giggled.
Dad placed a mug of tea in front of me.
"The thing is Andy, we've come to a collective decision regarding this but it's only right we wait for Lucas before we tell you. It's only fair afterall. Talking of which. That's him now I believe."
Mum let Lucas in, he sat beside me, enviously looking at my tea.
"Alright already!" Mum said, "I'll get you some but don't you adults go starting the discussion without me or there'll be big trouble!" She reappeared a few minutes later, placed a mug of tea on the table and sat down next to Dad who cleared his throat before speaking. He turned to Mr Carmichael.
"Who's going to do this Gregg, you or me?"
"Your house so you carry on. I'll just chip in with my tuppennyworth as and when."
"Right, okay. Last night after you lads were presumably asleep the wires were buzzing. We had a conference call together and then later we had another conversation with Mr Coughlan. The upshot is this. After much deliberating, we have decided to run with this. We all believe this is too good an opportunity to pass by and it's pretty obvious that you have left a positive impression on people with considerable influence, namely Mr Coughlan who by the way was instrumental in Tom Daley's early development and so if he believes you have potential, it wouldn't be right if we denied you the chance to prove yourselves but…….. there are caveats. Yes, I know there are always those but in this instance we're imposing them for very good reasons.
Let us assume for a moment you achieve the high standards Mr Coughlan expects to see, there would be little likelihood that you could ever earn a living from your sport and coupled with that, even if it were possible, your shelf life as athletes is short so it's of paramount importance that you stay on top of your education. Allow yourselves to fall behind then we will have to consider whether or not to pull you from the program."
Mr Carmichael briefly interrupted.
"In your case Lucas, it is going to be even more of a challenge. We have no idea where you are in regards to the English curriculum, it maybe you're behind in some subjects, in advance in others but being unused to the teaching methods over here you have your work cut out just settling in."
My father continued.
"Quite so but given that we've been received assurances that private tuition is available to you, we're hoping this won't be too much of a problem. Also you will be attending the same school and presumably in the same class, this bonding that was talked about should also help. I don't want you to feel that this threat of withdrawal from the program hangs over you boys like the Sword of Damocles, we want you to succeed both in your chosen sport and also in your education. Work hard and we will support and encourage you in every way we can.
Now let's turn our attention to the amount of time Mr Coughlan wants you to spend together. We have thought this through carefully and this is what we propose bearing in mind the need to be flexible depending on your training regime.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday you will spend in one or other houses, Wednesday will be if you like, family time then Thursday, Friday and Saturday, swap over venues. This is only a suggestion and we may well have to revisit it should the need arise.
Now you've only known each other what, a week? It's obvious to a blind man that you're very good friends, close friends even and while you might think that spending so much time together will be a breeze, let me make quite clear, this isn't necessarily so. Living, sleeping, working and training in such close proximity can put an enormous strain on the strongest of relationships so be under no illusion, what might sound like fun right now might turn sour and while Mr Coughlan assures us there is help on tap to hopefully get you over such a hurdle, if it becomes too much then we kiss the whole thing goodbye because it just won't work. Not only will it wreck a friendship, you won't be successful with your diving. Do you boys understand what I'm trying to say?"
"Yes Dad." I answered. Lucas just nodded his head.
"Good! Now all we have to do is sign the consent documents, get photo copies of your birth certificates, arrange passport photos and we're all set."
"Gregg, Suzy, Jane? Is there anything you'd like to add? Anything I've forgotten?"
Jane, that's Mrs Carmichael by the way, spoke up.
"There was just a couple of incidentals. First you boys will have to go for a thorough physical and there's the question of diet which as yet we don't have any details of so might it be an idea that we organise the necessary paperwork while the boys slip into town and sort out passport photos? Then once we've got everything sorted we could run them over to Mr Coughlan's place, collect the diet sheets and maybe understand what we have to do regarding the physical."
An hour later found Lucas and I on the bus heading into town. I was curious.
"What's all this about a physical?"
"It's no biggie. We had them at the start of each school year. I think it's just to check that nothing's about to fall off! Just don't freak out when the Doc shoves his finger up your ass though will you!"
" WHAT!!! I mean why would he want to do that?? "
"Hey! It isn't like all doctors are perverts who want to finger young boys, he's just checking your prostate! It's all over in a matter of seconds but just prey you don't pop a boner is all!"
"Oh GOD! Why would I do that? I mean having some old geezer fingering you up is hardly a turn-on!"
"Just you wait and see! It feels weird but a nice sort of weird if you see what I mean."
"No actually, I don't see what you mean! Fucking hell Lucas? Can I have second thoughts about this diving thing?"
"What? Just because someone's going to play with your grommet is no reason to get all panicky?"
"Perhaps not but sporting a hardon in front of a complete stranger is!"
"Ha-ha! Don't worry so much! It happens all the time and he'll be used to that reaction. It's normal!"
"There's nothing normal about someone sticking their finger up your bum, trust me on that! That's just toooo weird! Anyway, here's our stop."
"Andy? What do I have to do to get on this diving program?"
Jo was busy studying my diet sheet.
"Dear Lord! What I wouldn't give to be given carte blanche to eat all the steak I wanted, all the fish and carbohydrates I could get inside me! This would be like a dream come true but here I am having to watch my waistline! There's no justice in this world!"
"Yes but what you've got to remember is I'll be burning it all off as soon as I've eaten it. From what we've been told, the circuit training is a killer and then there's weight training plus we have to swim at least half a mile most days and I don't just mean 'swim' swim, we've got to put serious effort into it. Now do you want the complete package? You can't have one without the other you know?"
"No………I'll pass I think! Anyway, why all that just in order to chuck yourself off a diving board?"
"Because what we are being expected to do requires a high level of fitness and muscle development and all of this is just to achieve that end. We've got to have all the proteins, vitamins, minerals and bulk to allow us to develop and give us the necessary energy to train. God! If we were to eat all that stuff and not work it off, we'd end up being the size of a small apartment block!"
"Point taken. You've got your medical this afternoon haven't you?"
"Yeah. Thanks for reminding me……..not! That's something I could really do without!"
"What? The reminder or the medical?"
"The medical shit for brains? I'm dreading it!"
"Why? I mean how bad can it be?"
"Bad bad! That's how bad!"
"Go on. Tell sis all about it!"
" Nooo! Please don't make me?"
"Yes make you!"
"Look it's all very embarrassing! They do things, really weird personal thing to you! Do you want me to carry on?"
"Oh okay! For starters you have to strip stark bollock naked. I mean in front of a stranger?? And as if that wasn't bad enough, the doctor shoves his finger up your arse and like as not you pop a wood!"
"Ha-ha!! Oh that's priceless! Sooo funny!"
"You think it's funny huh? Careful girl or I might just shove my finger up your arse!"
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry already! But you've got to tell me what happens though!"
"Will I fuck as like? Yeah alright, I can see the funny side of it! Still dreading it though!"
"You'll be fine……….BIG BOY! Sorry, sorry! I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you! You'll be okay, honestly."
At the appointed hour Lucas and I arrived at the medical centre. The more I thought about it the more I was thankful it wasn't our family doctor who would be checking me over. At least this way, any embarrassment would be short lived.
I'd lost count of how many times I'd showered during the course of the day, absolutely petrified that the doctor would sink his finger into a latent turd hiding away inside me but actually when the time came for me to have my examination, my nervousness disappeared.
The doctor was pleasant enough, business-like but really understanding.
"Now Andrew, this might seem a little strange to you but please don't worry? I've seen literally hundreds of boys during my time so I do understand how you might be feeling. Let's get it done and dusted as quickly as we can, alright?"
"Okay doc. Whatever you say."
"Now if you'd go behind the curtain and get undressed please. Take this bottle and try and pee in it then pass it back to me, then once you've done that I want you to lie face down on the couch. Everything clear?"
I nodded my head.
Peeing in the bottle took a while but I did eventually manage slightly more than a dribble. The doctor began his examination, probing and pushing at me, checking reflexes, bending my feet this way and that before asking me to turn onto my back where he continued to do much the same. Then the usual heart, pulse and blood pressure, he weighed me and measured my height, looked into my ears and eyes and throat.
"Fine Andrew. Now for the scary stuff. I need to check you for hernias. The way we do this is for me to place my hand under your scrotum and then I'll ask you to cough. So long as I don't spot any lumps above your pubic bone everything is good. Are you ready?"
"Yes I guess."
"Okay. Stand up please."
Actually he was so matter-of-fact about it, the entire thing so clinical that it didn't bother me but then……….
"Good! Excellent in fact! Right. Now for the finale Andrew. I need to check your prostate gland. The reason for this is to make sure it isn't overactive, something very unlikely at your age but the most important reason is to make sure it's not cancerous. To do this I need to feel it and the sensation you get will undoubtedly give you an erection. This is perfectly normal and in fact I would be slightly concerned if you didn't. It just proves to me that you're a healthy and developing young man.
Now I'll put my finger up into your backside and because your bum is naturally a one-way street, it will feel alien and you'll automatically resist entry. Just try and relax as best you can for me. Okay. Are you ready?"
"Umm………I guess I don't get a choice in the matter?"
"Unfortunately not! Bend over please."
Wow! I mean oh fuck! A hardon?? I never felt it coming! One moment my dick was so scared it was hiding away, the next it was at full mast!
"There you go Andrew. That wasn't so bad was it? I'm happy to tell you, you're a fine specimen of a boy. Nothing at all wrong with you there or anywhere else so I'll be passing you off with a clean bill of health which I'll send to the SCGB as a secure email. Good luck with your endeavours and I'll see you in around six months' time. Get yourself dressed, you're free to go."
I wandered out to the waiting room. Lucas was grinning like a Cheshire cat, his fist gripped as he flexed his arm at the elbow.
"Fuck off!" I mouthed.
"Yeah massively! You?"
"Come on, let's get out of here before I go back for seconds!" to which comment Lucas doubled up with laughter.
"See? I told you? Nothing beats a good ol' prostate tickle to get ya going!"
We walked back towards the bus stop.
"So it wasn't so bad as you thought then?"
"No. It was good the way he explained everything, you know what he was doing and the reasons behind it. Sort of nice knowing I've nothing wrong with me too."
"Yeah, there is that. The first time I had a physical I was nearly wetting myself but then all the follow-ups were just something we did, no big deal really. Funny how the things you dread become like 'normal' all of a sudden? Mind you, I still don't like dentists!"
"Nor me but then I've never really had any serious dental work so I don't know why I get all fucked up at the prospect of check-ups. Just the thought of someone coming at my face with big scary needles is enough to give me the shits!"
"I wonder how long it'll be before we can start training Andy? I know we'll have to wait for clearance from the SCGB but it can't happen soon enough for me!"
"Maybe we can discover something tonight at the club although why we need to go at the moment I don't know. We can't do any diving and we're out of the mainstream swimming so why bother."
Well we did bother and it was worth it.
We were met poolside by a youngish guy who introduced himself as Alec McBride. Alec was to be our fitness coach and would be giving us one on one tuition being as we were the only kids at our club receiving this type of training.
"I see you've not brought any gym kit boys."
"We weren't asked to. We didn't even realise you'd be here. Is that a problem?"
"No Lucas. No worries but in the future I'll need you to bring them for every session. You'll be spending more time in the gym than you will in the water so best to be prepared for every eventuality. For now we'll concentrate on bar work as you can do that well enough in your swimming gear. Your medical exam results came through this afternoon, the council don't hang about! Mr Coughlan wanted you to start ASAP, he doesn't hang about either! He'll be here later as he wants to give you some sensory work to practice but for now I want to see four lengths of the gym sprinting as fast as you can so off you go, SPRINT!"
Well that got the old hearts pumping but with no real time to recover,
"Fifteen push-ups. Chins on the floor and I don't want to see you bending your backs, just your elbows."
Passably easy but then he told us that tomorrow it would be eighteen then twenty and so on!
Next was bar work. We had to grasp a wall bar with both hands and keeping our legs straight, bending only at the waist lift then until they were ninety degrees to our body but then we had to hold that position until he'd counted to five. Three of these then again but this time a count to eight, then ten. By the end of it my tummy muscles were screaming at me!
"Okay! Well done! Now for back exercises. Lay face down on the mat, arms outstretched, your toes pointed. Now what I want you to do it is lift your legs and torso up clear of the mat while I count to five then three more while I count to eight then another three while I count to ten. Okay and go!"
We were seriously starting to break sweat now but Alec wasn't about to let up.
"Right-ho. Now your arms. A simple weight exercise. Actually you can practice this at home if you can find something heavy enough. Take these hand weights and grip them with the palms of your hands facing forward. Now slowly raise your forearm until the weights are at ninety degrees to your body then hold while I count to five. Three of these then the same again while I count to eight then again counting to ten."
Owww! This was starting to hurt!
"Okay. Now the same but this time I want the palms of your hands facing inwards. No bending your wrists mind!
Fuck, fuck and again FUCK! What's this bloke trying to do here? Kill us?
"Okay boys! Enough for now. Feeling sore?"
"Just a tad! God! That last one! Difficult or what!"
"Well Andy, you both did fine considering you've not done anything like this before but I'll tell you right now. Give it a couple of weeks and tonight will seem like a walk in the park. I intend to put some serious muscle on you, push you until you think you can't be pushed any further but then you'll find you can break past the pain barrier, natural endorphins kick in dulling this pain and then, once you're there we can start on some serious work. You'll be at the point where you are in control of your bodies, you'll be able to manage pain to the degree you'll get an enormous adrenalin rush the likes of which will lift you higher than any good sex!
Now go and cool off in the pool. Use the diving pool so as not to disrupt the swimmers and I'll come and get you just as soon as Mr Coughlan arrives."
Water, blessed water! It feels like an old friend especially when most of your body feels as if it's been put through a mangle!
We only managed a ten minute swim before Alec called for us to get dried and back into the gym. Mr Coughlan was waiting for us.
"Hello boys. Good medicals I see? Have you enjoyed this evening?"
"Hard work but yes, it was alright actually!"
"Good. Now I want to run you through some sensory exercises to practice. Something far less strenuous but equally as important."
Now some of these were pretty straight forward like your partner is blindfolded and you touch him somewhere then he has to decide what hand, left or right and which finger you're touching him with. It didn't have to be a finger, you could touch him with a toe, an elbow or whatever but some of them were decidedly odd.
One was one of you stands still, blindfolded again then the other takes up a position near to you and presses a buzzer and you had to decide where abouts he was standing and how far away. The reason for the buzzer was, a hand clap or voice would give the game away.
Mr Coughlan told us to do this wearing shoes to begin with as it was a tricky exercise but as we got better at it, to try walking in bare feet on a carpet and see how we got on.
"The point is this. Imagine you're on a high table and begin a complex dive. It's imperative that you are aware of exactly where your partner is at any given time. Things happen so very quickly, you don't have the luxury of time in order to look, you have to instinctively know where he is.
Remember me saying how much and how well you have to know and understand each other? Think and act as one entity? Now you know the reason why!"
There were other things but sort of variations on a theme like one of you is blindfolded and you stand a set distance apart but close enough to touch each other. The sighted partner tells the blindfolded one to touch him somewhere like "Use the index finger of your right hand and touch my dick, ha-ha, (just a thought!), no……. touch my left shoulder or whatever. Again the point was to be able to completely understand your partner's physique and height. No guessing games these. We were told it was difficult but it could be done to a margin of success 99:1 error given enough practice.
Balancing blindfold on a beam was another but that would have to be supervised in the gym and so the list went on.
Every day except Wednesday we had to be poolside by 6am. 6am!!! That's the middle of the night, even for me!! Anyway we had to swim half a mile in separated lanes before some 'light gymnastics' and home for breakfast. We were allowed a decent lunch off our diet sheet, a light tea before returning either to the pool or the gym at 6pm. We were then allowed to pig out before bed, the idea being this would generate fat which could be transformed into muscle mass. Bed time and lights out, no later than 10.30pm but as I said, Wednesday was our day of rest and also our family time, it worked well.
There was of course, one massive added bonus! Thursday we 'moved in together'!! My place Thursday, Friday, Saturday then Swap for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Tomorrow being Wednesday, we hugged each other good night outside my front door and went our separate ways.
"Whoo-hoo! Saw the clinch!"
"Can it sis. I hurt too much for an argument. Anyway we just hugged. Nothing bad there? You and your friends do it all the time so piss off!"
"God you are touchy! I was only kidding?"
"Yeah alright, sorry but I'm knackered okay?"
"Sure. Everything alright otherwise?"
"Yep. The medical was………….alright, at least we're both fit and pronounced healthy enough to let sadists loose on our bodies in order to slowly and very painfully kill us to death."
" Kill us to death??"
"Okay. I told you I was tired."
"Be that as it may……. Andrew?? No going to bed yet. I've orders to feed you up. Tonight your menu comprises of a 10 ounce rump steak cooked rare topped with king prawns and flaked smoked haddock, grilled tomatoes, a baked potato and a side salad. What do you reckon?"
"Sounds as if I've gone to heaven!"
"You have. I tried a bit! Your portion is now down to 9 ounces!"
"Bitch! No I don't mean that! Help yourself Jo!"
"Oh I will and especially if I'm doing the cooking! Chef's privilege and all that crap! Anyhow, I'll go and make a start on the finishing touches."
By the time Jo shouted me for supper I was sound asleep on the settee. See kicked me awake.
"Come on brother? I don't like cooking much so the least you can do is stay awake long enough to be poisoned?"
"Sorry Jo. I'm sure it'll be great but I'm soooo tired! I hurt like hell like all over. God knows how I'll cope with the stairs in the morning!"
"Just eat your supper. If you ask me nicely, I'll wake you in the morning and help you down."
"You won't want to do that! I'm meeting Lucas outside at 5.30 as we've got to be at the pool by 6."
"I thought you got Wednesday off?"
"Oh God, of course!! Tomorrow's Wednesday! Good thing you pointed that out. Now where's this food!"
Wednesday. Family bonding day. Well……..that's a bit difficult with the entire clan out at work don't you think? No matter because as soon as I'd finished breakfast and cleared away I biked down the shops to buy the papers which helped limber me up then I cut the lawns followed by some exercises, push-ups and the like and by the time I'd finished, I felt half human.
Lucas phoned really just to say hello and how was I feeling. Apparently, like me, he had seized up overnight almost unable to get out of bed which made me feel better about my own lack of condition.
We reaffirmed the arrangement to meet at my house at 5.30 the following morning and signed off.
Shit! What's coming over me? I miss him like crazy and I know he feels the same way, ---- not like missing himself, missing me! Anyway tomorrow we're together for the next six days, morning, afternoon, evening and………..night!
We had a great evening actually! Jo stayed at home, both Mum and Dad were in and so instead of watching telly all evening we played board games instead but on the subject of telly, I don't mind watching something half decent but where's the attraction of 'Strictly Come Dancing' or as I call it 'Strictly go Prancing'. The women wear too much makeup and the blokes, well if that's what they are, strut around like so many peacocks and are just sooo effeminate it curdles my blood! Okay, so Lucas is gay but no one in a zillion years could ever call him effeminate? Why do these so-called gay 'celleb's' feel they have to mince around the way they do? Oh well ducky, such is life!
Back to the board games, we played Monopoly, team chess, Pass the Pigs, (ever heard of it? Bloody hilarious!) and before I knew it, Mum placed my supper on the table.
"So……..we're all eating are we?"
"No? Portion control as per your diet sheet. It's all yours so eat up!"
"But Mum? This is way too much! I love fish pie but jacket potato, peas, and carrots as well? What are you trying to do to me??"
Jo stood over my shoulder.
"Well……..whatever you can't manage, I'll have. God it smells wonderful!"
"You're on a diet aren't you? At least that's what you told me Jo?"
"Sod the diet Mum! Anyway I told Andy, if he needed help he could count on me! I'm here for you brother of mine!"
"Thank you but go away. I'll take care of it sis!"
I managed but only just! Stuffed doesn't come close but then I hadn't really exercised that much.
Bed at 10.15 and I went out like a snuffed candle.
I woke at 4.45am feeling good. Yeah I felt fine, rested and……….bloated!
Lucas met me at the appointed time. We exchanged hugs and started our walk to the pool.
"How you doin' with the diet Andy?"
"Uncomfortably alright! I feel if I'm eating for an army."
"Me too! I almost didn't finish supper last night, nice as it was.
Do you find you're pooping more?"
"Oh nice conversation at 5.30 in the morning I must say but in answer to your indelicate question? No not really. Sort of normal now I think about it. Why?"
"Same with me. I just thought I'd be dumping buckets is all but I guess we're kinda absorbing it somehow."
"Let's beg the question when we get to the pool. Come on, let's jog it."
"Yes. You're taking most of what you eat in so your system can use it to build you up which in turn will turn to muscle with your workouts. The diet is designed to do this in such a way that there's minimal wastage, every useful nutrient is absorbed and used beneficially.
I saw you jogging here this morning. Good stuff! Loosen up those stiff muscles but don't go overdoing things. Remember although you won't be pushed too hard during these morning sessions, you still have to swim a fair distance and do some light gymnastics and I don't need you arriving too tired.
Okay then. An easy first morning. Use the two cordoned off lanes please. Members of the public are told to keep out of them except in the event of an emergency so they're for your use only. Thirty-five lengths please boys. No breast stroke, no idle floating, just front crawl or back crawl. Don't rush it but neither do I want to see you hanging around. Understood? Now off you go!"
Umm………now I might only be an average student at school? Remember me? Not stupid, not a genius but hang about a minute??? Thirty-five lengths of a fifty metre pool isn't half a sodding mile! It's 1750 metres which is over one mile! There's 1760 yards in a mile and a metre is 38.4 inches whereas a yard is 3 X 12 = 36 inches so 38.4 less 36 = 2.4 X 10 = 24.0 which if memory serves is two foot. Right! We're now having to swim not just the half mile as promised, not even one whole mile but one whole mile and two feet!!!
Lucas and I turned together and he noticed the look on my face.
"What's eating you Andy?"
"Some fucking half mile! Do the maths. It's over a complete mile!"
"I thought it was taking a while? How much have we done already?"
"God only knows! I was too busy doing the sums to count! Come on. Onwards and upwards!"
Finally the whistle blew.
"Okay lads. Thanks for doing an extra six lengths! Hey, you looked as if you were enjoying it so who am I to spoil your fun!"
I turned on Alec.
"You bastard! You complete and utter turd! I did the maths! That was over a mile and then you let us carry on!"
"Well, like I said! What would you've done had you known in advance? Quit the challenge or carried on? You did a sterling job, both of you and you should be proud of yourselves. Endurance swimming is a tough game and all I can say is 'very well done'! By the way Andy? I can take attitude. It shows the spirit, anger and the determination I want to see so if you need to vent your feelings then you go ahead!
Okay. Now for some light gymnastics and this time I really promise you it'll be light and very enjoyable."
Head stands, hand stands with Alec teaching us balance techniques so we could throw ourselves up into position and hold it without faltering.
This I knew was important having watched the routines on the telly in the past but then Alec told us of another way to do it.
"Keep your toes pointed and your head back so you can use it as a counter-balance. Once you can hold position for around ten seconds without wobbling about all over the shop, I'll get you to have a go at walking on your hands but practice getting yourselves stationary first. Just one word of caution though. If you practice this at home, please make sure you've enough space. Move furniture out of the way, make sure you have room enough if you tumble. I don't need you in plaster casts at this stage of training!"
Lucas laughed at this comment.
"Maybe it'd be safer out on the lawn!"
"Good idea mate!
Alright boys, enough for now. Tonight we'll continue where we left off on Tuesday plus Mr Coughlan will be putting you through your paces in the diving pool. Don't get all shirty when you discover what he wants you to do. It'll seem like kiddie stuff, really simple, basic dives but it'll be all about timing so I hope you've been practicing your counting! Go take a shower and I'll see you here around 6.30 this evening."
On reaching my house, Lucas suggested I drop off my kit together with his, he would continue on home, I could grab my bike and meet him there so I could help him bring some of his stuff back for the next three days.
By this time everyone had disappeared off to work, I contemplated breakfast but decided to wait until we got back so we could eat together. There was however a note on the counter from my Mum.
'Andy. I completely forgot that Lucas was due here today so please could you be a star and get the things on this list from the butchers. My bank card is in the usual place and you know the PIN. Thanks. Mum.'
Oh well, okay no problem but first get Lucas settled in.
I saddled up and made my way the 500 yards to Lucas's house. I didn't have to knock the door, his father was working in the garage and let me in.
I made my way to Lucas's bedroom and opened the door making him jump out of his skin!
"Jeez Andy? I thought you were my old man! I've only just gotten dressed and I hadn't bolted the door."
"So I'm late then!"
"Ha-ha! Yes definitely but then you've seen it all before, no big deal."
"Big enough for me! Anyway what do you need to bring with you?"
"Not much. I want to bring my laptop and a few changes of clothes and trainers. Will I need these d'you think?"
He held up a set of PJ's.
"Are you kidding?" but then I decided to tease him!
"Of course you will! You're not getting into bed with me without them I can tell you! Got any bed socks? You'll need them as well. Don't want your feet coming anywhere near me."
Oh God. The look on his adorable face!
"Get a fucking life will you? No, you leave the damn things here! Set foot in my room with those and it'll be the last thing you'll ever do!"
"You bastard! For a moment I thought you were for real!"
"No I'm totally unreal! I'll take your backpack, you bring your laptop. That way if you fall off your bike and bust it, I can't be held responsible! Ready?"
Back at my place, we got his things packed away in a spare drawer, made space on my desk for his computer noting I only had one stool but we could sort that another time, it would only be of importance once we went back to school and that was some few weeks away yet.
We ate breakfast, a cocktail of musili, fruit and lots of toast and Marmite. Ooo! I LOVE Marmite! A half pint of milk and vitamin supplements and something else I didn't understand what it was for but it was on the diet sheet.
We cleared away then made our way to the butchers.
"Well, well! I really do like the business I'm receiving from your family! I'm selling more steak to you than the rest of the village combined! I've even had to up my order from the wholesale people. Amy on Wet Fish over yonder tells me the same thing. Smoked Haddock , Fresh Cod and Haddock, King Prawns, what's going on?"
We briefly explained the situation, our training and dietary requirements and what we were trying to achieve. He promptly knocked 15% off the bill telling us that he'd keep the discount in place so long as we stuck at it. I was pleased. Lucas was pleased and my dear mother would be ecstatic! He then told Lucas that the same would apply to his family but told him to come into the shop with his Mum or Dad so he'd know who was who.
We made our way back, laden down with meat and fish. No wonder my Mum had us collect it, it weighed a tonne!
Back home and the shopping put away I looked at the time. God! It was still only eleven o'clock and I was feeling seriously tired already! Fortunately Lucas looked as tired as I felt so I set an alarm to 12.30 and we took a rest on the bed. Yes we cuddled and yes I loved it but sleep was the dominant influence and we didn't stir until the alarm sounded.
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