Hilda smiled as she heard someone singing as they came along the school corridor. Nell entered and grinned at her.
“You seem a little happy Nell, or have you been at the gin again?” Hilda teased.
Nell caught hold of her and swung her round.” The last term, three months, 13 weeks, about 90 days, then we can escape and be together. I’m drunk Hilda but it’s on happiness “giving her partner a kiss.
“I know, this last year has seemed so long, without Nancy and Kathie helping it seemed impossible, but three months.” And they hugged each other tightly.
“It’s the last term, three months.” Nancy said to Kathie as they enjoyed one of the last lie in’s before school started.” Then it’s ours.”
“And we are scared.”Kathie admitted.
“We are, so I propose we take our minds of it for now .” with a smile at Kathie who laughed.
“I agree. What do you suggest.”
Nancy just smiled and reached for her.
Only three months, less “Ted, “I’ll never get all this done.”
“Yes you will “Len said bracingly “You just need a break, let’s go for a walk.”
“You do know it’s raining? “amused.
“There’s one thing I have learned about England, and that is it often rains.” Len laughed “We won’t melt, come on.” dragging her partner out of the chair. They stopped for a moment to hold each other, gently kiss, before laughing and grabbing their coats. They went down the street splashing in puddles like children.
“It’s only three months.” Madge thought “I’d better visit the school before half term, check everything is in hand, all the paperwork sorted, and that Hilda and Nell’s present is organised. Hard couple to buy for, hopefully what we’ve thought of is alright, but I might change my mind again. New teachers to interview, have I send the adverts to Len and Ted, yes, I did. I wonder if they will apply, I hope they will.”
Len and Ted looked at the copies of the adverts Madge had sent them “What do you think?” Ted asked.
Len frowned “She wants us to apply but it will be so difficult. For one thing there is mother and the possibility always that I will meet her. I know she is not allowed in school any more but I’m not a hermit, I will go out and I don’t know how I would react, or how she would if we met. What if it was with a bunch of kids and she kicked off. Secondly we both need to get the jobs because I’m certainly not being separated from you. And that brings us to three, we have lived here together for three years, I don’t think I could go back to not sleeping with you, well it’s not think, I know I couldn’t.”
Ted nodded “I understand everything you said and agree, I’m not going to not be with you now. If we stayed in the UK we could get day jobs, come home to each other.”
“I think we need to talk to Madge, tell her this, there’s a lot to think about.”
Madge was visiting the school, getting paperwork signed off. Sitting with the other four she mentioned Len and Teds concerns. “They would have to go through an interview, I don’t think that would be a real problem but the other issues are.”
Nancy said “Well perhaps we can help with them being together, always presuming a/they apply, and b/ are successful. “Madge nodded” we intend keeping our house, as Madge has agreed to let us spend time together away from the school. We could let Len and Ted share, do the same as we have done for all these years. We like them; they often stay with us so we know we can get on.”
“I’m happy to agree to that. “Madge said “Well that was easy. However Joey might not be, we are nearly three years down the line from the original issue and she still won’t talk of them.”
“If she ignores them that will be fine, but I know Len’s concern is, again should they be successful, we cannot presume, is if she is with pupils and Joey blows up at her. “Hilda said. “And it would concern me as well.”
“Certainly, I, we, would be unhappy if that were to happen. “Nancy agreed. “I think we know from past events that it would be unlikely to be Len to cause any issues. I imagine it depends just how volatile Joey still feels about the pair of them.”
“I think we need to talk to Jack, get his feelings on this. “Madge decided, “Perhaps he can ensure she does not do that.”
“How? “asked Nell “Short of gagging her of course.”
“Hopefully that won’t be necessary.” Madge smiled, Hilda looked at her partner sternly, Nell looked innocent.
Hilda smiled inwardly; she knew Nell felt lighter in her heart and mind than she had for years. They were so near to going, to achieving their dream that keeping focussed this last term might well be difficult. Thankfully Nancy and Kathie had appeared to pick up on this and helped wherever they could, they were indeed good friends.
“Right, for now we will leave it at that, I will talk to Jack and we will consider it further. Now ladies “looking at Nell and Hilda “may I ask your future plans, are you going to be staying on the Platz with us or moving back to the UK?”
“We” after a glance at Nell “are staying here awhile; we have provisionally rented a chalet for the summer.”
“And, at this time, we do intend going to the UK, but not to stay in my cottage. We feel it is too isolated for us as we get older. So we will go there for a while, to close it down, sell it and find somewhere else.”
“But our plans are fluid, “Hilda smiled “and we love that, no offence Madge, but we are looking forward to doing what we want, when we want.”
Madge smiled “No offence taken, I truly understand the feeling.” But it doesn’t help me find them a leaving present, she thought; I’ve changed my mind three times already. Parents and expupils had been contacted, a fund had been set up if people wanted to donate, and they were, a significant amount had already been donated. Unknown to Nell and Hilda there was to be a large party in a hotel, perhaps even two if the number kept increasing, so many wanted to pay their respects and say goodbye, well not goodbye, but au revoir . Madge was delighted at the response, these two had done so much together in keeping the school running, in keeping the standards high, in making it what it was today and she wanted only the best for them. She wanted them to know how much they were thought off, loved even as both were essentially unassuming women.