I didn’t really know what to do with myself. Normally on my days off I would call my best friend Steve. I’ve known him since we were at school together, when he was just a slip of a thing, with soft, short, blonde hair, big, brown eyes, and ill fitting uniform that was clearly several sizes too big. He was the teacher’s pet. A Labrador, I think. But he never let that get in the way of his work; Steve may have been a Labrador, but he always came second in tests. Small class sizes were something that my school valued immensely.
When Steve and I meet up, we tend to play a game of air badminton. It’s a lot like normal badminton, except instead of a shuttlecock, you use a parcel of air. And instead of rackets, you use parcels of air. And instead of a net, you use an empty crisp packet. Not many people have heard of it, but it’s definitely a real thing. We always played it at school with Mr Williams, the sports teacher who owned the Rolls Royce, personalised number plate, and was also in charge of the sports equipment budget.
I wonder what happened to that kind, generous man... He was always so very encouraging during sports lessons. Although I never quite got the hang of landing in the air swimming pool (I was always injuring myself during air diving) I was brilliant at air hurdles, He spent hours training me for track and field events, and said that I threw the air javelin further than he had ever seen! He said that I could go far in long distance running. And he was always so sensitive. I remember him comforting me after the regional athletics try-outs, his Rolex-weighted wrist sitting heavily on my slender shoulders. I just couldn’t understand what had happened. I was the best at my school in the air pole vault, but all the entrants from the other schools went so much higher than me. Mister Williams said that my air pole must have got bent when it was loaded into the air trailer that he used to transport the equipment, towed behind his Rolls Royce.
I believed him – after all, I often misplaced some of the air equipment myself. But Mr Williams, that kind gentleman, was always very nice about it. He’d get me to write a letter to the headmaster explaining that the equipment had gone missing, the headmaster would allocate some funds to buy a replacement and Mr Williams would return, in his newly-washed Rolls Royce, with the new equipment.
But air badminton with Steve was out of the question; he was an accountant now, and would be in work until five. Besides, I couldn’t remember where I’d left my air racket.